Midnight police raid on disability campaigner over Facebook messages

Blogger Tom Pride has an alarming story of a Welsh disability activist getting a visit from local police, apparently because of Facebook posts critical of the government.

According to the blog, the anonymous activist said:

I’ve just had the police forcing their way into my flat near midnight and harrassing me about my “criminal” posts on Facebook about the DWP [Department for Work and Pensions], accusing me of being “obstructive”. I didn’t know what in f**k’s name they were on about. They kept going on and on at me, it was horrifically stressful, and they only left after I started crying uncontrollably.

The “visit” is alleged to have taken place on Friday, 26 October at 11.40pm.

The activist has now filed a complaint to South Wales Police, as well as a Subject Access request and a Freedom of Information request, demanding to know why South Wales Police felt it appropriate to send officers to her house late at night in order to warn her about her online interaction. Police also allegedly asked her about her involvement in an anti-cuts protest.

She asks some questions that should provide some very interesting answers:

How much time/manpower/money does South Wales Police invest in monitoring Facebook post (a) generally, (b) of people involved in Disabled People Against Cuts or other disability campaigning groups and individuals.

Why was I visited by South Wales Police officers on Friday night 26th October? Who sent the officers (name, rank), and on what grounds?

Why was I told my Facebook posts are criminal?

Did anyone complain about my Facebook posts? If so, who? If no-one complained, why was I questioned?

Why was I asked whether I organised/was involved in the deportation protest on Saturday 27th.

Read the full complaint and information request at Tom Pride

Also read: Is the law on social media a bad joke?

Padraig Reidy is News Editor at Index on Censorship. Follow him on Twitter @mePadraigReidy