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Police Intimidation of Kingston Family Who Make Complaint

May 1998

Over the last four months a Hampton Wick family has experienced intimidation by Kingston police officers, which started when their 14 year old son was arrested on Christmas Eve and has escalated since the Crown Prosecution Service dropped all charges against him at the beginning of April. The Movement for Justice has been supporting the family's fight against this serious intimidation. A local campaign, press coverage and legal action is needed to achieve justice and teach the police they cannot get away with behaving like the Gestapo. If you can suport the campaign in any way please email us below, and pass the details of the intimidation to those who can publicise it. Here are the details of the intimidation so far:

 

Christmas Eve night, 1997

The son and a friend were stopped in Kingston by officers who accused them of damaging a car (there was a car wing-mirror on the pavement). The officers told the friend to go, jumped on the 14 year old, handcuffed and arrested him. He was later assaulted in Kingston police station. His parents were contacted some two hours after the arrest, and his father saw four officers jump on the boy as he was brought from the cell. His legs were badly bruised and his wrists are scarred by the rigid handcuffs. He was charged with criminal damage to a car.

 

17 January, 1998

The boy was interviewed in the presence of a solicitor. The arresting officer, PC Ryan, asked if he had been drinking on Christmas Eve - which he had not. As they left the interview the station sergeant said the police were dropping the criminal damage charge and prosecuting him for being drunk and disorderly.

 

January and February

The boy was stopped and searched a number of times by Kingston police officers.

 

6th. & 7th. February

At 6.00am six police officers came to the family house, saying the boy had been identified in connection with a robbery. They returned the next night, saying they had definite evidence. Both times his father refused to let them in and they went away. There is no station record of these visits.

 

24 February

Preliminary hearing on the drunk and disorderly charge. The boy pleaded not guilty.

 

24 February to 8 April

The boy was stopped and searched once or twice a week. On one occasion officers seized his friend, who had been staying the night, when the son let him out of the house about 5.00am. They told the mother they had thought her son's friend was a burglar.

 

8 April

The Crown Prosecution Service drop the charge.

 

8-20 April

The boy was stopped and searched more frequently. One officer told him "I'm going to see you inside a cell". His mother got frequent phone calls, some at 2.00am, where the caller said nothing and hung up.

 

Monday, 20 April.

About 6.15 the boy was talking to friends in the centre of Kingston. A police van arrived and officers asked if they had been fighting. They said that they had not, and an officer said "Stand aside ......" (using the boy name). He was handcuffed and arrested. At 6.45 Kingston police phoned his mother, said "I bet you know why we're calling", and told her that her son had been arrested for being drunk and disorderly. He was later released without charge. An independent test found no trace of alcohol

 

Friday evening, 24 April

The boy was stopped by police officers and given half an hour to get out of Kingston.

 

Saturday, 25 April

About 3.20am the father called an ambulance because his wife was unwell. Fifteen minutes later four officers arrived. They pushed past the father when he said they were not needed. Officers ignored his wife's requests for them to leave and kicked in her bedroom door. Women officers held her while male officers tried to remove her husband. His face was hit against the wall, and he was arrested for breach of the peace.

One of the women officers referred to a brutal attack the mother suffered ten years ago by a man locked up for it, telling her "We know what happened to you in York, and you deserved it."

At Teddington police station the father was not allowed to make a phone call, to get his solicitor's number. At 5.00am a police doctor put stitches in his nose. At 9.00am he was released without charge.

 

Sunday, 26 April

The parents found that the outside door of their office had been opened and all their post opened.

 

Thursday, 30 April

A police car was outside the boy's school when he left with friends at 3.00pm. They called to a student on a bus, and the officer demanded their names. He started to drive off, but stopped, and arrested the boy for a public order offence, claiming he had made a sign . The boy was released later without charge, but has to see youth & community officers in June .

 

Saturday, 2 May

PC Ryan stops the boy in Kingston, singling him out from a group of friends, but lets him go when he realises one of the friends has gone to make a phone call.

Support the campaign, email us at: justice@globalnet.co.uk

 

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