Thursday, June 18, 2009

Two men assaulted and fined by Merseyside Police


Two men were ‘handcuffed, punched and stripped’ by Merseyside Police’s Matrix team.

Andy Jones, 20, and Anthony Spencer, 21, believe pressure on officers to stop a string of arson attacks and shootings lay behind their “humiliating” ordeal.

Both men say they were quizzed about drugs, petrol bombs and weapons.

The life long friends from Waterloo were driving down South Road on Thursday, June 4, in Anthony's car when a Matrix van appeared in their rear view mirror.

Anthony had just performed a U-turn, when the van roared past his Vauxhall Vectra and eventually blocked the car in Handfield Road.

The men then watched as officers wearing tactical uniforms poured from the van and surrounded the car.

Anthony, who attended Chesterfield High School and works for Sefton Council in Bootle Town Hall as an employment adviser, said : “I was pulled from the car, cuffed, and forced to the floor. I felt a knee in my back and I remember they were screaming at me to 'stop resisting arrest.' I started screaming too, because I wanted to draw attention to what was happening, but I did not fight back.

“I remember on my way in to the van feeling terrified. You hear so many stories about people getting badly hurt in custody.

“I feared for my life. They told me that they were not from the area and wanted me to tell them about the arson.

“When the officers failed to find any evidence in my car, they realised we were not involved. The senior officer advised me to accept a fixed penalty notice rather than be arrested and have my car impounded.

“I agreed, but I am worried about having a police record.

“I am not anti - police, and I have applied to join Merseyside on two occasions. I was hoping to try once more, but not any more.”
Andy, who went to St Michael's and is now one 3 Mobile's top 100 sales men and a budding graphic designer, said: “I was cuffed too. I remember an officer walking past me and delivering a proper punch to my back. It really hurt.

“I was taken in to the back of the van too, and stripped.

“After the ordeal we both went straight to St Ann Street police station, to make a complaint.

“We were informed about the professional standards department, and advised to go straight to the Royal hospital, where we were both treated for bruising to our lower bodies.”

A spokesman for Merseyside Police said: “We can confirm that we have received a formal complaint against officers from two members of the public regarding an incident in South Road, Crosby, on Thursday, June 4, 2009.

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