Photographs have emerged of armed police confronting a diver on Rochdale’s now notorious Stansfield Beach. In this most recent effort to enforce new laws forbidding outfits that cover the head and body, police forced local diver, Geoff Butterworth, 55, to remove his helmet and that big brass collar thing they have.

“It’s Big Brother, is what it is,” Mr Butterworth later told our reporter. “I was minding my own business, working at depth, and I emerged from the water only to be met by a number of officers insisting that my outfit was now illegal.”

“I wish they’d been that keen when some toerag broke into our Jason’s garage and stole his hedge trimmer.”

The incident comes amid growing fears from the deep sea diving community that they are being unfairly targeted. A spokesperson for the Rochdale Diving Association, Eileen McMahon, said yesterday, “We feel our community is being scapegoated. It’s an erosion of our civil liberties that we fear will not just stop with us. It’ll be the deep sea divers today, but tomorrow it’ll be the beekeepers. You mark my words.”

Greater Manchester Police declined to comment on the incident.