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back to article Panicky Plod apologises to Innocent Terror Techie

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 …

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Coat

Once I got down the page to his photo...

Obviously he committed the unpardonable offense of "being vaguely foreign looking" which led directly and inexorably to the second unpardonable offense of "providing the police with an opportunity to make themselves appear foolish".

Mine's the one with the warning label that says "Never run for a train whilst wearing this garment".

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Anonymous Coward

Lucky for him

He wasn't too tall, wearing too loud a shirt (after the hours of darkness), in possession of an offensive wife or caught walking on the cracks in the pavement, or he really would have been in trouble.

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Anonymous Coward

re: payments

From experience I know that a 14 hour unlawful arrest is worth £1,500.

Some of the other things range from £1,000 to about £3,000 So I'd imagine that he and his wife receieved around £15,000 between them.

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Silver badge

Request to destroy DNA samples

Isn't that the same as asking to be kicked in the balls?

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Linux

All this because the police won't admit a mistake

What creeps me out is the lengths the police went to to cover up a mistake. No one is disputing the police's initial action in checking him out. They quickly discovered he was innocent, and actually asked him to wait in the station so he could receive a proper apology for his treatment from a senior officer. Someone then took the decision that rather than apologise, they would arrest him for being a 'public nuisance', hold him in custody, raid his home and remove his stuff, and take photos of his wife.

And the penalties faced by the police? The Superintendent in charge retired so no action could be taken against him for misconduct. A junior officer also faced no sanction as he was only obeying orders. Two PCs received 'words of advice' relating to performance of duties and another received words of advice for abuse of authority. (In case you're wondering, 'words of advice' is one of the lowest sanctions an officer can face - it's a quiet word and not entered on the officer's record). One officer received a written warning to be kept on his record for 12 months (it would have been removed over a year ago).

Despite these findings, the police fought this until the bitter end, and if you look at Mery's blog, you'll see that until August 2009 they were still refusing to hand over the pics they'd taken of his wife. It's a tribute to his tenacity that he's got as far as he did.

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Happy

@Rob O'Connor

Panicky Plod?

"I thought this story was about a new version of Ubuntu when I first saw it!"

Ha ha without doubt the funniest comment

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camera

good job he wasn't taking pics at the time ... oh yes

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Incredible restraint

I am very impressed. When I saw "57 comments" at the bottom I was expecting to see 57 references to shooting; turns out there were only three. That, plus just the one tedious Paris-because note, I think demonstrates magnificent restraint on the part of the readership. Role models in these troubled times, all of you.

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Dale 3

The article isn't about the shooting, it's about the police apology after 4 years delay.

Please do try to keep up

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@Dale 3

Yeah, why won't people just get over that? As if it's such a big deal. Come on guys, it's not like you've never emptied an entire pistol magazine into the back of an innocent man's head as the culmination of an extended amphetamine-fuelled fantasy that we're Mel fucking Gibson. What kind of society would we live in if killing people had consequences?

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(Written by Reg staff)

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.

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Thumb Down

I'm splitting me sides

"What creeps me out is the lengths the police went to to cover up a mistake."

Yeah well they've never falsified evidence, perjured themselves and generally tried to murder justice before now have they?

*cough*

Birmingham 6

*cough*

Winston Silcott

*cough*

...

Funny how this kind of nonsense always increases when there's pressure to get a conviction isn't it?

Really, really fucking funny.

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Unhappy

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....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfQrDK9YHas

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Happy

Complain

If you don't like what they're doing then film them, get their badge numbers & then complain about them. If more people did it then there'd be less of this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z86z2WlqJws&feature=related) kind of smug berk and his "I don't like what I'm hearing so I'm just going to ignore you" approach to policing.

I'd love to see how he coped with a shop assistant who just ignored him when he wanted something from them. I bet he'd have a complete fit.

Public servants, my arse.

Complain here:

https://secure.met.police.uk/complaints/

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/police/about/police-complaints/

http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/

http://www.southyorks.police.uk/professionalstandards/complaintsprocess

http://www.thesite.org/homelawandmoney/law/introuble/complainaboutpolice

http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/about-us/contact/complaints.asp

Go on, do it - you'll feel better and they might - if they get enough of a browbeating - bloody well do something about it.

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@catkins

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.

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