Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Man arrested for challenging police who ignored no entry sign

Rogue British police again

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. 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.

He had been walking his two dogs when a police van driven by Pc Aqil Farooq ignored the no entry signs. The van stopped in the street in Bristol and two officers went into a fish and chip shop to look at CCTV footage relating to an earlier incident.

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.

Mr Carter said: "The no entry signs mean you are supposed to drive all the way around the block, as I do every night. The officer reversed from the main road through the no entry signs, parked up and went into the fish and chip shop with his colleague on what he says was legitimate police business. "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.

He made a formal complaint about the wrongful arrest by PC Farooq who faced a disciplinary tribunal in July, seven months after the incident in January. PC Farooq apologised to Mr Carter, who later received a letter from Mr Beckley, who chaired the disciplinary tribunal. Mr Beckley said in the letter: "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."

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.

Avon and Somerset police declined to make any further comment.

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

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