back to article Peterborough bloke warned over 'offensive' t-shirt

A Peterborough forklift driver who threatened to undermine law and order in the former Roman city by wearing a t-shirt declaring "Don't piss me off! I am running out of places to hide the bodies" has been warned he'll cop an 80 quid fine if caught again wearing the offending apparel. The suitably-monikered David Pratt was …


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  1. lansalot


    Surely, a verbal warning could be taken as an incitement to violence as well ?

    Why only the other week I advised some chap in the pub that if he bumped into me again, he would subject to repercussions.

    How I laughed, albeit crookedly, once I had come round...

  2. Michael Sheils

    They have been doing this for years

    How is this news, the police have been stopping people who have what they deem as "offensive" clothing for years. Many times when I lived in Newcastle I was told to take my t-shirt off by the police. Personally I think my pasty white chest is more offensive than anything I could possibly wear.

  3. Steve Browne

    They came for the <group here> but I wasnt a <group here>, so I did nothing

    Now, will those with nothing to hide please stand up and tell me I have nothing to fear.

    The thought police will be amongst us next.

  4. Rich Bryant


    I find all this pointless taking of offense extremely offensive. Whoever complained needs to get out more and stop being such a prick.

    Not posted anonymously. Feel free to arrest me.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You're having a laugh, right?

    You got to be kidding, right? Goes to show that the UK is a nanny state! Okay, so far I'm now no longer to smoke in a public place, take no more than 100ml of liquid onto a plane, play Man Hunt 2 and now to add to the list, wearing offensive t-shirts. Great.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You know it's gonna be / alright

    "In what was an amicable conversation, the street warden advised the gentleman concerned that his t-shirt could cause offence and if he was to wear it again he could run the risk of being issued an £80 on-the-spot fine from the police."

    This is the kind of thing that sparked off the Brixton riots. Some officious, overzealous public servant pushing the public trust too far. The street wardens should be nervous and polite when they wander the streets. They should be humble. And the only way to make this happen is for T-shirt wearers to unite, and present a solid front, a solid brick wall of "funny" t-shirts, e.g. the Adolf Hitler European tour, Viz, something with beer on it, etc. Then the street wardens will think twice before stirring up a hornet's nest. A hornet's nest of t-shirts.

  7. Sir Runcible Spoon

    Rude words will bring down our society

    If this is truly the case, then

    p*ss, f*ck, w*nk, t*ss, b*llocks,sh*t,c*unt

    Personally I think it has more to do with all the kids setting fire to each other.

    Ho hum, emigration really is looming.

  8. Graham Marsden

    Oh ye gods!

    The only thing "causing offence" or which may "incite violence" here is some jumped jobsworth of a "Street Warden" (translation: Policing on the cheap) who appears to completely lack a sense of humour.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another reason for not going to Peterborough

    Well done Peterborough - Lenin would be so proud of you.

    For fuck sake "piss me off" ... offensive language.... are the entire council the secret love children of Mary Whitehouse?

  10. Tom Cully

    Nanny knows best

    Bad boy! Take that off, the other children might be offended. Now get back into your party uniform, remember, Nanny Knows Best.

    Maybe we should just issue all the proles with regulation white jumpsuits.

  11. John Latham

    I think he's in the clear...

    I'm no expert, but mens rea may be relevant:

    "A person is guilty of an offence under section 4 only if he intends his words or behaviour, or the writing, sign or other visible representation, to be threatening, abusive or insulting, or is aware that it may be threatening, abusive or insulting."

    So, if he neither intended offence, nor was aware of it, then presumably he's off the hook.

    Of course, since he's now the subject of the complaint, from now on the t-shirt should only be revealed inside a dwelling :-)


  12. Andy


    Is it really illegal to say this in a public place? Good god.

    Clearly what we need are hoards of police swarming around the pubs at whatever now passes for closing time, handcuffing anyone that opens their mouths.

    Oh, wait, the prisons are full...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Didnt know sense of hmour by passes where available on the NHS.

