FREE Palestine, boycott Israel messages are being stamped on bank notes and handed out by a newsagent.
Manager of Willows News has taken to spreading his political message to customers in the unusual way in a bid to raise awareness of the situation in the Middle East.
The messages say “free Palestine, boycott Israel”.
The shop boss, who wants only to be known as Abdul, said: “It’s simply based on what is currently going on at the moment to make people aware about what cause they need to be supporting.
“What Israel is doing is wrong, and we need to boycott them and support Palestine. Putting a little stamp on the notes is our way of raising awareness and getting the message across using a political message.
“Some people have come in and asked what it’s about, and some have realised that it is a good thing. Others don’t understand it, but there hasn’t been too much negativity.”
But one grandfather, who has been given one of the notes from the shop in Willows Lane, Daubhill, was not happy to be handed the defaced £5.
Bill, who does not want to reveal his last name or be pictured, says he received the note on Sunday, August 17, after he picked up his paper.
The 67-year-old, of Deane Church Lane, Daubhill, did not see the message at first, because the note was folded up as it was given to him, but when he clocked it later he became annoyed.
He says he found out it came from the shop after speaking to two other residents in the area who received similar notes.
The production worker said: “I paid with a £10 note and received the fiver back folded in half, so I didn’t realise the stamp at first. But when I took it home there it was plain as day.
“I was livid. It is defacing the Queen’s currency. If I wrote ‘free England, boycott so and so’ on our notes I’d be in the police station quicker than I could think.
“It’s a political statement on our currency which is out of order. It is premeditated, not just written out of temper. I think whoever is responsible should be taken to task about it.”
The Bank of England, which issues the country’s bank notes confirmed it was illegal to deface currency — but stressed they were still legal tender even if they had been stamped.
A spokesman for the Bank of England said: “Defacing bank notes is definitely not something we would recommend but whether or not there would be a prosecution would be up to the Crown Prosecution Service to determine if it was in the public interest.
“We would advise people not to do it because one of the really important things is maintaining confidence in our currency and people being able to spot counterfeit money.
“The notes are legal tender but they would probably be taken out of circulation when they entered our processing plants.”