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Backlash after volunteer police officer tells gospel singer she can’t sing Christian songs outside church

by Tola Mbakwe
harmonie london police officer.png thumb.png - Banner image
Instagram/ @Harmonieldn

A volunteer police officer has sparked intense criticism after telling a Christian busker she isn't allowed to sing Christian songs in the street.

Harmonie London was performing in London's Oxford Street when a Metropolitan Police special constable told her: “No, miss, you’re not allowed to sing church songs outside of church grounds, by the way”.

During the confrontation, which the 20-year-old singer posted a video of on her Instagram page, she responded: “You are, you are, you are”.

The officer argued that she couldn't sing "outside of church grounds unless authorised by the church”.

In the video, the officer is seen sticking her tongue out when the singer questioned her about freedom of religion and belief in the Human Rights Act.

The officer then walks away.

Harmonie London, who has more than 290,000 Instagram followers captioned the video: “Special constables are volunteer police officers who invest their free time to make a real difference to our city. You will get a tremendous amount of pride from giving back to the community.”

The ordeal has sparked outrage online.

One Instagram user commented on the video: “That’s appalling behaviour she shouldn’t be allowed to volunteer. I think the police have enough on their hands within London city than to stop someone spreading enjoyment and love …”

Former government minister Ann Widdecombe told Premier's Inspirational Breakfast: "I think they should take very firm action against this individual, not least for sticking her tongue out, which was a gesture of contempt, not professional. And obviously, she doesn't really know the law, certainly doesn't appear to know the law".

The Metropolitan Police said it was "working to understand the context in which these comments were made".

However, Widdecombe thinks that's too lenient of an approach.

"I would have thought it wasn't necessary for the police to understand the context," she said. "They've got the video, they can see what she said now, is what she said right or not? And if it's wrong, then they should take action."

Meanwhile, Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Concern told MailOnline: “One of my favourite things as I commute to work is to hear Harmonie's beautiful worship.

“She blesses tens of thousands of people in the same way and brings harmony to the streets. We need more of this, not less. It is shocking that she has been treated like this.”

Listen to Premier's interview with Ann Widdecombe here: 

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