Anonymous policing

It's good to see a story that would once only have been found in the Guardian has reached the pages of Wales Online.

     Women complain over power station arrests

A complaint against the police has been made by two women. Emily Apple and Val Swain—the latter from Cardiff—because of the way they were treated by police. They maintain that four of the uniformed police officers were either not wearing or had obscured their identification numbers, and when they photographed the one of those officers they were assaulted, manhandled and eventually held in custody for four days without any charges being brought.

The evidence is on video, which you can see for yourselves here:

     

In general I would give my full support to the police, they do a difficult job on behalf of us all. But in order for public confidence in the police to be maintained, the police need to show that they can control their own officers, and need to discipline them when they fall below the standards we have every right to expect of them.

If this video had not been made available, it would have been all too easy to dismiss this complaint as an exaggerated account of what actually happened. Now we can all see that it isn't. But we should not treat this as an isolated incident. This sort of complaint is all too common, and if the practice of anonymous uniformed policing (plain clothed and undercover work is of course very different from uniformed policing) is to be stamped out, it requires serious disciplinary action to be taken against all officers who abuse their position.

But it is naïve to think that the police would be allowed to behave in this way unless their tactics were—at the very least tacitly, if not specifically—approved by senior officers.

And although politicians in power at the Home Office would fiercely claim that operational decisions are not a political matter, I think that if our politicians were to speak out more strongly to condemn such tactics, such pressure would be the most effective way to help put an end to this sort of abuse.

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1 comments:

Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud at the bit where the plod said, "I'm not standing on your foot".

Lying bastard.

You can't beat hard video evidence!

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