‘I can’t understand why they were trying to force me to the ground and why the officer was spraying me in the face when I was bent down and then why he attacked me so violently with a baton.’
We are concerned about the recent assault of a local African Caribbean man by Thames Valley Police officers. Andrew Moore was viewing a car for sale on Lansdale Road just by Desborough Road High Wycombe yesterday the 7th of July where he got into a small dispute with the owner who called the police.
When the police arrived – one male and one female officer he was questioned and was asked to ‘drop to the floor’ which he refused to do. He was grabbed by the male officer who attempted to kick him and then was bent down forcefully by a shed/unit where he was continuously pepper sprayed by the male officer who also tried to spray the crowd that had gathered. As he got himself upright he was then viciously assaulted by the same officer with a baton despite members of the public asking him to stop as he was not offering any resistance at this point.
A short statement from Andrew after he was released from the police station:
Justice4Paps feel that the level of force that was used was extremely excessive and completely disproportionate to the situation that the officers found themselves in. There was no regard for the fact that there was a small child in the shed/unit and that there was in the unit next door a group of vulnerable
adults with learning difficulties all of whom were extremely distressed by what they saw and heard.
Andrew himself has been traumatised by the experience and was visibly shaken up when we met him.
‘We have spoken to Andrew and local people who witnessed this brutal attack yesterday and he and communities in the Desborough Road are in shock of what has happened. We need to ask would he have been treated the same way if he had been white and if this had taken place in the Eden Shopping Centre or do the police feel that they can visit this level of violence on people from non-white communities in our areas without there being any comeback or rebuke?
Zia Ullah, Justice4Paps
Andrew is currently reviewing his options which include making a formal complaint against the officers involved in the assault against him. In the context of the complaints against police brutality that Justice4Paps have highlighted over the last 18 months and the deaths of Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah in 2008 and Marcus Cottoy in 2009 High Wycombe and Philmore Mills in 2011 in Slough, it is clear that there are STILL many lessons to be learnt. Thames Valley Police need to ensure that they police communities in ways that are respectful and lawful – if police officers then fail to do this they need to be held to account.
Thames Valley Police say:
On Monday (7/7) at 1pm Thames Valley Police officers were called to a report of a criminal damage and assault at the car wash off Desborough Road, High Wycombe. Officers subsequently arrested a man at around 1.20pm at the scene for public order offences.
Supt Ed McLean, Local Policing Area Commander for Wycombe, said: “Having reviewed the incident, it is clear that my officers were faced with a challenging and difficult situation.
“A man who was identified to the officers was non-compliant and was actively resisting arrest. The officers were faced with a large crowd who at times, appeared extremely hostile and were, in my view, inflaming an already difficult situation.
“I am aware that the actions of my officers were captured and have been uploaded onto social media.
“Concerns were raised to me about the conduct of my officers and as a result a full investigation has been opened which is being overseen by our Professional Standards Department. We have subsequently received a formal complaint with regard to this incident from the man in question and that is also being investigated.
“I would like to point out that my officers consistently display the highest levels of professionalism and they understand the needs and expectations of our communities in displaying those values at all times.
“As there is an ongoing criminal investigation, it would be inappropriate for further comment on this matter at this stage.”
The 43-year-old man arrested has been bailed until 5 August to appear at High Wycombe police station.’