Welcome to part 2 of my opinions on the letter sent from Sir Stephen House head of Police Scotland to Jackie Baillie MSP, regarding the events in the Gallowgate, Glasgow on 16/March/2013. Once again these are my personal thoughts and not that of The Celtic Network or Fans Against Criminalisation.
1. Again there was absolutely no evidence that anyone in the crowd were looking to cause ‘large scale disorder’. There were hardly enough protesters to cause they type of mayhem that could lead to ‘large scale disorder’. Total fantasy on the part of the police.
2. A ‘box cordon’ is better known as kettling. This is a crowd control method normally reserved for major public disorder where there is a threat or has been rioting. There was no chance of a riot that day. It should also be noted that among those contained in the ‘box cordon’ were pensioners and young kids. Another over reaction from the police which only inflamed the situation.
3. 13 arrests were made not as a direct result of the protest but a direct result of aggressive tactics from the police. The FAC report confirms this. No convictions arose from arrests and the 7 ‘persons’ were never found…. strange that.
7. I would ask you to consider the reason why ‘potential witnesses’ never engaged with the enquiry team. In my opinion many people especially football fans have no trust in the police and in some cases are frightened of them. It’s clear that witnesses felt far more comfortable in talking to MSPs and giving their evidence to FAC and legal representatives. I have heard of one occassion where members of the Police enquiry team spent five hours taking a ‘statement’ from a witness. I can only wonder why it would take five hours to take a statement.
1 Sir Stephen seems incapable of accepting responsibility for his officers over reaction and sheer aggression displayed that day.
2 I witnessed and photographed ‘heavy handedness’ by the police that day and so had many others. If five officers forcing and pinning a fourteen year old to the ground causing him severe anxiety and pain is not viewed as being at the least heavy handedness then we need to invent a new meaning for that phrase. Maybe we should just call it police affection from now on?
3 As for paragraph 2 in picture 8 above all I can say is that in my opinion what has been written is utter nonsense. Again in my opinion the police actions that day had nothing to do with facilitating a peaceful march and everything to do with causing a confrontation between themselves and the marchers. Thankfully the people who wanted to march remained mainly passive when faced with aggressive police tactics.
9 Well Sir Stephen, ‘outstanding criminal proceedings’ have now been concluded and not only video but pictorial and witness evidence is now available. It is now clear that your officers actions were not justified nor in any stretch of the imagination proportionate.
This is a view held by the majority of citizens, MSPs and councillors who have now seen the evidence. We all await a full open and proper enquiry by the Scottish parliament.
We are not going away !
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