back to article Essex youth's cop headbutt heads for YouTube

An Essex youth who was caught on a friend's mobile phone headbutting a police officer, and subsequently broadcast on YouTube, has pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm. The incident, which took place behind a row of shops in Hornchurch, involved local James Davis, 19, and Sgt Kenneth McNish, the Telegraph reports. In …


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  1. alex_c
    Thumb Up

    hanging's too good for them

    Good for the cop. Hanging's too good for those little chavs.

  2. Lloyd

    "He's getting all his blood in my face on purpose."

    "That's against my human rights and you can get taken to court and fined and stuff"

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Makes you glad to be English....

    Really - something should be done to deter these people in the first place.

    Harsh sentances and some control back on the streets. I'm not that old and it was never that bad when I was young. We certainly wouldn't have headbutted a police officer and filmed it all for YouTube. The world is certainly wrong...

  4. Darkside
    Dead Vulture

    With friends like his...

    ...who needs CCTV?

  5. Mark

    Bulletproof balaclavas?

    There have been times when the police have warranted assault. Like when they make up laws to shut you up.

  6. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Up

    The officer prodded the defendant?

    Should have Tazered the little dirtbag. Now that *would* have been fun to watch.

  7. Daniel Silver badge

    Re: makes you glad to be English...

    That's because when you were young mobiles didn't have cameras. I'm never sure if the reason why we see more of this sort of thing now is because it's easier to make it accessible (through technology but also due to an ambulance-chasing media) or because it's genuinely worse.


  8. James
    Dead Vulture

    I fought the law and...

    I am surprised that no one has mentioned the thickness of the skull of those involved given the scenario.

  9. adnim

    slippery slope

    No use resisting the public face of our masters. Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir is the most safe way to deal with a policeman. Yes they can be arrogant. Yes they can be ever so patronising. They can also appear to be extremely stupid, but in some instances this is just a charade to encourage one to incriminate oneself.

    Resistance is futile, deal with one then there's a van full more to deal with, deal with those and the next lot turn up with guns....See where i am leading with this? It's best just not having a go in the first place. Amazing how some just cannot chain 2 or more related thoughts together.

    "Yes officer, I sincerely apologise, it's my mistake, I will make my way home now if that's OK with you". Would generally work and get one out of grief pretty quickly in my opinion, provided one hasn't yet committed a crime.

    There's just no point arguing with a sheepherders dog.

    It does sadden me that they have to deal with such things. Punishment only deals with the symptoms though, it's going to be a long wait expecting society to change for the better. I wonder what values are conditioned into kids these days, and how many generations it will take to change, or is it going to get worse.

  10. TrishaD

    Evolution in Action

    He's stupid enough to headbutt a police officer

    His friend is stupid enough to film the incident and stick it on YouTube. Thus providing evidence.

    They should be offered vascectomies rather than prison sentences.....

  11. Rob McDougall


    There's always been little grotbags who would show contempt for the law. It's just, perhaps in the old days they would be robbing banks etc.

    Nowadays, they've not got the balls for that sort of thing so they just end up headbutting policemen.

  12. Graham Bartlett

    @AC "what's the world coming to"

    "We certainly wouldn't have headbutted a police officer and filmed it all for YouTube."

    No - as I remember from my youth, people assaulting the police were mostly lobbing bricks and petrol bombs. Although the police at the time were also busy beating up anyone within reach and baton-charging them.

    A simple alleyway scuffle is hardly news compared to the attacks on police (and police attacks on civilians) in the 70s and 80s.

  13. Rob McDougall


    Incidentally, it's mirrored here:

  14. Chris Price
    Dead Vulture

    Lead poisoning

    I wonder if the little DNA stain would have been so bold if the cop would have had a Glock .40 on his hip. I somehow doubt it.

    I agree with previous post, let's say this together... TAZER.

    The dead vulture, well, just because.

  15. Chris iverson

    always been there, just get to see

    from the comfort of your desk, couch.

  16. Solomon Grundy

    Officer Deserved It

    The Officer initiated physical contact (i.e. started the fight). Anytime anyone starts a fight, it is the right of the victim to defend themselves in kind. The Officer would not have pushed the kid if he wasn't a policeman and basically immune to prosecution.

    One step closer to the end - when "officers of the law" can push citizens around without fear of punishment.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    @ Daniel

    When I was young a mobile was the size (and weight) a large housebrick.

    From experience I'd have to say that it is genuinely worse, at least in the area I live. 20 years ago someone being nicked for drunk-driving was front page news and any street violence resulted in a 2 page in-depth report. Now every week the front page is filled with multiple reports of muggings and and assaults and the town has taken on the look of an inner city ghetto with extensive graffiti (mostly tags, no arty stuff) and general vandalism.