    Perhaps a protest of all funny tshirt wears should march though the streets of peterbrough........the burning of our funny tshirts in protest?

    Who gets to deicde what is offensive??

  14. Rick Eastwood

    Hitler T Shirt

    Would I have bee asked to take my old T shirt off when I was a kid in the 80s ?

    It had Adolf Hitler European tour 1939 - 1945 with details such as

    September 1939 Poland

    September 1940 England Cancelled

    May 1940 Belgium

    August 1942 Russia Cancelled

    etc etc

    Massively offensive but bloody funny for a fourteen year old kid.

    Someone once refused to serve me in a shop and he demanded I leave his shop. It made my week !!!!

  15. Dave Pearce

    Offensive T-Shirts

    Anyone remember the first story of this nature from a few years ago? Black metal band Cradle of Filth printed a t-shirt with a masturbating nun and the slogan "Jesus is a C**t"... resulted in a "ban" on offensive t-shirts for a brief spell however the band cleverly tried to justify the slogan by saying that "devout Christians consider themself born through jesus, and as c**t is a slang word for something pretty obvious involving giving birth the slogan is technically correct... in a longwinded, somewhat pointless way.

    Anyway, isn't "offensive" purely a matter of personal opinion? I personally would giggle at silly £2-off-the-market-doodled-by-a-two-year-old slogan t-shirts, but a single coloured branded t-shirt that cost over £100 would offend my wallet and cause emotional distress, i'd have to cross the road quickly to avoid being passively converted to a chav... possibly resulted in me getting run over through running away from sheer terror and blind panic at the offensive t-shirt being worn in my general presence. Should the wearer be made to remove the offending garment?

    No, course not. (cue "only if its a woman with huge jugs" in the replies!)

  16. Dave Pearce


    Not the first case I mentioned in my earlier post but it's the same t-shirt... blah blah

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Number nine, number nine

    "Personally I think my pasty white chest is more offensive than anything I could possibly wear."

    Perhaps the street wardens are using this as a pretext to force public toplessness upon women. And no doubt there is a plan to make it illegal for women to be topless in public. I imagine the street wardens have wet dreams about topless women with offensive slogans written across their breasts, thus combining two illegal things.

  18. Craig Peters

    May I suggest a new T-Shirt?

    Don't complain about my T-Shirt! I am running out of places to hide the bodies

  19. Cameron Colley

    He should count himself lucky...

    If he wore the T-Shirt while on the tube he would probably have been shot as a terrorist.

  20. /\/\j17


    The postal address of Peterborough City Council is:

    Bayard Place



    PE1 1FB

    Now I'm not suggesting you go on-line and order 'offensive' t-shirts for delivery to the "Offensive T-Shirt Inspection Unit" at the above address - no, I'm just implying it.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So time to get "c*nt" tattooed across ones chest?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not the first time...

    There have been convictions for t-shirt wearing before.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A friend who lives in Peterborough...

    ... often wears a t-shirt sporting a policeman crouching next to a child and the words "Mummy told me not to speak to BASTARDS"

    He has never been threatened with legal action over it.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one...

    ... who wouldn't want their children to be reading stuff like that when out and about in town? It's long been an offence, like swearing in public can actually be deemed a public order offence as well from memory. Sure, it may only be a bit of humour, fine inside a pub etc. (I have a choice, don't take my children in there). There's a time and a place, we don't all want our children to be 4 year olds using mainly 4 letter words - leave that to the chavs.

  25. Rob Mossop

    So, presumably

    They'll ban all of the FCUK t-shirts as someone might be offended by them as well? What about the Star Wars Lego t-shirts? Surely some fixated fan could find it extremely offensive to see a scene, formerly portrayed by their favourite actors, now portrayed by blocky lego characters instead?

    The Public Order act has much to answer for, including why people with no genuine training whatsoever (Street Wardens) are sent out to be cut-price coppers with nothing but an over-inflated sense of self-importance guiding their actions.

    To call it farcical is to master the art of understatement.

