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Sunday, 21 June 2009

CO11 review database

The Met are in the process of weeding data and images of protesters from the CRIMINT database that they are unable to justify retaining, according to the Home Office. In a response to parliamentary questions they state that CO11, the Public Order Branch are conducting a ‘manual review’ of photographs they have taken on demonstrations and political assemblies. This follows the Court of Appeal case of Andrew Wood, when it was found that the Met were not justified in retaining pictures of the Campaign Against the Arms Trade activist.

The criteria the police are using to ‘review’ entries on the database is unclear. Senior officers within CO11 have previously stated that intelligence can be held on people who have no criminal record, and who have done nothing unlawful. An awful lot seems to depend on the subjective judgement of FIT officers, and the estimated ‘threat’ from groups such as environmentalists and anti-militarists, or pro-Tamil or Palestinian demonstrators.

In an effort to find out just what data the police hold on them FITwatchers and others have applied under the Data Protection Act to see the information on file. The police have been slow to respond, and so far very little has come to light. The NUJ announced last week that they are making a formal complaint to the data commissioner about the failure of the public order unit to provide details of the data they hold on journalists.

It’ll be interesting to see how much information is eventually revealed – the police will undoubtedly try and hide behind the ‘national security’ and ‘prevention of crime’ exemptions to the Act. Additionally many protesters might justifiably be wary of making data requests, as it inevitably means providing a name and address and details of demonstrations attended. But potentially this is a useful way of getting a better picture of the scale of the information held, and any readers of this blog who would like more info or support for doing this should e-mail us at defycops@yahoo.co.uk

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shocking video on the Guardian website
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jun/21/kingsnorth-protester-arrests-video-complaint

Steve said...

A question. Is a person dressed as a police officer
but who shows no identification numbers and who does not produce identification when asked, a police officer with the legal powers of a police officer?
If a person of that description assaults or retrains an individual, is that person entitled to use reasonable force to defend himself in a way that he would not be allowed if he was being legally restrained by a "real" police officer?

Anonymous said...

What strikes me about that Guardian video is not just that the officer refuses to give his number and the people are arrested for asking, but that the police use such violence. I was arrested once, 20-odd years ago, and the officer simply informed me that I was being arrested and asked me to get in the van. If someone is not resisting, not threatening, not attempting to escape, why is violence used? Surely if it's not justifiable it amounts to assault and the officers should be charged with assault.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that Alan Partridge in the background of that video?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I mean Palfrey.

seb said...

I am so schocked by this video. I had never heard of fitwatch before but i would like to get involved. This is ridiculous and scary.

Anonymous said...

I quite accept that the situation changes when an officer has no ID numbers showing, but there is no requirement that I can think of for an officer in correct uniform to produce ID if asked to do so.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 1906

i was arrested eight years ago, by the british transport police, who did not feel the need to handcuff or otherwise restrain me beyond holding my arms until i was in the car. the met seem to feel something more is needed - i've not seen an arrest by them which hasn't been accompanied by brutality, even when no resistance has been forthcoming by the prisoner.

Anonymous said...

"A question. Is a person dressed as a police officer
but who shows no identification numbers and who does not produce identification when asked, a police officer with the legal powers of a police officer?
If a person of that description assaults or retrains an individual, is that person entitled to use reasonable force to defend himself in a way that he would not be allowed if he was being legally restrained by a "real" police officer?"

my understanding is yes, however what I could not see was if the officers around them had their ids on or not. which would muddy the situation. however if an officer has no numbers and when asked does not identify themselves, by warrant card then, they have no powers and are acting illegally.

so in this case using self defence could be justified, but that depends if the officers next to them were wearing their numbers. this was made quite clear in the fallout from the g20.

also commander bob broadhurst with his talk with the nuj, where is asks to question if an officer is legitimate, by the warrant card.

http://www.marcvallee.co.uk/audio/broadhurst2.mp3

listen at 27 minutes. plainly clear, even bob broadhurst would ask for a warrant card.

anon

Anonymous said...

Fit watch dont want police vidoeing protests. so what happens whne they turn violent, which happens quite a lot. are you then going to complain to the police that they didnt do enough to stop it. the police have limited numbers and have to use anything available to help them. i dont for one minute condone some of the things the police have done but we have to look at the big picture here folks and remember that there are people out there that want to turn otherwise peaceful protests into violent ones. the majority of the public will support protests but the minute they turn violent then there is a good chance that that supprot will be lost. as i said fit watch dont want the police videoing protests but are willing to do the same. snacks of hypocrisy to me.

Lenscap said...

In response to one or two of the questions, it IS illegal for a police officer not to show their number and not to give it on request. I believe it's in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act but not sure which bit (it isn't very easy to search on the online documents of it). Any ideas?

