I have responded strongly to an appeal from many people in South Wales who were shocked and angry about the threat of an event in Cardiff that appeared likely to encourage violence against women. This is the letter that I sent to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, enclosing a petition signed by thousands of people:
Letter from Rt Hon Alun Michael, Police & Crime Commissioner for South Wales, to the Home Secretary, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, at the Home Office, 2 Marsham Street London SW1P 4DF
2nd February 2016
It has been brought to my attention that an individual who appears to intend to cause harassment and distress in the furtherance of his agenda – and to encourage and incite others to do so – is encouraging people to gather in Cardiff for purposes that are both unpleasant and potentially unlawful. Whilst the operational issues are matters for the Chief Constable, the enclosed petition needs a response.
The individual concerned is Daryush Valizadeh, also known as Roosh V, who is, as I understand, an American of Iranian decent. The information on media and social media suggests that he has an intention to come to Cardiff for the purpose of delivering his message on the issue of consent and rape. The individuals who have brought this to my attention are concerned that the intent to come to this area is not genuine and is calculated merely to cause distress and potentially to encourage others to engage in criminal activity including rape of females.
Whilst I hesitate to give the oxygen of publicity to any individual of this nature, it is clear that activities by him or his henchmen are unwelcome and place the safety of women at risk. There is reference to him advising those who attend the proposed assembly to take photographs and videos of any women who turn up to engage in a counter protest saying “I will exact furious retribution upon anyone who challenges you in public on that date (remember to record them)”. The attached petition with in excess of 2,303 signatures requests that consideration be given to preventing him from entering or being in the country and I ask that you give urgent consideration to this request.