    There... I *think* that just about covers all the necessary elements to make it eligible for a Daily Mail editorial... Oh no, hang on, I've failed; I've made two basic errors: firstly I haven't mentioned the phrase "It's political correctness gone mad!" and secondly (and more importantly) I have managed to blame it on asylum seekers/imigrant workers/fundamentalist terrorists. Damn and I was doing so well!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Maybe he could just find a bit more space and deal with Hitler (sorry, the Street Warden) in the method alluded to on the T-shirt concerned?


  27. muzchap

    Peterborough hits new low! :(

    I'm sad to say I live in Pete-bog-horror!

    Over the past few years we've really lost the plot - we're fining people who 'overfill' their rubbish bins, we are not allowed Xmas lights - now winter lights, we have the 2nd highest immigration influx other than Slough - and now another ridiculous story like this.

    I agree with the other poster - traffic wardens are a virulent strain of sadly repressed individuals - fair enough Police officers can and do actually make a difference - but traffic wardens fall into the same category as debt collectors - people that love to make others lives harder!

    I for one shall be pioneering a new set of T-Shirts

    "PISS ON TRAFFIC WARDENS (they love it!)"

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As a friend said... "I didn't know anyone in Peterborough could read"

    I imagine the sales of this tshirt will go up a bit now :)

  29. Graham Lockley

    Plus Ca Change...

    I got warned back in the late Seventies, a policeman warned that he could arrest me for the t-shirt I was wearing.

    I was dead proud of that shirt, it was blagged from the launch party for Stiff records and read 'If it aint Stiff it aint worth a fuck'

    Didnt stop me wearing it and I never heard a complaint from anyone else.

  30. Bez


    "There's a time and a place, we don't all want our children to be 4 year olds using mainly 4 letter words - leave that to the chavs."

    Would I be alone in finding some hypocrisy in being so upset by an innoccuous four-letter piece of slang whilst making pejorative generalisations about other people with another four-letter word?

  31. Stu


    Its hard to believe that this bloke is getting warned about wearing a T-shirt which is quite obviously less offensive than many, many others.

    I will admit that people do get targeted when wearing offensive T-shirts as a traffic cop booked me for dangerous driving after "accellerating excessivly" to 30mph - on a scooter - however i was wearing a "US School Shooting Tour" T-shirt sporting a list of events and body-counts at the time. It did make me wonder if the cop really took offence to the shirt and booked me regardless. ((which reminds me, i really should get a new, up-to-date version of that))

    Never mind. +1 to the dumbass cops this round!

  32. Lee

    This is why......

    I left the UK..what a bunch of wankers

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    only going to get worse

    Next week sees the annual Peterborough Beer Festival, thousands of drinkers converging on that busy little market town wearing their funny yet slightly offensive t-shirts as a tradition along with the drinking.

    I wonder if the Street Wardens are going to try this when the t-shirt wearers number in their hundreds, and have imbibed of a few jars of ale?

  34. Alan

    RE: Peterborough hits new low! :(

    Muzchap said, "I agree with the other poster - traffic wardens are a virulent strain of sadly repressed individuals - fair enough Police officers can and do actually make a difference - but traffic wardens fall into the same category as debt collectors - people that love to make others lives harder!..."

    Surely the subject here is "street wardens", not "traffic wardens"...

  35. Paul Charters


    I, for one, find dry white t-shirts on women to be offensive! I therefore demand that they either be removed or soaked immediately!

    Well....anyone who finds something offensive these days seems to get what they want..

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Baby Boy

    He is wearing a 'My Dad is cooler than your Dad' shirt today - I can't imagine the impact that must have in Peterborough!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Number nine, number nine

    Sadly the good burghers of Peterborough would not agree with you. The Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough displays large signs making people aware that they will not even tolerate topless men!!

    Re. the original T-shirt slogan, you have to appreciate that it is cutting edge wit by Peterborough standards. The ideal sophisticated night out would be a Jethro concert, followed by several pints and the obligatory curry! NOW I remember why I moved back to London!!

