As yet another cop-encounter video proves, the police regard the streets as their territory. Forget the law. That’s the luxury of stuffy courtrooms and Google search results. On the streets, their laws apply. And woe betide anyone who attempts to usurp that. Because the moment you try to educate the police on your rights, or protest that what they are doing is unlawful, they are going to make you PAY. And pay hard. Right there on the spot, in front of a street full of people so they’ll also think twice about upholding their rights.
Before the armchair magistrates kick off with their finger-wagging sentiment that the subject of this video ‘made it worse for himself’ because he refused to surrender to this high-handed form of policing, I would say that under the circumstances he was very reserved. But if you want to see what un-reserved looks like, then watch the slapstick antics of PC Andrew 3390, as he stomps hi size 20 clown shoes all over section 2 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. Performing a totally unlawful stop and search and leaving West Yorkshire police wide open for a civil lawsuit for malicious arrest and unlawful imprisonment.
This video kicks off after PC Andrew spots the subject walking up to a door, knocking on it and then walking away. For some reason, Officer Andrew sees this as larcenous intent. Therefore he does a sharp U turn and screeches up to the subject – who very wisely begins filming as the officer dashes toward him, demanding to know his name.
When the subject asks why he should identify himself, PC Andrew gives him two reasons: Firstly, so that he can go ‘on his way’ as he puts it, and secondly, so he can write a name onto the stop and search record (which is never given.) This is in direct violation of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) which states:-
4.3A: For the purposes of completing the search record, there is no requirement to record the name, address and date of birth of the person searched or the person in charge of a vehicle which is searched and the person is under no obligation to provide this information.
The subject refuses to give his name – as is his right – and from this point on, everything PC Andrew does has nothing to do with reasonable suspicion or the prevention of crime, but simply because his ego has taken a knock and he wants to even the score.
The police cannot arbitrarily stop you in the street, demand you turn out your pockets and identify yourself under threat of arrest. To do so without reasonable suspicion that you are carrying a prohibited item, (or without the sanctions from a senior officer under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994) amounts to false imprisonment.
False mprisonment can occur on a public street with the police unlawfully detaining you for just a few minutes. False imprisonment is both a crime and a civil wrong (a Tort). Loss of liberty, even for a short time, is considered imprisonment. If a police officer fails to articulate any reasonable suspicion that you are carrying something you shouldn’t then they have no lawful power to detain and search you.
But PC Andrews doesn’t stop there. The more the subject refuses to surrender to his demands, the more determined the officer is to search him. He even goes as far as to state:
“It’s only your evasive manner that’s caused me to want to search you.”
In other words, this officer believes that an individual’s right to silence is an indication of guilt. And that the police have a right to stop you on the street, question you and then determine if they have reasonable grounds to search you. Again, totally contrary to Section 2 of PACE, which states:-
2.9: Reasonable grounds for suspicion cannot be provided retrospectively by questioning during a person’s
detention or by refusal to answer any questions put.
2.11: There is no power to stop or detain a person in order to find grounds for a search. …If an officer is detaining someone for the purpose of a search, he or she should inform the person as soon as detention begins.
In spite of having no lawful grounds to conduct a search, PC Andrew he then takes ahold of the subject and marches him toward a police van. Thereby affecting an unlawful arrest. And if you think that an arrest only applies once you have been verbally informed as such, or cautioned, (as the police seem to think) then take a look at the following case law:-
“An arrest occurs when a police officer states in terms that he is arresting or when he uses force to restrain the individual concerned. It occurs also when by words or conduct he makes it clear that he will, if necessary, use force to prevent the individual from going where he may want to go.”
Hussein v. Chong Fook Kam (1970) A.C at page 947
From watching this video, the only right thing that occurs is when the subject refers to the constable as a ‘dickhead’ and a ‘moron’. Personally, if I were the subject of this video I would submit a complaint to the Professional Standards Department of West Yorkshire Police as a formality. Regardless of their response – which you can pretty much guarantee would be a couple of A4 sheets worth of lies – I would then issue a Letter Before Claim to the Chief Constable seeking compensation for malicious arrest and wrongful imprisonment. The video would be all the evidence I would need.
I would encourage ANYONE who has experienced a similar unlawful stop and search and has the evidence to prove it to do the same. When it comes to civil action the police routinely settle out of court because their biggest fear is that if it goes to public trial it could open the floodgates to thousands of similar lawsuits.