Thursday, 15 March 2007

Strathclyde Police

I am indebted to the Herald for the story of Scott McEwan.

Scott was allegedly arrested following a robbery after an armed siege at the hotel where he stayed.The siege involved police marksmen and helicopters and must have been a very frightening experience, especially since Scott is partially sighted and had previously been homeless, presumably with some of the vulnerabilities which homeless persons have who live in the sort of hotels where he was living.

He was called from his building with the marksmens' red dots on his chest and arrested. Now, anyone can make a mistake, but Scott was completely innocent and this is the kind of mistake which ends up with innocent people dead.

Almost as bad was the treatment he received subsequently, after he had been cleared of any wrongdoing. According to the Herald he claims that the police 'threw me out of the police station in the pouring rain' and he collapsed in the street whilst trying to make his way back, unassisted, to his lodgings. I repeat that this was a vulnerable young man, partially sighted who had had a severe shock. He ended up in hospital, surprisingly enough.

Worst of all, Strathclyde Police said that they had no comment to make. Now, surely an accountable police force should have to account for its conduct, but who is going to hold them to account. If they will not explain themselves to the public that they are supposed to be protecting then is that not how we define a police state? One where the police do what they like and do not feel the need to answer to the people.

They should be forced to explain and to bloody well explain right now. Cathie Jamieson, where are you hiding. You are supposed to be the Justice Minister in the Scottish Parliament. Tell us where the justice is if the police can act like this with impunity. They are a law unto themselves and you should be doing something about it.

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