Thames Valley Police stoop to new levels of incompetence & harassment

Original article at www.speakcampaigns.org
A SPEAK campaign supporter tells of how Thames Valley Police extend their campaign of harassment against peaceful protestors, even while they are on holiday:

“I took my grandson on a camping holiday to the Yorkshire coast. Whilst driving along the coast road I was stopped by a police officer whose vehicle had automatic number plate recognition on board.

Thames Valley Police had issued an order that my vehicle had to be stopped wherever it was found and that I had to be detained until they had been notified. The police officer phoned his HQ, who in turn contacted Thames Valley Police who told them to hold me until they had made a phone call (presumably to Operation Rumble).

During the next 45 minutes the officer tried his best, but without success, to get a further response from Thames Valley Police. The officer was embarrassed by the situation Thames Valley Police had put him in and made it clear that he had more important duties that he should be carrying out.

Having failed to get a response after numerous attempts, the officer phoned his HQ to say that he was releasing me as he had no right or reason to carry on with the detainment. My 11 year old grandson was very distressed and had nightmares for the next 2 nights.

The news has recently carried heart-rending stories of young people being shot and stabbed. With such violent incidents escalating out of control, it is criminal that so much of a police officer’s time should be wasted for absolutely no reason other than Thames Valley Police’s sheer incompetence and spitefulness.”

More Criminal Waste of Resources

On a busy Saturday afternoon on Cornmarket St in Oxford, a small group of SPEAK supporters were standing behind a stall with petitions and leaflets, engaging in their democratic right to disseminate information to the public.

Along the busy thoroughfare other social issue campaigning groups from ‘Free Palestine’, ‘Understanding Islam’ and the ‘Oxford 9/11’ group through to Christian Evangelists were all allowed to promote their belief or cause.

At about 3pm in the afternoon, four officers from ‘Operation Rumble’, attached to Thames Valley police, made their way purposefully along Cornmarket, passing all other stalls and buskers before lining themselves up in front of the SPEAK stall.

Officers then began to accuse the SPEAK volunteers of various acts contravening local council bylaws. The blatant bias shown by the officers concerned is one issue, but another issue is the absolute waste of time and financial resources squandered on such a clearly politically motivated act of harassment.

At a time when just about every political party and pundit is calling for more police officers to spend time and valuable resources on stopping young people gunning each other down, or reassuring vulnerable members of the community that they are safe, Thames Valley police instead engage in wasting their’s and our precious time and manpower.

Every person who pays their community charge (and that includes us) pays for the protection the police are supposed to offer us all. It must surely beg the question ‘where are their priorities’?

It seems public protection now plays second fiddle to political coercion. Were those behind the stall armed and dangerous? NO. Were they involved in violent or intimidatory behaviour? NO. Were they masterminding a drugs cartel? NO; and so we ask the question…..how can a police force justify such an appalling waste of resources when the young and old alike are suffering at the hands of real criminals?

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