    I assume the local hacks back in the '80s weren't turning a blind eye, so the frequency and level of street violence is definitely *much* worse.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Daniel

    I have the same argument with my wife who insists that when Franco was in charge there wasn't any hooliganism, vandalism or any sort of ism, although Generalísimo sort of comes close. She won't have it that it was more likely due to the state controlled media not reporting any of it. However, I am open to the suggestion that if there were any isms then the ismee would just as likely get a good and well deserved drubbing which also might have had something to do with the appearance of a more civilised society.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Solomon Grundy

    I agree. The police officer should have the assault charges made against him or is it legal for police officers to push people? Double standards again.

  20. Darren B

    The Romford Kiss

    Most popular after night out at Time & Envy.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Police Assault

    I agree to, the police officer initiated the fault by pushing the defendant in the face face.

    Arent police officers trained to defuse situations and not provoke them?

  22. Brian
    Thumb Up

    @Solomon Grundy

    Well, in that case, following your logic, if a policemans "prod" warrants a headbutt, then a headbutt warrants something like a good old throat slashing.

    So I say well done to the police officer for showing restraint in not giving this little scumbag a second mouth!

  23. Matt Thornton

    Yeh, but no, but yeh but no...

    Although I'm pleased the little pikey got punished, I'm interested to know which part of the Police training manual the "girlie push slap to the face" came from. We obviously didn't see the whole film, but that looks a lot like provocation. The pig, erm, policeman, should either control the situation or restrain the chav, not slap him about the face. Seems like he got what he deserved.

    I'm surprised the defendant didn't try to get the filth, erm, policeman, up on charges of ABH or similar.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Set phasers to...

    ...stun. No, make it to vapourise.

    Street violence is DEFINITELY much much worse now than in the 80s, the availability of mobile phone cameras and media hype notwithstanding. There is little respect for people or property and its about time that the police were given the right to... persuade... these little turds that they should behave.

    Either that or give us the right to bear arms - it'll be messy for a while, but afterwards...

    Bloody penguin as it asked a hoodie to stop throwing beer cans at his windows.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    @Solomon Grundy & AC

    Not sure whether you two are in the video, of a similar ilk (i.e. chavs), or merely bleeding-heart liberals.

    If I was the copper I would have made sure I 'accidentally' dislocated or broke something when grounding the little snot and blamed it on the concussion from the headbutt.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Actual bodily harm

    He's charged with causing 'actual bodily harm'? As opposed to what - imaginary bodily harm?

  27. Ross


    Stupid kid.

    Stupid mate posting it on YouTube.

    Stupid copper not having his hands up in a heated situation.

    First rule of self defence - keep your bloody hands up. "Talk" with them as if you were an annoying salesman (hmmm, maybe that's whay they do it?....) and they don't even realise you have a guard up. Coppers get crap defence traning tho :o(

    I was amused by the copper bleeding on the kid. If it's good enough for Stuart Pearce, it's good enough for me.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Pushing suspects

    Pushing a suspect is allowed, if that suspect is encrouching on the officer (or acting in a threatening manner), and has been given verbal warnings to stand back. Never let a suspect get within reachable distance of your weapons, or his - an office must keep a safe distance between himself and the suspect.

    That's the crucial point - the police can't do squat until a verbal warning is given. Which they are allowed to do at anytime they feel threatened, btw.

    Perhaps I should watch the video first, but the above rule still stands.

    <joke alert> Chavs like this will be first to the Soylent factory if I ruled [what's left of the the world] like the population/eco nazi dictator I obviously am. Two birds with one stone an' all that.</joke alert>

  29. Matt Thornton


    As opposed to "grievous bodily harm" most likely.

  30. Joe Harrison


    I first visited Spain as a young child in 1968 and was deeply disturbed by seeing a policeman in 3-cornered hat whipping a toddler with a belt for having walked on a flowerbed. Tell your wife she can keep her Franco-era memories and indeed would be welcome to have mine if I could ever get it out of my mind.

    Back on-topic, you do have to marvel slack-jawed at someone stupid enough to banjo a copper AND THEN helpfully provide their own cctv evidence.

  31. Mark

    RE: AC response

    If you, as a policeman, had done that to someone I saw, I would walk up to you and take your tazer out and show you how "non lethal" it can be.

  32. 4a$$Monkey

    re: Officer Deserved It

    Don’t be ridicules. It’s not like the office punched him. You saying somebody prods you and you have the right to head butt them and break their nose. Well done you just proved your just as much a twat as the chav in the video.

    There’s only one way to deal with scum like that – bring on Vic Mackey!

  33. xMillz

    @Solomon Grundy

    When did it become illegal for a policeman to prod someone? And if it is, surely the Police Officer is in a position of authority, and must place the necessary force to either restrain or show authority.

