I was bullied and threatened by the police this week in Hammersmith, London, because I was filming some of the building work in Hammersmith - as I am an architect and this is part of what I do - and when they saw I was filming they first told me to stop filming, which I refused to do; then they insisted I show them my ID;- which I pointed out I do not legally need to carry so could not and would not supply them with ;- and when they asked my name and address and once again got refused as I was not committing a crime or any such thing ( I am 62 years of age and hardly a typical criminal ) they threatened me with all sorts of legal mumbo jumbo about arresting me - that I knew to be false. The police were making up the law as they went along to scare me, but it had no affect as they were both lying through their teeth. The police were making it up as they went along. As much as I stated they were incorrect - they kept insisting they knew the law and so I told them point blank that they did not and that they would look very foolish if they were to ask a legal expert. One of them kept trying to grab for my phone and by now about a dozen people had gathered around and HOORAH - many were filming what was going on. I told the one who kept grabbing for my phone that if he even so much as touched me, I would report him for assault and that as I had plenty of witnesses - many of whom were shouting at the police by this point, he stopped.
I am into amateur dramatics and I have a voice that can carry a long way - and as I kept speaking lounder and louder and more and more people gathered to see what was going on, there was eventually around 30 people standing around watching as the police kept telling me to keep my voice down as well as stop filming - and so the more people stopped.
I pointed out that in a public space - and not on private property like a shopping mall or an airport terminal, I had every right to film anything I wanted - even the police regardless of what they are doing and that they had absolutely no legal right to intimidate and bully me or anyone else into not filming. The police were wrong - as usual - and incompetent - as is often the case - and just attempted to bully a member of the public - which caused quite a stir with all those who were standing watching. I spoke up and told everyone what was going on and many others got involved agreeing with me that it was not illegal and some even told the police they were comical in their uniforms and being so ignorant about the laws they are suppose to uphold.
Eventually one of the police men got on his radio and asked headquarters ( I assume ) about the law and within a few minutes the two of them just turned and walked away and I shouted after them that they owed me an apology - and I shouted this many times as they walked away and around 35 people booed and clapped and cheered loudly - 'APOLOGISE - APOLOGISE - APOLOGISE' - as the embarrassed police withdrew with their tails between their legs like school yard bullies when a bullied kids Mother has caught them bullying and sent them packing with a flea in their ear.
It was comical and rewarding at the same time. I thanked the people for their support and many of us chatted for a while and it seems it had happened at a most fortuitous time as many were from some students union and were journalists on the student paper and knew this was common practice with the police and were delighted to see I stood up for myself and so joined in with the booing of the police and support of the person being bullied. It ended being quite a giggle.
Useless John, the poice are absolutely useless at catching real criminals and solving real crime that affects us every day people and all the while the bankers get away with legal theft of hundreds of billions and we get bullied by these little pricks who like to intimidate and bully innocent people and then lie to make their case stronger.
I thought your readers might find it interesting. Robert M. ( Hammersmith )
Thank you Robert and I have been following this for some time and here is a youtube link that shows you exactly this same thing.
I am reminded of the recent case of the BBC filming the police driving up the motorway to raid Cliff Richards home when he was not even in the country and let me just remind you , Cliff Richards was not wanted for questioning or anything at all;- no warrant for his arrest or anything - it was just sensational news and a disgraceful case of the police using the media to attempt to destroy a rich and famous man;- as we have seen so much of lately.
It use to be better when we had policeman on the beat - and we got to know our local Bobby, but since the advent of CCTV and the anonymity of hidden police in an office somewhere watching through cameras, we are all now assumed to be GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT and where the police are unable to solve even half the crimes reported and next year hope to get it up from 25 - 35% solved and I find this DISGUSTING - especially considering the bully boy attitude that would not be tollerated by anyone else.
It is fast becoming a Police State and although the USA is light years ahead with their murdering police forces, and where we have a long way to go as most police are relatively pleasant and thoughtful people who do offer a very fine service and to the best of their abilities - sadly there are always too many bad apples that ruin it for others and it seems right from the top - there are rotten apples with an ego problem in a uniform.
I am also reminded that when Christian left here with the police after him ( a former staff member who was, unbeknown to us all here was on the run from the police the whole time he was ' hiding out here'- ) and the police eventually came here 5 times in 3 days - often the same policeman as well, asking for his whereabouts which I plainly and clearly gave them... and even details of how to get there - but after 5 times of asking - they let him slip through their fingers as the simply didn't have a fucking clue what the hell they were doing and here we are - June 2015 ( and this was February 2011 ) and the police still have not found him and have absolutely no idea at all... a completely big fat zero.
So they will threaten someone pointing a camera at them and threaten with laws that do not exist and harras innocent people but when it comes to solving crim, we are in a desperate state of having a p[owerful force that are quite plainly incompetant, immoral in its actions of lying to the public and bullies in uniforms - which is a shame as I am sure there are some bvery good men and women in blue and it is a few who spoil it for the rest - and thankj God our police are not armed as in the USA - as we have all seen innocent people running away from the police being gunned down in the back ( unarmed innocent people I will point out ) and we have all seen the youtube links of the US cops beating and murdering innocent people - AND GETTING AWAY WITH IT.
We live in troubled and dangerous times people - take care.
Your input is welcomed.
Wow John. Your piece on the police. Well done. I was beaten up by the police some years ago as they thought I was drunk. When I was 27 I had a stroke which left me with a speech impediment and it does sound as if I am drunk. It also left me with walking difficulties and these policemen were completely aggressive towards me as I walked home late one night and arrested me, held me in a cell overnight, refused to listen to my story of being a non drinker and that I had had a stroke, and just took it upon themselves to bang me up and get me off the street. The fact that I had just finnished work and was on my way home fell on deaf ears and only after seeing a lawyer and threatening to sue for harrasment and false imprisonment did they eventually send a letter claiming the two officers involved would be re trained and offered apologies. I was also offered a £25 gift voucher from M&S which I thought a little odd.