Bristol student charged after writing on pavement with chalk
A Bristol student has been charged with criminal damage after writing civil liberties slogans on a pavement in chalk, police confirmed today.
Paul Saville, 23, a second-year sociology and criminology student at the University of the West of England, is alleged to have written two messages on pavements in Broadmead using water soluble chalk.
The first read: "Liberty. The right to question it. The right to ask: Are we free?"
The second said: "As the buildings go up, the wages go down."
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
Avon and Somerset police confirmed it had charged Mr Saville with causing criminal damage under the value of £5,000.
He appeared at Bristol Magistrates' Court on February 18, where he entered a not guilty plea and will appear again on April 9.
Mr Saville, who lives in Bond Street, said he was locked in a cell for two hours and forced to give DNA samples.
He said: "I don't think I have done anything wrong. I considered it to be a fun way of conveying my message.
"The whole reason I was writing in chalk was because I wanted to get my message across without causing lasting damage.
"Children use chalk on the streets for hopscotch and some cafes advertise with chalk on the pavement so I don't understand why they treated me like this."
The first incident took place at around lunchtime on January 15, near the centre of Broadmead.
The said that within minutes he was approached by four policeman who ordered him to stop. He said he wrote a final letter and was arrested. He was released with a caution.
A month later, on February 4, he carried out a similar protest on a pavement by The Galleries car park, on which he wrote the second message.
Police approached him and checked his records before he was taken to a police station where he underwent the same procedures and charged.
Mr Saville said: "This is normal playground chalk. I was merely highlighting the point that we are losing civil liberties in the UK. This is something we should be thinking about.
"To arrest and prosecute me is a waste of the court's time, police time and taxpayers' money.
"You could say what I was doing was deviant behaviour but I never thought I would be arrested.
"If these really are such dangerous times surely the police could use their time and resources more effectively than this.
"I am sure people will say it was a bit daft getting caught twice but I feel adamant that I should be standing up and speaking out for my rights.
"I understand that if everyone started using chalk all over the place it would be a mess but surely people can see how ridiculous this is."
Avon and Somerset Police confirmed Paul has been charged and is due to appear in court next month.
A spokesman declined to comment further due to the pending court appearance.