Police offer responds to Lush’s controversial campaign, “Yes, I Lied”, and it’s beautiful.


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This is wild.

Last week people begun to see something different in Lush’s window as they walked through their city to work or whilst shopping, rather than the usual smiley faces of Lush employees, they saw the striking face of a police officer with the text ‘paid to lie’.

Credit: LUSH
Credit: Lush in Exeter

As the news spread, people also took to Lush’s social media pages to question them. Upon reaching these pages, they saw they had also been updated for the ‘paid to lie’ campaign.

Credit: LUSH / Twitter

Whilst many jumped to Twitter and Facebook to shout at Lush and express their anger and confusion at the campaign, one police officer approached things in a different way.

The anonymous officer submitted this to UK Cop Humour page, talking about how he is “PAID TO LIE” on the job.

Dear LUSH UK,

I have seen your front window display and the accusation that as a police officer I am “Paid to Lie”. I have given this considerable thought over the last 24 hours. I have looked over my 16-year career, from Constable to Inspector, and I must say that I agree with you wholly and passionately, because I am indeed “Paid to Lie”.

I Lied. I spent 8 hours of a 10-hour shift cradling a young baby in my arms. Her Mother was in Police Custody for stabbing her Father. Social Services were too stretched to attend. I used my own money to buy her milk and nappies. A member of the public remonstrated with me when they saw me buying these supplies, said I was “Wasting Tax Payer’s money doing my shopping when I should have been serving the public”. I rocked that baby to sleep, her tear stained cheek on mine. I whispered to her, I promised her she would be fine. She wasn’t. She is now a teenager; my colleagues deal with her daily. She is not fine. I lied.

I lied. I talked a suicidal male down from the balcony of his own flat. He was on the ‘wrong’ side and said he had nothing to live for. I spent an hour talking to him, convincing him that he had everything to live for. He came down. I saved his life that night. I referred him to the appropriate agencies to support him through his crisis. He engaged with Mental Health Services for a while. He killed himself the following year. He left a suicide note saying he didn’t have anything to live for. I lied.

I lied. I attended my first ‘sudden death’ as a new Police Constable. I was 23 and the male that passed away was 21. I performed CPR whilst waiting for paramedics to attend. Any opportunities to save his life failed and he was pronounced dead. I checked his whole body for any suspicious activity and then I confirmed his death to his parents and his younger siblings. It was the first dead body I had seen since my own Grandad had died. This happened 19 years ago. I can still smell the air freshener in that house. My sergeant asked me if I was okay. I was not okay. I Lied.

I lied. I attended the scene of a report of a domestic violence incident in progress. The neighbours called police, concerned for the safety of a female. I found that female, she had significant injuries. An aggressive male threatened to stab me if I didn’t leave his property. I stayed. I arrested the male. I sustained injuries to my hands and wrist as a result. Colleagues took too long to assist me, they were dealing with their own incidents. The female refused to tell me what had happened. I persuaded her to give evidence and support a prosecution against him. She did. She placed her trust in me. She showed bravery beyond anything I could ever comprehend. He was charged with assault and remanded to court. I wrote the most convincing remand application to the court that I have ever written in my whole career. The court released him the next day. He went back to her and they resumed their relationship, she can’t leave him. The calls to Police continue. I told her she would be safe. I lied.

I Lied. As a Police Constable I was placed on two cell watches within one shift. When prisoners in custody are identified as being at high risk, an officer is assigned to watch over them to make sure they remain safe whilst in Police Custody. Risks are broad but can include medical issues, alcohol intoxication, illegal drug use, through to risks of self-harm and suicide. I was placed on a cell watch of a suicidal male, he had been arrested on suspicion of child sex offences. He tried to hang himself in the Police cell by binding his socks together to make a ligature. I pulled the ligature from his neck preventing his death. My actions were later commented upon because I should have stopped him before he got the opportunity to tie the socks together in the first place. During such duties you never take your eye of the detainee for a second. The same shift I was placed on a second cell watch. A male arrested on suspicion of murder also said he was suicidal. I was sat at the entrance to his cell and he was covered in the provided blanket. He removed the blanket to reveal his penis and started to masturbate. He told me I was pretty, he liked blondes. I had to maintain visual on him, to ensure his welfare, until such time I could raise the attention of a male colleague to take over from me. We all laughed afterwards at my expense. The Sergeant asked me if I was fine. I laughed and said I was and I went home. I lied.

I lied. I went to the report of a sexual assault. A 14 year old child had been raped by her Step Father. I consoled the child whilst my colleagues arrested the Step Father. I asked the child to hide in another room whilst her mother attacked me, scratching my chest and neck with her fingernails, furious because I had taken her boyfriend away from her. She had numerous contagious diseases. The child victim then turned on me, she bit me and I had to restrain her by the arms to prevent her injuring me. Her Mum hated the Police so she did too. I remember working a double shift that night. When I eventually got home to my own 14-year-old daughter, she gave me hug and asked me if I was okay. I said I was I okay. If she saw the marks on my neck she chose not to say. Once she was asleep I crept into her room, watched her sleep and I cried. I cried for that abused child. I cried that I was so blessed. I cried that my own child worried about me and I cried for the burden I placed upon her. I wasn’t okay. I lied.

You see Lush, I do lie, I lie to those I try to help, to my own colleagues and to my friends and family. I am not alone and I am sure that my colleagues reading this would agree they have done the same.

Whilst I can see there may have been good sentiment behind your latest campaign, it has been appallingly executed. Believe me nobody wants to see a corrupt practise or a corrupt officer held to account more than a decent hard-working officer. Unfortunately, your abhorrent window display depicts something far more sinister. I was shocked to see that you removed all un-supporting 1* posts from your Facebook page yet you did not remove those supporting posts that gave you 5* and used the slogan ACAB. This is more insulting than the campaign itself.”

Lush has since issued a statement where they state the campaign is NOT intended to be “anti-state” or “anti-police”, and reiterated that it “fully supports” the police in “having proper police numbers, correctly funded to fight crime, violence and to be there to serve the public at our times of need”.


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