Too rude? Australian product offends Hampshire police
Emily Butselaar: Too rude? Australian product offends Hampshire police
09 Nov 10

Start Ya Bastard

My Australian countrymen are a frank species. Compare and contrast the mealymouthed slogan used in a UK road safety campaign, “never EVER drink and drive” with the robust tagline used in my home state, “If you drink, then drive, you’re a bloody idiot.”

Unusually Hampshire Police have intervened in this cultural divide warning a local mechanic he could face prosecution for advertising an Australian engine starter called Start Ya Bastard — and yes it is a real product.

Nick Palmer, who sells the spray, has a large advert for the product on his van and has been told by police he could face prosecution for a Public Order offence;  presumably a section five offence using abusive or insulting words that could cause harassment, alarm or distress. According to Metro, where I spotted the story,  Hampshire police said: “If a complaint were to be received it could be regarded as an offence.”

Surely there is an obligation to treat such complaints with a little commonsense? What percentage of the public are alarmed and distressed by the word?