West Midlans Police have said “sorry” after a copper forced a man into a police car after he was lawfully walking to work and had committed no crime.
Shocking video footage shows a cop ignoring social distancing rules, threatens to lock up the man, and then called him an idiot in an aggressive manner, on Wednesday.
The police force have been forced to admit that the conduct of the copper “fell far below what we’d expect,” in a statement on Thursday evening.
“It’s clear that the officer’s conduct fell far below what we would expect. His manner was not acceptable, not the face of @wmpolice and we will deal with the situation.
“The officer has accepted his behaviour was not up to our high standards and we will address this as part of an action plan for his learning and development.
“The officer was with a colleague on patrol & part of their duties was ensuring people are adhering to CoVID restrictions.
“The man explained he was heading to work – that’s clearly a justifiable reason to be out and about and there was no suspicion he had committed any offences. As such, he should not have been challenged in the way he was.”
This outrageous incident has sparked thousands of Retweets with quotes by many angry members of the public, including a law firm.
— C (@C1Haywood) January 27, 2021
The incident which has been labelled as “straight harassment” and a “abuse of power” took place on Wednesday in Solihull, West Midlands.
The cop who can be clearly seen pulled up his marked police car and asked him “what you up to?” then the man said he is on his way to work.
The man tells the “aggressive” copper that he lives nearby and is on his way to work, which turned out to be true.
The cop asks him is name, and the man says “don’t worry about that” but the copper insists as allegedly he needs to know in order to “enforce legislation,” apparently.
The man then quite correctly tells the copper that he does not need to know as he “hasn’t committed an offence.”
The cop asks him does he definitely live in the area, after already being told by the man what street he lives on, which is “around the corner.”
The “arrogant” copper accuses the man of “telling lies” and said, “I don’t know you live round here. You’re arguing with me, that gives me reasonable suspicion that you’re telling me lies.”
Then in a very un-polite manner the copper added, “We’re the police, we’re not just someone, you idiot.”
According to Levins Solicitors, a police officer might stop you and ask:
What your name is?
What you’re doing in the area?
Where are you going?
Levins said in a tweet, “You don’t have to stop or answer any questions. If you don’t and there’s no other reason to suspect you, then this along can’t be used as a reason to search or arrest you.”
However these rules are for England and will be different in Scotland.
Under the Coronavirus Law, police can arrest a person if, and only if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that the person has committed an offence.
But the police must encourage any individual to go home in the first instance, before they should attempt any other method of enforcement.
We had incorrectly referenced West Mercia Police in the article when this is a West Midlands Police matte. We offer a full apology for incorrectly reporting West Mercia Police who had no involvement regarding this matter.