Also, I'd like to write to my MP about this but not sure what action to ask him to take. Any suggestions? Ask him to put a question to the appropriate minister (I don't know who that would be)?

Many thanks

Mike Philbin said...

good to see your nerve-point 'arrest' made the national media, there was actually footage on SkyNews.

How 'dare' you ask a policeman for his (concealed) badge number.

;)

Blog'd about you and your case:
http://mikephilbin.blogspot.com/2009/06/fit-watch-emily-apple-and-val-swain.html

Anonymous said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/jun/22/protest-fitwatch-police-kingsnorth

Anonymous said...

As one of your 'natural enemies' - a working, daily mail reading english nationalist - i would like to congratulate you on raising this issue. your children will be proud of the work you and your colleagues are doing now to secure all of our rights for tomorrow.

you have secured another supporter and i will donate some beer/travel money just as soon as i can.

Anonymous said...

It should be noted that the Guardian Media Group collaborates with the police by obscuring the faces of the officers. The police ask them to do this, but it is not clear that they are obliged to in law, and GMG have never challenged it.

brightonpeople said...

Found you through the Guardian website. Keep up the good (and essential) work.

Zoompad said...

My main grievance with the police is their support of the forced adoption industry. Mothers are being accused of MSBP and having their newborn babies removed on the delivery ward, by social services accompanied by police.

Some of these stolen infants are falling into the hands of paedophile rings.

I am very pleased that you have set up this group, as I feel that we need to be protected from the state!!!

Zoompad said...

"A question. Is a person dressed as a police officer
but who shows no identification numbers and who does not produce identification when asked, a police officer with the legal powers of a police officer?
If a person of that description assaults or retrains an individual, is that person entitled to use reasonable force to defend himself in a way that he would not be allowed if he was being legally restrained by a "real" police officer?"



Also, how is a person supposed to be able to tell the difference from real police and police impersonators if they cover their ID badges up?

Observer said...

@ respondent who wrote 'the police have limited numbers and have to use anything available to help them'. There were thousands of cops from 27 different forces at Kingsnorth to 'police' around 2000 people.
Also the same person wrote 'the public will support protests but the minute they turn violent then there is a good chance that that supprot will be lost'.
The only violence at Kingsnorth protest came from the police - see this and many other videos on ClimateCamp website and Youtube'. The 2 women in this video were charged with police assult, (later dropped) but it is plain to see who was doing the assaulting.
The writer above seems to not want to see the Criminal Injustice handed out by unidentified bullies in uniform. One of the reasons Fitwatch exists is to urge people to record police injustice, especially by the FIT (implicated in the death of Ian Tomlison) who act as if they are above the law, as is evident from the above video.

jonsparta said...

"Some of these stolen infants are falling into the hands of paedophile rings."

Ok, please give me the evidence. Second the police are made to attend when social services go to take a child into care by a Judge. Its not something any officers like to do Something I have seen only a couple of times. But the ones i have been part of the children have often put up with years of abuse, of a type that gives me nightmares.

I am looking though my PACE books and cant find if a officers has to show his warrent card when arresting and is in uniform. I know that if a officers is doing what is called a Section 1 PACE search then a officer either in uniform or not can if asked must produce their warrant card.

Most of the CID officers will where their warrant card around there necks. Not that the lazy bums do much...lol.

jonsparta said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/humber/8113464.stm

Please check out this, i have been in houses alot worse. I remember once getting very bad rash, from sitting down in a house. And to think i was these to take a statement! lol.

Anonymous said...

yes Jonsparta, lol, Lots of Laughs, as your unidentified colleagues pressure point (torture) 2 women for having the temerity to question who they area. You, Jonsparta, should be shocked enough by this behaviour to use your position in the police to stop such vile behaviour, but then you won't will you, as cops always 'close ranks' when one of their own is found out. Tell us honestly what you would have done if you had been there during this incident.

And why is the killer of Ian Tomlinson not on remand? Did the police not ask for bail conditions?

Remember Jean Charles de Menezes. Lots of Laughs indeed.

jonsparta said...

Hmmm. I never said i was lol about that incident. Pressure point use is considered to be used instead of knee strikes or other forms of removing idividuals. You will have to go to Crown court to get that changed. And as for the woman, i am pretty sure you will only be getting their side of the story. Seen the whole footage? nope thought not (hang on lets rewind it) oh you cant cos you dont have it. Oh well.

