By Steve Hayes 03/07 Updated: 03/07 18:44
POLICE questioned a cinema worker dressed as Batman to promote a new film in Stratford before ordering him to stop because of security concerns about the Olympic Torch Relay.
The Stratford Picturehouse staff member dressed as the caped crusader, who like the hero wishes to remain anonymous, was stopped by Community Support Officers (PCSOs) working in the town on Sunday, when the Olympic Torch came to town, because they were concerned he might be part of a protest group.
Sunday (July 1) was an exceptionally busy day for the town with a big police presence because of the Olympic Torch Relay passing through the town and the River Festival taking place.
The sales staff member dressed as Batman and another worker, dressed in Picturehouse uniform, had been leafleting local businesses to promote The Dark Knight Rises - which comes out later this month - and were heading for the River Festival - where they had permission to hand out flyers - when they were approached by the officers.
But despite doing an identity check to confirm who he was, they still ordered the man to return to the cinema and told him to do the leafleting another day after apparently telling him it was a 'bad day' to be dressed as Batman.
Picturehouse manager, Carina Volkes, told the Observer officers did an identity check on the member of staff involved and told them they must go back to the cinema.
She said: "It seems rather over the top considering the way he was dressed and the fact he was with a member of staff from the cinema who was in their uniform.
"The plan was to deliver flyers to the shops in town and then go and meet and greet people at the River Festival.
"But Batman was unfortunately detained by police and then questioned by an inspector from the anti-terrorism unit who informed them Batman had too many negative connotations and would have to be escorted back to the cinema and was not allowed out again.
"You can see the humour now but they were clearly quite shaken up about it when I spoke to them.
"It seems that it's not only Gotham City that misinterprets Batman."
A spokesperson for Warwickshire Police confirmed the man dressed as Batman had been stopped by two PCSOs working in the town as the Olympic Torch came through.
They said: "As the torch approached Stratford a man in a Batman costume was seen handing out promotional leaflets in the town.
"Due to previous publicity generated in other parts of the country, involving protest groups with people dressed in costumes of fictional costumes, checks were made on the identity of the man after he was stopped by two Police Community Support Officers.
"The man was not detained but it was suggested that he continue his promotional work on another day."
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