The Metropolitan police in the British capital of London have been slammed for their failure to detain a man purportedly wandering near the parliament building while draped in a flag of the Takfiri ISIL terrorist group.
The individual was photographed walking past a group of Scouts outside the British legislative Houses while wearing the flag on his back and carrying on his shoulders a small child waving a smaller ISIL flag, UK-based daily The Guardian reported Sunday.
Images of the man and the child were reportedly posted on an online Korean forum after a tourist witnessed them in central London.
This is while London’s Metropolitan police confirmed in a statement that officers did observe the man but did not take him into custody since they did not consider his behavior to be unlawful.
“The man was spoken to by officers, with consideration given to relevant legislation, particularly the Public Order Act. The decision was taken by officers at the time that the man was acting within the law. He was not arrested,” read the statement.
“Wearing, carrying or displaying of an emblem or flag, by itself, is not an offence unless the way in which, or the circumstance in which, the emblem is worn, carried or displayed is such as to cause reasonable suspicion that the person is a supporter or member of a proscribed organization,” it added.
“While support of and membership of ISIS is unlawful it is not a criminal offence to advocate the creation of an independent state,” the statement further said, using a different acronym for ISIL.
However, the police failure to arrest the man was harshly criticized in social networking sites, challenging wider concepts of public safety as perceived by law enforcement authorities.
“How can someone parade around central London draped in an ISIS flag and not be arrested under public order offence? What a joke,” read one Tweet on the issue.
“Is true [sic] about the man walking around London with an ISIS flag? He wasn’t arrested? How can we feel safe in the same city?” another Tweet read.
The development came just over a week after 30 British tourists were killed in a Tunisia beach massacre during which an ISIL-affiliated gunman shot and killed 38 people and injured a number of others.
The British government estimates that more than 700 radicalized UK citizens have joined the ISIL terrorist group, which controls swathes of land in Iraq and Syria.
UK authorities have also stated that nearly half of the Britons that have already joined the ISIL battles in the Middle East have already made it back to the country, posing a security threat to the nation.
The Takfiri militants have been committing terrible atrocities across Syria and Iraq, including mass executions and beheading of people.(presstv.com)