What would i have done? well i would have made sure i have had a power to act upon, then made sure they past the 'necessity test' to make the arrest legal. As i remember it there was a ton of 'section 5' and BoP to be had. Each of them give a officer the right to make an arrest. What gets most people in a fit, is the fact there was a three officer around them. Again i refer to Crown Court, the judge once stated to us 'that it looks bad to the public but the presence several officer make sure that the small amount of force is needed. If a officer on their own doing the same arrest would have to use more force to gain control.' this came from a hearing when a police officer had been arrested for over use of his baton. The judge found him innocent and gave him a judges award. The judge was very critical of the arresting officer, internal affairs to some, and stated that the media had more to do with there motives than the law.

Is he a killer, remember that its innocent until proven guilty. Also you would have to take it up with CPS not the police, if you were arrested for this offence it would be up to the local CPS to make the decision, not the police. As you have no real idea i can understand why you thought it was up to the police...and yes mistakes do happen (oh god no) i forgot the police cant make mistakes. They are after all human. It is terrible, in fact it was one of the worst incidents i have witnessed but the fact remains mistakes are made. Until you do you first night shift or stand in the line being bottled then you might gain a bit of understanding ( we didnt even have our riot gear on). It was nice afterward tho, members of the public came out to thank us and give us tea.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what you're talking about there, jonsparta, are you implying that the police video on the Guardian website has been edited to remove the bit where the officer gives his number, and the bit where the women obstruct the police and resist arrest?

Anonymous said...

ps 'mistakes do happen'. That wasn't a mistake. It was deliberate and the police knew exactly what they were doing. You can say de Menezes was a (very stupid) mistake, but you can't say beating up and falsely arresting the two Fitwatch ladies was a mistake.
As for 'innocent until proven guilty' well why not bang them up for four days and then drop the charges? Has the officer who assaulted Ian Tomlinson even been arrested yet?

Anonymous said...

Have you girls got this cop's number ?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/north_east/8113470.stm

I think he could be useful ally in your 'Fight against Fit'.

Really Fit said...

Jonsparta said..
"As i remember it there was a ton of 'section 5' and BoP to be had. Each of them give a officer the right to make an arrest."

Which very accurately reflects the attitude of cops generally.

People around that you don't like? Being a nuisance? A bit cheeky maybe? Taking photographs, even!

Nick them for s5 or breach of the peace. Easy. And it helps to meet the old targets. So, there's no chance of it getting to court. Who cares? Chuck them in the cells for a few hours and away you go. And if they sue, it's ok, there's no comeback and the tax payer picks up the tab.

Is that about the size of it, Jonsparta?

And if they object to any of this, you can let loose some 'reasonable force', and throw in an assault charge.

Cracking.

Really Fit said...

Mark Vallee's response to data protection requests:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/jun/23/police-activism-surveillance-protest-law

Matt Salusbury's here

http://www.newstatesman.com/society/2009/06/police-database-crimint-legal

Anonymous said...

I think what jimsparto might possibly mean is that it is better to enjoy a steel toecap in the face rather than the 'ten to the head'(one recently 'introduced' form of removing individuals, if you will). Hobson's choice is anyway what he is offering.
Or I could be completely wrong.

jonsparta said...

Yes it has been edited, the full footage could show a worst side of the police or the full story. Personally it shows a worst side but again i come back to the training officers get that it comes only from a home office backed trainer. Each officer does have to be able and i know it will get your knickers in a twist, when i say, justify resonable force. What is not being stated why the officers stepped in and made this arrest? No ideas?? Right once that is sorted then we can debate the rest.

I dont have much of issue with photographing officers but it does put us in danager. The people that set up and run this blog, i doubt mean any harm to the officers at all. They are doing what they feel is right and until we stop being a free country they will carry on. But and its a biggy, there plenty of people out there that would like to do serious harm to officers and this site gives them a good database to start from. When the first case goes to court of a officer having some werido turing up at their door and its revealed that they could the officer details from this site, will it or should it be shut down?

Mr Anonymous... ps 'mistakes do happen'. That wasn't a mistake. It was deliberate and the police knew exactly what they were doing.

I can only answer, you must be a mind reader. Hindsight in the cold light of day must be great?! lol. I doubt that anyone would think..'hmm today is a good to shoot someone.' Its more to do with very bad intelligence, a bit like team america, and the over hyping of terrorist threat. Something that all western goves/medias do very well. As i have stated the officers have to justify the arrest at custody, then go to CPS for charging. CPS are very good at getting rid of jobs, they must have got a CPS lawyer on a good day.

No Really Fit, you dont get it. Yes there was a lot of public order offences to be had but still arresting someone does generate a shit load of paperwork. nFor me arresting is and will always remain the last resort. As for targets, we dont have that anymore, not for a while. Only in domestic incidents are we often forced to arrest, mostly to cover our backs. Many an officer has split up a arguing couple (only if there is no allergation), sent one to friends house only for them to return and kick the shit out of their partner. Bang goes your career...

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