Arlingford Road 1993

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by Neil-NewX, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. Neil-NewX

    Neil-NewX Transpontine

  2. Ginkogirl

    Ginkogirl New Member

    I lived across the road. It sounds amusing when you read it as a news story but it was a pretty awful situation. The police basically had a grudge match against a bunch of noisy, but basically harmless kids. I saw a police dog being set on a woman who was bitten several times - she wasn't even in the house, she was one of a group of local squatters who turned up to witness and help if they could. Another policeman dragged a woman up the street to a van - by her hair, she was screaming and crying in pain.
    No, not very nice.
    My upstairs neighbour was with me and when we shouted and remonstrated with police because of their appalling behaviour (we were loud but polite) we were threatened with arrest. I had a kid indoors so couldn't do more - I wanted to get my camera but was afraid that I might be arrested if I started taking photographs.
    The behaviour of the police was so bad that weeks later when I got a letter from a solicitor representing the people in the house, I gave a full statement and later appeared in court as a witness for the defence. The police side of the story was worthy of the Booker Prize, let's say.
    I'm delighted to say that all were acquitted.
    There's a lot more to the story (there always is!), but that's the bare bones. I didn't really know the squatters, just to say hello to, and I asked them to be a bit quieter sometimes - which they always did.
  3. Neil-NewX

    Neil-NewX Transpontine

    Good on you Ginkogirl, some people I knew were arrested at that party and while it was great that they were eventually acquitted, it was absurd that they were locked up in Holloway prison and elsewhere for the 'crime' of being at a slightly rowdy party.
  4. Ginkogirl

    Ginkogirl New Member

    Ta! I was glad to be able to help. The funny side to this (from my point of view) is that our local bobby somehow got it into his head that I had given witness for the police (I really don't know how that happened) - and so I got to hear all the, ahem, stories, about the police point of view.
    For example - it went out on the radio that a policewoman had been assaulted (and hospitalised) after calling to the door about the noise - totally untrue, but every mobile unit in Lambeth and Clapham plus TSG etc. were sent to the address mob-handed. It also meant that they didn't need a warrant to force their way in - which is an old trick. The local police had a grudge against these squatters because of a previous standoff at a house they were squatting before (somewhere off Acre Lane?) and saw an opportunity for some payback.
    I was disgusted to hear that the people they arrested - who had clearly been assaulted - were placed on remand.
    Months after the court case I met one of the guys in the street who said that they were contemplating suing the police for false arrest and so on. I wonder if they ever did?
    All in all, a fairly shameful episode for the police. And to be fair - I have been at dozens of evictions where the police were extremely even-handed, even under provocation, and times where they could easily have made arrests and didn't.
    Just one of those things.....
  5. wemakeyousoundb

    wemakeyousoundb and calm again

    As far as I know they never sued the police.
    One of the guy arrested was going to leave England 2 days later and he was truly messed up by the whole episode which forced him to stay here for months.
    Thanks for going to court with this Ginkogirl, not everyone would have done so.

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