No trial for Preston BNP man over leaflets

BNP heroin leaflet

A member of the British National Party in Preston who delivered hundreds of leaflets blaming Muslims for the heroin trade, will not face criminal charges, it has emerged.

Race hate unit officers at Lancashire police have been told by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) there is “insufficient evidence” to prosecute Tony Bamber who distributed the pamphlets. The 53-year-old, who stood in local elections for the BNP in the Tulketh ward in 2006, previously admitted he was involved in distributing the leaflets across Lancashire and at the University of York.

This week, a defiant Mr Bamber insisted he was not surprised the CPS had decided there was “insufficient evidence” to prosecute. He said: “This decision is most welcome from our point of view, it legitimises the campaign and shows that our demands are fair and just. We will continue to distribute the leaflets and educate the middle-classes.”

But one of the county’s top police officers has slammed the BNP distributors, saying the leaflets risked creating tensions between racial groups. Lancashire Deputy Chief Constable Mike Cunningham acknowledged the CPS’s advice that no criminal act had been committed, adding:

“While we understand that this advice is based on established case law, we roundly condemn the contents of these leaflets and those distributing them. They can only be described as inflammatory in nature and we are obviously concerned that their distribution in Lancashire could damage community cohesion.”

They were also condemned by the mother of heroin victim Rachel Whitear after a picture of her dead daughter was used on the flyers without permission.

A CPS spokeswoman added: “We advised Lancashire police that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute for inciting racial hatred or to prosecute under the Public Order Act. We advised the police that if they come to us with more evidence, we will look at it.”

Preston Citizen, 25 September 2008