Claims of 'Christian crackdown' are 'unfair', say police

Five police officers confronted Pastor Dwayne Lopez.(Photo: YouTube)

The Metropolitan Police has responded to accusations of a "Christian crackdown" by the Daily Mail after a confrontation between officers and a street preacher in London.

Pastor Dwayne Lopez was preaching outside a shopping centre on Uxbridge High Street in west London when he was approached by five officers who told him that he may have committed a "hate crime" relating to "homophobia".

He was then threatened with arrest unless he gave the officers his personal details.

Speaking after the incident, footage of which was posted to YouTube, Pastor Lopez said that police were "harassing" street preachers.

The Met has since issued a statement standing by the response of its officers. It said that videos on social media "rarely tell the full story, especially when they've been cut or edited to make a particular point".

"In this case, officers from our Professional Standards Directorate have looked at all the body worn video footage available - more than 50 minutes of it," it said.

"No misconduct was found. In fact, the officers involved were commended for their 'professional behaviour, their patience and their knowledge of the legislation' and for doing a good job in a potentially difficult situation."

The Met also criticised media coverage of the incident and said it was "disappointing" that some of it had not met the test of being balanced and accurate.

Singling out the Daily Mail, which had suggested a "Christian crackdown", the Met said this was "just not a fair way to describe officers responding to allegations of racist and homophobic remarks being shouted in the street".