Anti-terror advert banned

A BRITISH police advert which urged citizens to be suspicious of neighbours who spend a lot of time at home, keep their curtains drawn and use money instead of cash cards, was banned yesterday.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) demanded that the anti-terrorism radio advert be pulled, claiming it could cause “serious offence” to those “who might identify with the behaviours referred to”.

The advert encouraged listeners to report reclusive behaviour to the police’s anti-terrorism hotline.

“The man at the end of the street doesn’t talk to his neighbours much, because he likes to keep himself to himself,” the advert said.

“He pays with cash because he doesn’t have a bank card, and he keeps his curtains closed because his house is on a bus route. This may mean nothing, but together it could all add up to you having suspicions,” it added.

The advert was part of a campaign by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to raise awareness of terrorism but attracted 18 complaints by listeners who thought it encouraged victimisation of reclusive individuals.

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