  38. Dave Murray

    Emigrating soon

    Goes to show these Street Wardens are exactly what I always thought they were - petty, narrow minded facists out to make everyone else's life a misery.

    I see the day I have to leave the UK for somewhere less opressed and repressed coming faster than I thought.

  39. Ross Fleming

    @Rob Mossop

    Already there with the FCUK complaints. I remember years ago when they first came up with the logo/campaign there was outrage among the Daily Mail community. The ASA actually "vet" the latest FCUK campaigns apparently:

  40. Jarrad

    Wonder what would happen...

    if I wore my 'Jesus -- Protect me from your followers' t-shirt. Never thought I could get fined for making a public statement about personal beliefs that aren't inciting riot/violence.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    my t shirt...

    ...that i am currently wearing to work has "ME = GOD, YOU = MINION" and no one has complained yet...

    I live in Derby, and the local police have seen me wearing it, even asking where i had bought it as they wanted one... See, not all police are miserable gits with no sense of humour...

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Digg Up his Yard

    Maybe the coppers should show up to his flat and start digging up the grounds looking for the bodies. Probably too hot with all the global warming to do something like that.

    The urge to wear a shirt which has words on it that you are too chicken to use in public, is just a sign that says look at me, I am a stupid adolescent potty mouth that wants to be arrested. So I say start making people take off offensive shirts and confiscate them. Either that or have the cops carry some kind of spray body paint and spray paint the shirt and give it back to the person. Either that or the cops can have a shirt that says:

    "I am a potty mouth, so the cops took my shirt!"

  43. Martin

    Makes Me Wish I'd Said Something...

    ... When I overheard a copper in Fulham ask a young chap "What the f*ck he though he was doing unloading his car" in some location that said copper felt was an unreasonable location for such behaviour! For the record, it was a quiet early evening, and the lad was in a perfectly reasonable place and posed no threat to anyone at the time...

  44. N1AK


    I am strongly for freedom of speech, I'm not adverse to swearing and don't have kids (who would probably know more obscenities than me anyway), but I can see the other side to this arguement.

    Some people don't want to be subjected to certain things in public, nudity & obscenity being the two obvious things. The problem is balancing their wishes with peoples freedoms.

    For example is a Shirt that reads "God Damn", "Bugger" or such ok? Is that not vulgar enough? Yet "Cunt" is? Topless woman? Man with a ruddy great hard-on? Two men having sex? Or do we really need to be able to do ANYTHING ANYWHERE to be a free society?

  45. Dillon Pyron

    Current t-shirt collection

    "Let's get drunk and screw"

    "When in trouble I call 1911" with picture of a Colt 1911.

    ".308 holes make invisible souls" with a picture of a Remington 700

    ".50BMG, reach out and touch someone" with a picture of a Barrett

    "I didn't climb to the top of the food chain to become a vegetarian" Salt Lick BBQ


    "Will not hack for food" DEFCON 8

    "I am Jack's overwritten stack pointer ..." DEFCON A

    "This T shirt is a munition" with the encryption algorithm. This is a really old one.

    "This T shirt is banned by DMCA" with a version of deCSS.

    "Francis Uticus Cornelius Kirkland University" stacked vertically, with the first letter of each word in red and the rest in black.

    "Eating out is fun" This was the advertising slogan of the Texas Restaurant Association in the 60s and 70s, only this one has a pair of shins splayed out.

  46. Mike Moyle

    Offensive t-shirts

    So, I'm imagining what would happen if you had three people in t-shirts waiting for a bus:

    T-shirt #1: "Fu" ("It's Chinese fro 'luck', Mr. Warden1")

    T-shirt #2: "ck" ("I'm a big Calvin Klein fan!")

    T-shirt #3: "Authority"

    Anyone for civil disobedience?

  47. Mike Fleming


    Surely there's a good case for putting anyone who's sad enough to wear a FCUK T-shirt out of their and everybody else's misery?

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Baby Boy

    "He is wearing a 'My Dad is cooler than your Dad' shirt today - I can't imagine the impact that must have in Peterborough!"

