Page last updated at 10:52 GMT, Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Police fears over 'Anyone but England' T-shirt

Anyone but England T-shirt
The T-shirts support any team but England at this year's World Cup

A company selling "Anyone but England" T-shirts for this year's World Cup has rejected suggestions it is racist after police in Aberdeen visited its store.

Police warned Slanj, which also has stores in Glasgow and Edinburgh, that a window display featuring the shirt could cause offence.

Grampian officers advised a store worker to consider whether the display was appropriate and should be removed.

A spokesman for Slanj said staff were "flabbergasted" by the warning.

Ross Lyle, from the company, said: "To be honest we're absolutely flabbergasted.

"We have been selling this T-shirt for the past three months and we've had a great response.

We would be failing in our duty if we did not make people aware of the potential for disturbance such a window display could cause
Pc Kirk Hemmings
Grampian Police

"Even the English people who come into the store think it's a laugh and just a bit of tongue-in-cheek football banter.

"We're certainly not being racist. We are the same race as the English. It's just daft to say it's offensive."

A spokesman for Grampian Police said the force's visit to the Slanj store was not in response to any public complaint about the shirt slogan and was prompted by an officer acting on his own initiative.

In a statement, the force said it was purely an "advisory visit" and there was no criminal investigation as a result.

Pc Kirk Hemmings added: "The primary role of any police force is to preserve the peace and we would be failing in our duty if we did not make people aware of the potential for disturbance such a window display could cause.

"The Grampian area, in common with the rest of the country, has recorded incidents relating to nationality and we have a responsibility to do our best to ensure that incidents of this nature are kept to a minimum.

"The public expect no less of us."



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