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Cheers - AE

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Do as we say, not as we do.

Also on the subject of policing, and also from the Telegraph, we have this gem.
Man arrested for challenging police who ignored no entry sign.
A man was arrested and locked in a cell for five hours after he took a photograph of a police officer who had ignored a no entry road sign.
I know, the mind boggles.
Andrew Carter, a plumber, has now received an apology from the officer and from the Deputy Chief Constable Rob Beckley, of Avon and Somerset police.
I should fucking well think so too. As is clear from the article this guy saw a police vehicle pull up and reverse through no entry signs into a one way street. Yes, they were on police business but no, it wasn't an emergency. They were just going to view some CCTV footage and were too fucking lazy to drive around the block and/or had seen a parking space and were keen to get it before someone else because... well probably they were too fucking lazy to walk that far. It might also be said too fucking thick to work out that one of them could get out and save the space while the other drove around the block, but ooooh maybe it wasn't a nice day and they might have got their hats wet or something. Instead the attitude seems to be that the law... well, fuck it, that's something we apply to the little people, innit? Hypocritical bastard wouldn't have thought twice about doing an ordinary motorist, and rightly so. But this guy seems to think that his uniform is a license to do as he likes and then arrest anyone who points out the hypocrisy:
Mr Carter, 44, said he pointed out the 'no entry' sign to the officer who swore at him and told him he was on 'police business'.
The passerby then took a photograph of the van through the window of the chip shop.
He claimed the officer smashed the camera from his hand. He was then handcuffed, arrested and bundled into the back of a van. It was alleged he had "assaulted" the officer with his camera, resisted arrest, and was drunk and disorderly.
"When I took the photograph he came running out, battered the camera from my hand onto the floor and arrested me for three crimes, none of which I had committed. All I had done was to photograph these police officers doing something illegal."
Mr Carter, who has not been charged with any offence, was taken to a police station where he was kept for five hours before being freed on police bail.
When he returned to answer bail the following week, with his solicitor, he said he was kept at the station for another five hours.
I'm sure the majority of coppers are fair minded professionals and I do hope they're all decently appalled by this. But at least the officer was disciplined and the DCC's letter of apology says:
We expect the highest standards of our officers and PC Farooq fell below what was required. I know that his colleagues feel he let us down and he has learnt a difficult lesson.
"He realises his actions were totally unacceptable and he could and should have apologised to you much earlier.
"His performance will be monitored in the future. I will be meeting him in the next few weeks and will reinforce our expectations of his behaviour.
Doesn't sound like he's done his career prospects any favours, but then his reaction to a member of the public who'd noticed him break the law was to arrest the poor bugger on trumped up charges. Over a fairly minor offence too (though certainly not worth committing in the first place). So pointless and probably avoidable if he'd accepted what Mr Carter had said and apologised. Knob.
Mr Carter said he was "relatively" happy with the apology but he pursuing a claim for compensation for wrongful arrest.
"As long as the police officer acknowledged what he did was wrong and apologised to me then I didn't want him to be sacked," he said.
Fucking good. I hope he is properly compensated for having his camera smacked on to the floor, being sworn at, being arrested on trumped up charges and held for several hours. I'm not such an Angry Exile that I'd want the guy sacked either, but Mr Carter was treated like shit on the baseless accusation of an arrogant cop and amends should be made.
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