    Probably not that much - I would imagine that most youngsters in Peterborough don't, in fact, know who their fathers are....

  49. Peter

    They stop you if they think it's offensive, it doesn't have to be

    Remember during the last football world cup, got stopped by "community warden patrol" (jobsworths) for wanting to go into a pub wearing an england shirt (in Dundee,Scotland).which would cause "a disturbance".

    It wasn't an england shirt- it was a USA shirt- never mind it had US on the badge and "AMERICA 06" on the back- they still thought I was "inciting trouble" and would have to remove it before going in.

    Shame the pub I was going in was full of Scots & Americians enjoying the game

  50. alan narey

    Re Balance

    "Some people don't want to be subjected to certain things in public, nudity & obscenity being the two obvious things."

    May i just relate an experience i had recently. I had to walk off the pavement to make room for two of the most fattest 20 year olds i have ever seen in my life.

    To me, they could hardly have been more obscene if they had indeed been naked. And no doubt if the t shirts they were wearing carried slogans you would not have been able to read them, buried as they were in massive rolls of fat.

    What is obscene to one is not obscene to another.

  51. Haku

    Inciting violence

    If you wear this tshirt and it doesn't incite violence then you're obviously not at an airport:

  52. Elly Pratt

    Response from Mr D. Pratt's missus!

    Thank you to all of you for your responses. Was quite surprised at the amount of people posting on here who feel the same as we do.

    This t-shirt when purchased in California was not bought with the idea to shock, be obscene or to incite violence. It was bought to get a smile reaction from the person reading it. I am sorry that there are certain folks in Peterborough who need to urgently book in for a "sense of humour health check!"

    We are folks who mind our own business, we keep our noses clean so you can imagine our reaction to be faced with someone telling us we were breaking the "Public Order Act"......... The offending word in question P*SS is a slang word, so does this mean they are going to ban every t-shirt with slang imprinted upon it? The FCUK t-shirts, to a dyslexic this reads as a swear word, even to small kids it does as only the first and last letter has to be in the right place to form the word, the brain does the rest!

    This issue the council has slapped in our faces is taking the extreme too far, will folks have to cover up tattoo's which contain swear/slang words in the future? Before you ask, neither my husband or myself have tattoos. But do you see where this is heading? Pretty soon Peterborough council will have us all dressed in the same clothes carrying around a little red book which resembles communist China. Now as much as I adore Chinese food...............I don't wanna live in a communist state!

    I am pretty sure my husband will respond to all your comments when he gets in from work.........I will leave him to say the rest.

    Thanks again for all your support.

  53. Roger Moore

    Update the wording

    Clearly they aren't getting the message - perhaps he should update the wording:

    "Don't piss me off again, I have now run out of space to hide the bodies"

    (In case any traffic wardens from Peterborough are reading this: I am kidding!)

  54. Owen

    Re. antisocial behaviour in the Peterborough area . . .

    I guess the street warden was just relaying the orders of the council (his masters) to the masses. Good thing we don't allow religious hatred any more, well not since the time of King James 1 at least:

    From the King James bible, Isiah 36:12:

    "Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee to speak these words? Hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?"

    And as for the good folks of Hartlepool offending people: if they don't look British enough . . .

    P.S. I did emigrate from the UK to get away from the nanny state. Australia unfortunately has more stupid little rules than Britain :-(

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hey Alan

    " ... two of the most fattest 20 year olds ..."

    Now that's really offensive ... to anyone who can actually construct a sentence in English.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    comes from the sopranos

    Don't piss me off, Im running out of places to hide the bodies

    is from the sopranos it's a US saying so to speak the person

    that spoke it might have meant it strange I would have been incited

    to kick the shit out of anyone bothering me about it, that the

    kind of violence they are talking about. You want violence here

    it is we have another saying don't start shit there won't be any.

    BTW that T-shirt lies still plenty of places to stow bodies around

  57. Spike Ravenscroft


    This is just stupid.

    I'd love to see this happen to me while wearing one of my 400+ collection of little black t-shirts, all of which have something on the front that i'm sure someone could find offensive (I have a plain one but i never wear it. What's the point??).

