British Cops Put Squeeze on 'Distressing' Bagpiper

Man playing for cash on public street sees instrument confiscated for a week
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2008 12:10 PM CST
A US soldier plays the bagpipes in Afghanistan. Not everyone appreciates the skirl of the bagpipes. A piper was arrested in England for playing bagpipes in public.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A street musician was handcuffed, arrested and had his bagpipes confiscated for a week by police in southern England because his playing was causing “distress,” the Scottish Daily Record reports. Shaun Cartwright, an accomplished piper, says he’d enjoyed an exceptionally profitable session until the law arrived, and claims English police are prejudiced against Scotland’s national music.

“I’ve been arrested six times and it’s always in England. The south is the worst for getting hassle. But I’ve never been prosecuted,” said Cartwright. “I know in my heart the public are on buskers’ side. But the prejudice from authorities and shops is just getting worse and worse.”