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SOCPA - a stench of lies and corruption from the met and charing cross

rikki | 25.07.2006 01:07 | Indymedia | Repression | London

i went to cover the gently amusing 'multiple lone demonstrations' (15 of them) organised by mark thomas in parliament square this evening (, but one story or action after another left me disgusted by the end of the evening.

lie one - a small observation. it is police policy to remove bicycles that are left chained to road railings and lamp posts in the area around parliament and whitehall. we are told this is because a bicycle could contain a bomb in its tubing or tyres. tonight i witnessed a police crew removing a bike that had been chained to a lamp post directly outside westminster. no cordons, no bomb experts, no sniffer dogs, the passers-by carried on passing-by within feet of the police pincers breaking the chain, and a community support officer wheeled the bike away.

so basically we are told bullshit. the police clearly don't believe for one second that bikes contain bombs. there should be proper bike parks in the area. or do they just like to make it difficult for the public to come anywhere near parliament?

lie two - i got talking to brian haw (the 5-year resident peace protestor in the square) - he told me how charing cross had arrested him for breaking the new socpa laws and then dropped all charges when they came to court, how they'd charged him with obstructing a police officer, and then dropped all charges when it came to court, how they'd charged him with assaulting a police officer, and then dropped all charges when it came to court.

in march, they came to remove most of his display against genocide in the middle of the night. they said he was failing to comply with conditions they'd set out. on a legal point, it's the commissioner that is supposed to set these conditions, but the letter brian received was from superintendent terry. they tried to wriggle out of it by showing him a letter delegating responsibility from the commissioner to the super, but the letter was mysteriously undated.

the stuff they took that night included all sorts of legal papers and evidence for the defence, as well as privileged legal documents relating to complaints against the police. these have now been in police possession for months, prejudicing any kind of just trials. the stench of corruption is thick.

lie three - i talked to barbara tucker. last friday she had to return to charing cross on bail relating to trumped-up charges of assault against a police officer and obstruction. they wanted her to sign bail documents so she would have to return to the station yet again. she refused. her solicitor was at first very concerned as this is an imprisonable misdemeanour (as is the assault charge). but then in consultation with the police, she discovered that actually the crown prosecution service had dropped the charges (unsurprisingly). so the attempt to re-bail barbara was illegal, corrupt, and malicious. they knew they didn't even have a case and were lying to scare and harrass her. she was free to go.

lie four - after mark thomas' demo, barbara tucker, steve jago, and 'mary poppins' went and stood outside the gates of downing street with banners. they soon attracted the attention of two female bicycle officers who gave them twenty minutes to stop and move on or be reported for unauthorised protest. 'mary poppins' desisted and wrapped her banner in newspaper after a few minutes, but when the police returned she was told that she had to leave or she would be reported under socpa for 'staying in the area' - this is rubbish - a made-up charge. another lie. there is no such offence.

lie five - one of the female officers started reporting barbara tucker for unauthorised protest. this is now the fortieth time this has happened. charing cross know she has notified them of her ongoing protest and yet (in violation of the socpa law) they have failed to authorise her. she has had meetings with superintendent terry and chief inspector robinson, who are both fully aware of her notification which has also been copied to the director of public standards, the independent police complaints authority, the metropolitan police authority and others. still they haven't authorised her and so they try to claim she is breaking the law.

lie six - steve was being questioned by the other female officer, who mysteriously was missing the last number on both her lapels and who refused to identify herself when asked. from previous footage i discovered she was cx694. she claimed she could not ascertain who steve was, despite the fact he is now as well-known to charing cross as barbara, and so would arrest him. thankfully, the officers emerging from the newly arrived van didn't try to handcuff him, and he went peaceably into the van after handing his placard to barbara for safe-keeping.

lie seven - in a sinister recent development which smacks of officers being under instruction to use violence against barbara whenever possible, two officers laid into her. they had cctv footage of steve with the banner, which has been proven in court to be valid evidence (they were heard checking on police radio whether the cctv was on and received an affirmative). but still they claimed they needed the banner itself as evidence and violently attacked her, pushing her hard into the railings, then pulling her by the neck to the ground and jumping on top of her. thankfully, apart from being very shaken and a bit bruised it seems she wasn't too badly hurt, but the operation was wholly disproportionate, unnecessary, dangerous and based on a lie.

lie eight - while i was trying to film this, the unidentifiable officer placed her hand over my camera lens. i pulled away and managed to go on filming, shouting about the police code of conduct towards the press, which forbids such action. when things quelled down, i asked her for her identifying number and although she admitted handling my camera (on film), she would not give me her lapel number. i asked clearly over and over and she completely blanked me and got on her bike and rode off. the footage will be given to the national union of journalists who are keen on this subject.

lie nine - police made no attempt to check if barbara was ok, and steve was taken to the station. once there, he was soon released, and although not even cautioned, he was apparently 'reported' for unauthorised protest.

lie ten - barbara arrived to make her complaint of assault by the police. she was told to wait outside. the desk sergeant was overheard calling to one of the arresting officers, "oi, dave, she wants to make a complaint against you". "who does?" was the reply from dave. "barbara tucker" said the desk sergeant. dave's reply - "GOOD. she can do whatever she likes". later, the desk sergeant comes out to tell barbara her complaint has to be heard by the inspector, but he was busy and wouldn't be available for a couple of hours. he also tells us 'dave' said she assaulted him. nothing on my footage remotely backs up this serious and malicious allegation.

so, charing cross! ten lies in three hours. it seems to be endemic. this is a police service out of control, and superintendent terry needs to get his team to try and stay just a little bit nearer this side of the law. at present, they are running around looking like a gang of (slightly amateurish) criminals.

i'll post a film of today's disgusting behaviour soon.

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Display the following 4 comments

  1. They are liars. — Doug
  2. Lie 8 — sean
  3. Hero — jmumlc
  4. Suggestion for bike parking — Ian Gregory