A devotee of Lady NIcotine and God has defied the new smoking law by lighting up in a police station. The Reverend Anthony Carr, of Holy Trinity Church in East Peckam, Kent, walked into the station in Tonbridge and said he wanted to report a crime. Asked what it was by the desk sergeant, Rev'd Carr then took out his pipe, lit it and, through clouds of aromatic tobacco fumes, said: "This is the crime."
The desk sergeant asked the vicar to extinguish his pipe, as he was in a no smoking area, and the Reverend replied, "I will not." When officers told him he would not be bundled into the back of a van he said "What a pity". They explained to the puffing curate that it is council environmental health officers who enforce the new law, not police. Rev'd Carr later said he had deliberately flouted the ban to protest against the erosion of civil liberties. "I felt strongly the need to protest against this pathetic law," he said. "There are many things which are said to affect our health. You can't really regulate the minutiae of people's individual lives like that."
A spokesman for the Bishop of Rochester said: "We regard this as a personal matter - the church would not wish to comment on the incident. Officially, the church doesn't condone breaking the law." There are many things for priests to get incensed about these days - abortion, same sex marriages, the Life of Brian - but when a man of the cloth feels the need to have himself arrested to protest against not being allowed to smoke his pipe, something must be deeply wrong with our society.
(posted to fop as well as slf_denver)