FoI BTP

Following on from my encounter with the police, I decided to file a complaint against Office 4825 for refusing to show me his ID via the BTP's public complaint form.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Office 4825 of the British Transport Police refused to show my his ID or Warrant Card when asked. I had been stopped under S.44(2) of The Terrorism Act 2000. The incident happened at around 0854BST on 19/08/2008.

The officer was, I consider, rude and unprofessional. He made a protracted phone call using what appeared to be a private mobile phone (not on the TETRA system) indicating personal information about me and my whereabouts. He would not give me any information about the call.

I have captured the incident on camera and you may view it at http://politics.phreadz.com/p/15ROH206TI2T/

I would like the following
1) Confirmation that this man is indeed a member of the British Transport Police.
2) Details about whether this man was correct not to show me his identification.
3) Details of the phone call he placed concerning me. Please let me know if I need to submit a separate FOI request for this. [In retrospect, I think I should be asking under the DPA not the FOIA]

Many thanks

Terence Eden

I was impressed with their speed of response. Less than 24 hours.

Mr. Eden

I can confirm that Officer 4825 is a British Transport Police Officer.

If an officer is in plain clothes he is obliged to show identification

In respect of the telephone call that was made, I cannot assist with that.

Regards

William Farrell

PSD Office Manager

It is correct, so I discover from investigation, that uniformed officers don't have to show ID. I think that's a shame. If they've got nothing to hide, they've got nothing to fear.

I really don't think I can be bothered chasing this with the BTP any further. I've stood up to authority and survived. I will continue to write to my MP and keep the money flowing to Liberty.

Many thanks to Cory at Boing Boing for featuring my story. To QIK for providing a streaming service. To Kosso at Phreadz for creating a fantastic video discussion forum. Thanks also for all those who've blogged and digged this (sorry if I missed any). Please keep the comments, tweets and jaikus coming in - it's been fascinating to read both the positive and negative views people have of my actions.

Finally, a huge amount of love and respect to my wife, Liz, for not making me sleep on the sofa last night ;-) She understands me like no one else.

This blog now returns to wittering about QR Codes, mobile phones and Shakespeare.


2 Responses to “FoI BTP”

  1. Joe Image of Joe

    I too was stopped and searched in Waterloo Station 19/08 - i was on my way to work and said virtually nothing. The police officer searched my bag only and i was on my way in approximately 2 or 3 minutes. This was my prefered course of action but i wish i had had the time and camera to try your way.

    Keep up the good work Terrence!

    Reply
  2. Catkins Image of Catkins

    Whilst legally PC 4825 wasn’t compelled to give his name, he was rude, arrogant, and bloody awkward which isn’t actually allowed! He held you far longer than necessary because you dared question his authority, and he behaved like a petulant little kid.

    I’ve previously worked for the police and know that the vast majority are fine. However, there’s a thuggish minority that need reining in – and 4825 looked like a classic example. BTP carry out more stop and search than nearly all other forces combined so PC 4825 has more opportunity than most to inflict a very unpleasant experience on random members of the public. I strongly suspect that his behaviour that morning was typical, but any other complaint would boil down to someone’s word against his. You have his totally unprofessional behaviour on film.

    Please make a formal complaint, which you could later agree to have ‘informally resolved’. Any Commander worth his or her salt would have strong words with our friend about his conduct towards the general public after seeing that film, and make sure he was a little more sweet in future.

    Reply

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