Thoughtcrimes are now being policed in Britain

Using the Public Space Protection Order, West Midlands Police arrested pro-life activist Isabel Vaughan-Spruce for silently praying on the streets of Birmingham.

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Isabel Vaughan-Spruce is a pro-life activist who was arrested on Tuesday 6 December 2022 for allegedly breaking a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which has been placed around the abortion clinic in Kings Norton, Birmingham. Vaughan-Spruce was subsequently charged on December 15 with four counts of failing to comply with a PSPO and has been bailed until she appears at Birmingham Magistrates Court on February 2, 2023.

The arrest of Isabel Vaughan-Spruce by the West Midlands Police was caught on film by her colleague and quickly went viral online. In the video the police officers are seen questioning Vaughan-Spruce about her intentions and asking her if her being stood there was a form of protest. After denying that she was protesting the police officer asked her if she was praying to which she answered, “I might be praying in my head”.

Isabel Vaughan-Spruce was then arrested under the suspicion of failing to comply with Public Space Protection Order. This case has sparked outrage amongst the British public and freedom groups because it would appear as though Isabel Vaughan-Spruce is being charged with a thoughtcrime.

PSPOs were introduced around the UK in 2014 and were part of a broad range of powers intended to help the police deal with anti-social behaviour locally. Recently the PSPO powers have been extended to include prayer and counselling. The extension of these powers has left many pro-life campaigners and members of the public concerned about the ever-expanding ability of the police to restrict certain forms of protest.

Isabel’s legal representation will be handled by the ADF who have crowdfunded the legal fees. Since their funding campaign went live they’ve quickly received more than half the target and have stated on their website they intend to defend fundamental freedoms and human dignity.

Isabel Vaughan-Spruce runs 40 days for life in Birmingham which is a Christian pro-life group who aim to end abortion locally through prayer, community outreach and holding peaceful all-day vigils in front of abortion clinics.

To stay informed about freedom of speech and the right to protest in the UK make sure to check out for all our stories and the latest news.

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