Police Corruption in East Sussex

Around East Sussex it is not uncommon to hear about people’s various opinions of the police forces. Just a month ago an incident occurred across the seafront in Hastings, involving two police officers killing a father who was walking across the road. In a day-to-day life, if someone who was not part of the police force committed a crime like this, it would be seen in a completely different view. But why should this be the case?

I have recently talked to a source about his opinion on the police forces. He wanted to be kept anonymous and is currently in prison for a range of different offences. It was only a short five-minute conversation but the source, who is twenty, told me that since the age of 17 he had regularly been in trouble with the ‘pigs’. I was told that he had broken two ribs due to police officers being rough with him, and he had also been kept in a cell waiting to be released with no access to water or food for over twelve hours. He informed me when the police were rough with him, on various occasions, he told them that he would report them but they simply said, “Who would believe scum like you over a police officer?”

To me, that question is a very relevant piece of information. The police officer was correct because who is going to believe a young boy with various convictions over someone who is seen as a public figure? This is wrong, police officer or not, no body should have the right to hurt someone just because they know they will get away it.

However, being a person who respects the law and follows it my interest isn’t to make the police look like vicious people who do their job completely wrong. I am a firm believer of world destruct without the forces and they, of course, do well for us all. But, I am also a firm believer of equal rights and I believe every civilian should take responsibility for their wrong/right doings.

I sent FOAI requests to The Home Office and The Independent Police Complaints Commission, requesting them to tell me certain statistics about police officers attending court for breaking the law and how many were charged with the offence, since 2010. After waiting for a month and getting nothing back from my FOAI requests, The Home Office firstly contacted me to tell me that they did not have this information on record. Weirdly enough The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) got in contact with me a few days after and also did not hold this information. The IPCC told me that they have not collated this data but have now undertaken a project to do so, but will this happen?

Heading back to my first paragraph about the Father identified as James Sutton, who was killed on Hastings seafront. James’ daughter Chloe Sutton told the BCC that she and her family wanted answers about her father’s death. But Sussex Police have said the full circumstances of the crash still had to be established and the matter was being referred to the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission). I looked through various reports on the incident on The BBC website and The Argus; zero mentioned anything to do with the police officers who had committed the offence except it is believed they were following a BMW car that appeared to be stolen. The investigation is still on-going and no justice has been served.

A friend of mine, Lewis Parker told me of an experience he had with a violent police officer. Lewes is twenty years’ old, intelligent and a calm natured person who would never hurt anybody or get into trouble with the police. In 2010, Lewis was part of a peaceful process in Brighton, standing against the Governments decision to up university fees. He witnessed a young boy who was no older than fourteen years old try to leave the protest as he look scared, get pepper sprayed in the eyes by a middle aged male police officer. He told me that he saw many of the officers hitting peaceful protesters who were just standing and doing as they where told. Lewis told me that the officers had horrible looks on their faces, as if they where enjoying putting people through pain.

This appalling behaviour needs to stop; people should not use their status to get away with miss treating others. Anyone who is hurt or threatened by a member of the forces should report it, and not be influenced by what they tell you. To make a complaint against Police Officers behaviour, simply contact the correct police force in your neiborhood or download a complaints form from this website https://www.ipcc.gov.uk/complaints. You can make a complaint if the incident happened less than 12 months before. All people should be treated as equals.

Francesca Sloan


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