POLICE EVICTION FIRST PHOTOS AND VIDEO
West Midlands Police categorically denied in their press statement that police officers were deployed with riot shields, at the Beechwood Hotel eviction. The pictures and video on this site clearly show a police officer with a riot shield strapped to his arm. Also shown is a police line, presumably to prevent squatters from re-entering the building.
This is a blatant abuse of police powers: the Criminal Law Act, codes of conduct for police officers and bailiffs quite clearly state that a police officer’s role in civil evictions is purely and only to prevent a breach of the peace. They are not there to provide security to the building, they are not there to aggravate the sitaution in an intimidating manner, ie. walking around with riot shields, and they are certainly not there to “support” bailiffs.
Several witnesses clearly indicate that police officers were intimidating, formed a line across the car park to prevent re-entry to the building, were abusive to squatters inside the building, and, in the case of one girl, barged her down the stairs with a riot shield. In addition, witnesses state the police officers were walking around inside the hotel with truncheons drawn. That is not the behaviour of a body of people whose only function is to prevent a breach of the peace.
A letter of complaint has now been sent to the Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police, the Chair of the Police committee, and the Police Complaints Authority.
Our solicitors are currently considering legal action against the West Midlands Police force.