Panicky Plod apologises to Innocent Terror Techie
Watch your knapsack
A Reg contributor who was unlawfully arrested and had his home PCs inspected by the Met has received an apology from the police after four years.
David Mery was wearing a coat "too warm for the season" and was carrying a laptop - according to the police who arrested him at Southwark Tube station, the day after the second wave of London bombings in 2005.
The Police made a search under the Prevention of Terrorism Act but having found nothing suspicious and Mery co-operative, were set to release him. Then decided to make an arrest on grounds that he was a public nuisance.
"I was arrested for a made up offence most likely in order to justify their having closed the tube station," Mery says.
The Police's own self-policing bureaucracy failed - with the Met's own "Directorate of Professional Standards" arguing that there were reasonable grounds for arrest. It decided to make an exception.
I would like to apologise on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service for the circumstances that arose on 28 July 2005 including your unlawful arrest, detention and search of your home. I appreciate this has had a deep and traumatic impact on your lives and I hope that the settlement in this case can bring some closure to this.
I shall ensure that the officers concerned are made aware of the impact of the events of that day and also the details of the settlement in this case.
Mery also asked that the police destroy his DNA samples and delete his PNC record and they have finally agreed - although police insist they must keep innocent people's data. He wrote a guide on how to delete your DNA evidence for the Reg.
You can read the four year saga here. ®
I remember a case involving Daniel Cadden who was stopped for cycling to the right of the white lane marking the edge of the road and told to cycle to the left of the white lane, Daniel pointed out that riding to the left of the white line was actually against the highway code and what he was being asked to do was illegal.
He then made the mistake of writing the office sargent asking that the officer be trained in the highway code - understandable desire on his part although prehaps asking for trouble. He was then prosecuted for some offense or other and it turned out that you can't make a complaint against an officer (or least the chance of it being up held is dramatically reduced) if you have been convicted of the crime you are complaining about because it is assumed it is a case of the criminal trying to get revenge on the officer.
This case has all the same hall marks to me, good chance the guy might have complained, lets make sure if he does his name is already mud.
If you plan on complaining, make sure the coppers don't know about it until well after the event.
RE: Being a solicitor...
...I'm not sure it would help all that much, judging by some of the actions of the cops here (and associated links), despite the members of the public involved seeming to have a very good grasp of the law also....
Re: @Dale 3
Easy now, Spleen - I don't think anyone's suggesting it wasn't a very big deal, it's just that it's not quite relevant here.
If I can get through today without having to moderate a great big scrap I will be very happy.