Arrests Were Politically Motivated Say Mec Vannin

The Manx Nationalist Party has made a forceful call for new independent police complaints procedures.

The Party has also published an alarming and hitherto unreported account of how police behaved during enquiries into the graffiti campaign on the Island earlier this year.

Mec Vannin allege that up to seven officers may have been involved in the detention of one sixteen year old youth and it describes the circumstances surrounding the detention of another suspect as `over the top’.

Mec Vannin say they have “no doubt these arrests were politically motivated”. The report appears in the current issue of Yn Pabyr Seyr which was distributed on Tynwald Day (full text below):

“Much of the good public relations achieved by community policing was cancelled out by reports of inappropriate behaviour by the police during the investigation of the `independence graffiti’ earlier this year. This has prompted calls, yet again, for the establishment of an independent Police Complaints Commission.

It was reported that an innocent and well-respected member of the community was hand-cuffed and taken from his home in full view of his neighbours as part of this `over the top’ investigation. His alleged crime was to receive an unsolicited text message from another accused person. No charges were brought.

It was also alleged that up to seven plain clothes detectives were involved in the arrest of one sixteen year old youth at his home address. We understand that he was questioned initially without a parent or legal representative present.

If these allegations are true, then some serious questions need to be asked about the behaviour of the police in this case and the efficient use of tax-payers’ money.

Just as important, is the damage to police public relations. One young person with knowledge of these events said, `I used to have faith in and would support the police in the past, but not any more.’

The disproportionate use of police manpower, and abuse of police powers leaves us in no doubt that these arrests were politically motivated and the responsibility lies with the Chief Constable – yet another import acting as a colonial overseer”

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

07/07/10

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