Leaflets being posted to Grantham homes with offensive descriptions of homosexuality, divorce, suicide and other subjects have been reported to Lincolnshire Police.
Numerous outraged residents have contacted police and the Grantham Journal to report these leaflets, which appear to have been delivered over the past few weeks through letterboxes all over Grantham, including to addresses on Stamford Street, Oxford Street, Houghton Road, Harlaxton Road and Greenhill Road.
Among those to receive a copy was Martin Girtley, 30, who said: “I received the leaflet through the post and was absolutely shocked and appalled by it.
“Regardless of an individual’s beliefs, whether Gay, Hindu, Humanist or Atheist, they don’t have the right to put forward that these are the works of the devil and that no one should live like this. It’s 2015, not the stone ages.
“In my opinion, the leaflet is promoting hate crimes and these people should not be allowed to get away with it.
He added: “I understand that everyone has the right to their opinion, but not when it is printed on a leaflet and shoved through people’s letterboxes. This is disgraceful and distasteful.
“We live in a very diverse world and as much as these people don’t accept that, they should accept that we as a nation have different backgrounds, races and creed and this is what makes us human and great.”
Lincolnshire Police have received nine reports from Grantham residents in relation to the leaflets, and say that they resemble those delivered in Lincoln last year. The force has also received a detailed description of the person suspected of delivering them, reportedly dressed in a habit.
In a statement Lincolnshire Police said: “We have been made aware by residents of a number of leaflets that have been distributed in Grantham that some people have found upsetting and offensive.
“Having looked into the matter and sought advice from the Crown Prosecution Service, as we do in any investigation, we have been advised that these leaflets are the same as some distributed in Lincoln last year. The leaflets have also been distributed in other areas of England and they were not found to be breaking any laws.
“The CPS advised that no action would be taken in relation to those leaflets; as such we will not be taking action in relation to those in Grantham as no criminal offences have been committed. This has been balanced based on right to freedom of speech with potential offences under the Public Order Act and the Malicious Communications Act.
“We do realise that these leaflets may cause offence to the majority of the public and we are looking at other avenues in trying to deal with their distribution.”
On the Journal’s Facebook page, Susan Kent said: “We have had one and I think it’s offensive enough to be classed as a hate crime. Whoever has produced and distributed it could and should be arrested. Spreading this sort of hatred has nothing to do with free speech!”
In another comment Sarah Mitchell wrote: “Absolutely disgusted to have recieved one through my door!” while Lindsey Atkinson added: ”I have it’s vile on every level!”