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'Lush should wash their mouth out with soap' - Anger over police 'paid to lie' window display in Norwich store

PUBLISHED: 08:36 02 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:54 02 June 2018

The Paid to Lie campaign advertising in Lush Norwich. Picture: Marc Betts

The Paid to Lie campaign advertising in Lush Norwich. Picture: Marc Betts

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Police and city shoppers are today united in anger at national cosmetics giant Lush for slogans in its Norwich shop window claiming police are "paid to lie".

Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPolice and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Police and city shoppers are today united in anger at national cosmetics giant Lush for slogans in its Norwich shop window claiming police are “paid to lie”.

The slogans are part of a national advertising campaign by Lush that claims “intrusive, abusive, political policing” of women being tricked into sexual relationships as part of undercover police investigations.

The words in the window of the Gentleman’s Walk shop provoked fury locally.

Norfolk police and crime commissioner Lorne Green said: “Lush should wash their mouth out with soap.

Retired assistant chief Constable Sarah Hamlin: PIC: Lenore EversonRetired assistant chief Constable Sarah Hamlin: PIC: Lenore Everson

“Norfolk has one of the finest police forces in the country and this country has one of the finest police forces in the world.

“When there are allegations they are investigated properly. The apparent issues being addressed do not relate in any way to the Norfolk Constabulary.”

Andy Symonds, chairman of the Norfolk Police Federation, said: “The Lush advertising campaign is offensive, distasteful and an insult to the hard work, professionalism and bravery shown by Norfolk police officers and throughout the UK.

“I see at first hand the huge amounts of hard work that police officers do day in and day out protecting the community and vulnerable people.”

Sgt Chris Harris with a promotional drug test showing the results after a sample of saliva has been tested. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSgt Chris Harris with a promotional drug test showing the results after a sample of saliva has been tested. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

He added: “I cannot believe that someone within this company actually thought this campaign was a good idea. All it serves to do is criticise police officers and encourage an anti-police sentiment.

“I hope that Lush will have the good sense to realise they made a mistake, and issue a public apology to police officers and their families for the offence this poorly judged PR campaign has caused.

“I urge the Lush store in Norwich to remove the offensive materials plastered in the windows of their store - no doubt the company will have many employees who have friends and family in the police service. I’m sure many - if not all - of their employees disagree and feel extremely uncomfortable in being part of this anti-police campaign.”

Inspector Lou Provart, tactical firearms commander and incident manager tweeted: “Come’on. I’ve been in policing 19 years and to tarnish an under pressure service with 120,000 dedicated cops with the activities of but one or two corrupt ones is just in poor taste.”

Sgt Chris Harris from Norwich retweeted Che Donald, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, saying: “This is very poorly thought out campaign @LushLtd. Damaging to the overwhelmingly large majority of police who have nothing to do with this #undercover enquiry.”

Retired assistant chief of Norfolk Police Sarah Hamlin could not believe the adverts, saying she was “so disappointed”.

On Twitter she wrote: “Just had to check @LushLtd account as assumed this must be a spoof. But here’s their header. Am so disappointed in them. My vast family will no longer be getting presents from there.”

Lush has supported its campaign with a blog post on its website.

It says: “Activists across the UK are living with the knowledge that they may have been spied upon by undercover police officers, with some even discovering that ex-boyfriends were in fact police spies.”

The campaign includes window displays with the slogans: spied on for taking a stand; #spycops inquiry: truth or cover up? and police spies out of lives.

The advert has been reported to Advertising Standards Authority, which is investigating.

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