    Recently the Brighton Police told a shop owner to remove a baby t-shirt from his window display because it sported the slogan 'Winner of sperm and egg race'.

    This is beyond stupid, especially for anyone who has ever been in Brighton city center on a Saturday lunchtime. If that offends you, you'd best keep your eyes shut.

    People just generally need to get over themselves these days.

    Its only encouraging idiotic civil servants and politicians.

    On a final note, i'd just like to say that anyone who actively wants to be a politician should immediately be prohibited from ever holding office. They must be quite mad to begin with.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Crazy or what

    I have just emailed Peterborugh council as for sure this is PC gone mad and I wnat one of those t-shirts.

  59. JayB

    That's it.... time I am in the US, I'm buying the T Shirt I saw in San Francisco worn by a very cute lady..

    Front "Jesus Loves me..."

    Back "But he f*cking hates you!"

    Public Odrer Act AND Incitement to Religious Hatred!!!! Sadly there's been quite a few cases of abuses of the Public Order Act in recent years. Top 3 being...

    1) Guys selling "Bollocks to Blair" T Shirts at Norfolk Flower Show (or it's ilk) - fined and ordered to remove t-shirts from display.

    2) Young lad done for saying "f*ck all" in earshot of the SS, I mean Police. Fined.

    3) Bloke done for referring to a knife detector as "f*cking crap" to his g/f, again, in earshot of the SS. Fined but at last count, fighting it.

    It's interesting that the SS and employed wannabes don't actually need any evidence that offense has been caused....

  60. Loopy Loo

    Just crazy

    Just a question but is this infringing on your human right for self expression?

    I loved your shirt

    Does this mean that I have to stop wearing my t-shirt .......

    If we wern't all crazy we would all be insane

  61. Debbie

    Grow up already!!

    Some people really need to grow up! I personally know David n Elly and know them to be very good people.

    The shirt in question isnt offensive its HUMOR!!!! Ive read alot of comments on several sites where this has become a topic, people say they dont want their 4yr olds to read this, well I wonder how many 4 yr olds can read it or do their parents tell them that that P word is *Piss*. Or do they read the shirt to them to say isnt that just so bad of him!. This is truely unbelieveable and so ridiculous its unreal. People are so quick to say wear it at home, it offends me, I dont want my kids reading this, etc..... Well for one if its on a woman then dosent it appear that your NOT just reading her shirt your lookin at her boobs? How rude is that to begin with, should the lady in question walk up and lift your chin to point out where her eyes are or her beautiful smile? or you just gonna say well I was drawn to read it, hmmmmmm. I havent seen the FCUK shirts but wouldnt mind owning one lol.

    So many fingers pointed negatively yet if you read what they wrote you will most likely see some sort of ignorance and insults against someone else for something else, such as the one bout the 2 20yr old people of size.

    Seems alot just want something to complain bout and put others down to make themselves feel so much bigger.

    For pete's sake its a T-SHIRT its not an offer to fight, its not a slam, its not offensive, and he didnt put in on with thoughts of *well today imma wear this shirt to see how many I can *piss* off*. ITS HUMOR TRY SOME LAUGHING OR SMILING JUST MIGHT LIGHTEN YOU UP A BIT.

    Like ive said before Ebay an other funny t-shirt or logo t-shirt sites are gonna be getting alot of business now just to find these kind of shirts.

  62. HH

    Peterborough's crime free!!

    Peterborough is evidently so crime free that the only 'crime' could be found was one of fashion!

    Or is it that the crime is so out of hand in Peterborough that the police/community support only dare approach people offensive t-shirts?

  63. Edward Pearson

    In Peterborough...

    In Peterborough, T-Shirt wears you!

  64. AllGonePeteTong

    What Happened to Free Speech?

    Oh, that's right, after World War II the Nazi party infiltrated the government and emerged 50 years later as the labor party.

    I'd have punched the guy in the face. That would give him a real reason to arrest me - bloody Gestapo wannabe.

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