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Justified or abuse?

Devonian
Grafter
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Registered: 01-05-2011

Justified or abuse?

There was an incident in Torquay a couple of days a go.
A guy was released (wrongly the health trust has admitted) from the local secure mental health unit.
He wasn't drunk, but he hadn't taken his medication.
He was sat on the pavement minding his own business, when a security guard in Natwest bank took exception to him, suggesting he was drunk, and called the police.
The police sent 2 plastic plods, who obviously had no idea at all how to talk to the guy.
The guy told them he had just been released from the Haytor Unit, and that he is schizophrenic, he ASKED them to arrest him.
AN unrelated security guard appears out of know where and tackles the man to the ground, AFTER the man had been pushed over by the plastic plod.
I think the security guard should be charged with assault.
I also think the PCSO should be to.
The man was in no way threatening them.  He just told them that he could do what he wanted with his guitar, as he owns it.
There is a video circulating, and there is now a version on youtube.
Interestingly the beginning and the end has been chopped off.
Have a look and see what you think?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCbPPLbLuFI
13 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: Justified or abuse?

I bet the incidence reports didn't read....." We ganged up on a mentally disturbed bloke, who was doing no harm, then went in mob handed and nicked him ( and at the same time, four of us boosted our arrest records -what a result!!).
More like... " we confronted a lunatic who was wielding a four foot long wooden club. After a hectic struggle, four of us (at great risk to ourselves- do we get a commendation?) managed to subdue him".
Still,four hours each down the station, filling out paperwork, drinking coffee and watching confiscated porn films, has cost another two days wages. Poor guy should be able to sue them. Wrongful arrest. If any of us were to go up to someone in the street and antagonize them incessantly until things got nasty we should be charged with causing a disturbance at least.
Community Veteran
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Re: Justified or abuse?

I think they acted beyond their powers. Nothing here about powers of arrest...
http://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/JoinUs/PCSO/Pages/default.aspx
TORPC
Grafter
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Registered: 08-12-2013

Re: Justified or abuse?

The guy was clearly not resisting arrest, since he wanted to be arrested, & sent back to the place where he could get the help he is entitled to.
The officers kept the pressure on after the guy told them they were hurting him as he was relaxed & clearly not resisting arrest.
Them wannabe coppers, should at least loose their jobs over this & that secutriy guard should of minded his own business.
The wannabe coppers wanted the filming to be stopped, (I ask why, if they have they got nothing to hide) or (what else would they have done to the guy, if it was not caught on film)
Devonian
Grafter
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Registered: 01-05-2011

Re: Justified or abuse?

Well there has been over 100 complaints made to police HQ, so it will be interesting to see if anything is done.
Why on earth the 2 council 'security' had to get involved god only knows.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Justified or abuse?

....
The man was in no way threatening them.  ...

Watching the video all the way through I tended to agree. Then I watched it again, pausing at key moments. I then put my self in the position of the PCSO, and yes I would have felt threatened. Body language, tone, volume and actions were threatening, even if the actual words were not. The biggest flaw I can see in all this is that the PCSO's were being asked to do something they can not do.
As to the helpful security guard, rightly or wrongly he saw a person wielding a guitar towards a PCSO and he came in to help. I could be wrong, but from memory there was nothing there that wasn't part of the training to safely take down a person safely and keep that person restrained.
It is easy to make hindsight judgement calls with the additional information. But without that information, and putting your self in the position of the PCSO or security guards, how would you have reacted?
x47c
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Registered: 14-08-2009

Re: Justified or abuse?

Nope,
The PSCO's and security guard should be commended.
Man was clearly behaving in an offensive and aggressive/threatening manner.
and yes agree with Spider the PCSO's were getting involved in something they cannot do and should be done by full policemen
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Re: Justified or abuse?

I had similar view to spider.....
Not seeing the start of the video ( apparently deleted, before uploading ).. I am assuming the PCSO`s... saw this "unkempt" looking guy sitting on the pavement with a guitar, looking, for all intents and purposes, to be a busker, and that he "may" have been drunk, or abusive to passers by,... decided to go and speak with him, and try to move him on.... He, would quite probably, and naturally, have taken offence at this, and told them to mind their own business, and he could sit where he liked, with his guitar.... The PCSO`s would not have known his background, or his temperament, and being a "big" bloke when he stood up, he was seen as aggressive towards them... Despite him "asking" ( not very politely) to arrest him... the PCSO`s could not do that,... and may not have known the place that he was asking them to take him to, was a mental facility... At this point, I feel is where it went downhill quickly...  and the PCSO`s should have called for back up immediately, and just tried to calm the situation down... instead... the male PCSO pushed the guy quite strongly, and this "could" be classed as assault.... although he will, no doubt, claim "self defense"... as for the other "security" guys, they should have been "observers" only,... it was none of their business, although, maybe, just maybe, they thought that they should help, as the PCSO`s "help" them during the evenings revelries ! ! ..
The female PCSO was quicker thinking, in asking the guy to stop filming, as she suspected that the incident would be a cause of trouble for them, if it got back to the senior officers.  However, there is no restriction on filming the police doing their duty, as far as I know,....
Publishing it on YouTube, probably violates their "privacy" rights, as they were (probably) not asked for their permission to do so, nor did they ( probably) not sign a "model release form" before publication.....
nanotm
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Re: Justified or abuse?

@shutter,
it was ruled on a few years ago and if the event was in a public place then no such "release" is required for publication to occur, the judge actually used the words " if you don't want to watch it online don't do it in public" however there was a caveated that where the footage was being created for financial gain then this was not the case.......

end of the day they didn't need to enter into physicality and that they did shows they require further training, and if there not capable of arresting someone they shouldn't be allowed out without a real copper!
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
alanf
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Re: Justified or abuse?

At the time the PCSO pushed the suspect the suspect was roaring at the top of his voice inches from the PCSO's face. I would call that threatening. Two options push the roarer away or retreat and show weakness.
The suspect then wielded his guitar in a threatening manner and was taken down.
I agree that a more experienced and / or better trained police officer might have stopped the situation escalating as it did. At the beginning the suspect appeared to be doing no one any harm although who knows what occurred before the video started.
It is possible that the PCSO wanted filming to stop because in some cases people act up for a camera. If you have ever watched one of the TV police documentaries it seems that the person being retrained always complains of police brutality so it hard to judge when police actually are using excessive force.
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Re: Justified or abuse?

I don't think it was necessary for the PCSO to push the man so forcefully. I think it showed a lack of control for that officer and, most likely, caused the man to feel more aggrieved and offensive.
Also, once on the floor with the two officers, I think the two security guards should have been asked to retire from the situation.

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Re: Justified or abuse?

Well since we closed most of the old mental Hospitals and relied on community care for the mentally ill this is the type of thing that happens.
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Re: Justified or abuse?

I found the push from the PCSO the most disturbing part of the video.
Interesting that the female PCSO asked the person filming to stop.
As far as I am aware the incident was in a public place and the person has every right to film.
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Re: Justified or abuse?

Quote from: gleneagles
Well since we closed most of the old mental Hospitals and relied on community care for the mentally ill this is the type of thing that happens.

Agreed. My ex-wife's work involves dealing with many who have been put back in the community and it clearly doesn't work both for the individual and the community.

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