Sunday 27 February 2011

Stop police brutality in Cambridge

Campaigners in Cambridge have asked that people complain to Cambridgeshire Police Professional Standards Department after officers allegedly forced their way onto King's College to arrest a student and using pepper spray on him.

Here is the text of the letter, which explains events in more detail:

Dear Cambridgeshire Police Professional Standards Department,

I wish to complain about the conduct of a number of police officers as can be viewed in this video on the popular social media site youtube

The legal observer present reported the following.

At 17:45pm police entered King's College despite being told repeatedly by porters that they had not been authorised on the premisis. These officers were 1241, 1752, 4616, 1555 and 1241. They manhandled a student despite being continually told that they had no right to do so on college property. They then grabbed a sixth form student and tried to drag him away, officer 1241 used pepper spray in the sixth former's face about 10 seconds after saying "if you don't stop resisting you will get some of this". Officer 1555 and 4616 then pushed the sixth form student to the ground and 1555 wrapped his arm round his neck. When asked what the charges were the police initially hesitated to answer and then claimed it was for obstructing a police officer. Officer 2469 entered the college, without permission from the porters. The sixth former shouted "you are strangling me" and the porters and students continually stressed that the police were acting illegally. The police kept threatening the students standing around taking photos that they were also "obstructing". College fellows ran over and again told the police that they had no right to be on college grounds. The police ignored this and dragged the victims out of the college and put them in a van heading for Parkside Police Station.

I would like to complain that all officers present (1241, 1752, 4616, 1555 and 2469) entered the premises of Kings College illegally.

I would like to complain that officers 1241, 1752, 4616, 1555 used disproportionate force in dealing with citizens who were at the time not engaged in any unlawful activities.

I would like to complain that officer 1555 and 4616 used excessive force in restraining citizens who at the time were not involved in any illegal activities, in particular officer 1555 who appears to have employed a choke hold.

I would like to complain that officer 1241 used an incapacitant spray at a distance below the minimum safe recommended distance of 1 meter as described in ACPO Guidance on the use of Incapacitant Spray 04/11/10 Version 2 section 2.6.2

I would like to complain that officer 1241 used incapacitant spray in a situation that did not warrant the use of incapacitant spray this is a clear case of excessive force being used.

These issues are of grave concern and require immediate investigation to establish the parameters of the police operation undertaken at Kings College at 1745 on Thursday 24th February 2011. During the period of investigation I request that all the officers employed by the Cambridgeshire Constabulary mentioned in the above email text be suspended from active duties as their professional conduct is in question.

I also believe that the direct line manager / bronze commander of the operation in question should be suspended from active service as his or her judgment in ordering his or her officers to conduct themselves in this manner has been drawn into serious question.

I would also like to add that i was not present at the events in question

I have neither sought nor recieved consent written or otherwise from any persons involved in the incident

Please acknowledge this complaint by response

Insert Your name here

Please email this letter from yourself to


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