    Ive not seen the movie, but assume the Officer didnt retaliate other than to restrain this future re-offender; As such i would say job well done. Rather than a night in jail or a telling off, where he could abuse other inocent persons, this criminal will 'hopefully' be punished accordingly.

  34. jason

    I hope the little b*****d goes to jail

    "The Officer initiated physical contact (i.e. started the fight). Anytime anyone starts a fight, it is the right of the victim to defend themselves in kind. The Officer would not have pushed the kid if he wasn't a policeman and basically immune to prosecution."

    Horses**t, prodding someone is not starting a fight! and as for "the Officer would not have pushed the kid if he wasn't a policeman and basically immune to prosecution"; if we wasn’t a policeman he wouldn't have had to deal with the little scumbag in the first place (and considering that the little toe-rag is only 19 years old, I would hardly think that any grown man is going to be scared of prodding him, copper or no copper; its not like he was prodding Mike Tyson).

    FYI the police are not immune to prosecution, the reason the punishment for assaulting the police is greater than assaulting other members of the public, is so they have they protection to be able to do their job. All people are entitled to work in a safe environment, however the nature of a coppers job does not make this practical, thus the justice system prosecutes those who assault the police much worse than the rest of us, as a way of helping to protect the police in what is an essential but very dangerous job.

  35. Matt

    NWA got it right...

    I don't like the little scumbags either but the chavs need to be dealt with too.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    @ Solomon Gumby (intentional misspelling) & anon friend

    I truely hope that was scarcasm, as I hate to think that I would respond to somebody so dense. I for one enjoy p1ssing into the shallow end of the gene pool so try not to place yourself there.

    1st I have severe grudges against some of the Met for their piss poor attitude, but for the most part cops tend to give you the hassle which you yourself ask for

    If somebody will not cooperate with a reasonable request from an officer then he/she is permitted to "make physical contact" either to lead you away, restrain or arrest you.

    It's different however for somebody like a store security guard is not allowed to restrain you (atleast up till a couple of years ago) on suspicion of shoplifting, they can however obstruct any exit until the police turn up.

    Quite frankly the scumbag (chav not the cop) deserved more than he got, it was a cop this time, next time it will be somebody who won't buy him a pint.

    As an aside :

    However should a store security person grab you and you had knowledge of Akido you would (technically) be entitled to release yourself (and damage him/her in the process) as you had been assulted as you where defending yourself.

    However this is due to Akido being unuseable without the other person initiating an assult upon you in the 1st place.

  37. Solomon Grundy


    No, the next step in the escalation chain should legally be a roll around on the ground and punch it out scenario. The winner is the one who walks away. Obviously the pig won in this case, so under my system he would not be prosecuted. However, if the kid had won the pig would be prosecuted and branded a pansy.

    Unfortunately I do not rule the world (or even the UK), so we must all abide by the set of laws designed to treat everyone equally. In this case the Officer started a physical confrontation without even beginning to display "threat mitigation" behavior (hands up, etc...). He should be fired, prosecuted, and possibly executed. The last thing the increasingly sterile gene-pool of the UK needs are short tempered "law officers" running round the streets starting fights.

  38. Mr Chris

    I see that the censors...

    ...took my previous entirely tongue in cheek comment about parenting licences (lampooning the Daily Wail style nonsense above) the wrong way, then?

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    watch the video

    Watch the video, you will see an open handed slap/push to the defendants head not a "prod". A prod:

    prod /prɒd/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[prod] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation verb, prod·ded, prod·ding, noun

    –verb (used with object)

    1. to poke or jab with or as if with something pointed: I prodded him with my elbow.

    2. to rouse or incite as if by poking; nag; goad.

    An open handed push to the face is not a prod....

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    watch the "prod"

    Shouting "Back off" then Open handed push to the face then "approaching the chav again to square up to him.

    Could have been handled 10 times better by the cop.

  41. OldGreeeeeg


    Where's Gene Hunt when you need him?

  42. Solomon Grundy

    Akido? How 'bout Bar Brawling

    What does the form of self defense have to do with it? Whether Akido or Jujitsu, or just good old fashioned bar bar brawling it's still a recognized way to defend yourself. If the kid in the video is of the bar brawling ilk, then that's what happens when you assault them. If it was an Akido expert I expect the offender would be an side-chop to the throat (or whatever).

  43. Mark

    Re: Pushing suspects

    Here's a tip for the plod: try backing off!

    Police are already disliked (this is why they now have to go round in cars and call a van full of police when arresting a bulky 9st teen). This is because you've been far too long thinking your powers are a right and not a responsibility.

    Nobody likes you. Maybe there's a lesson to learn there.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Computed Scores for Incident

    "Respect mah authoritah!"



    5 for the skull resistant headbutt

    +1 for the victim being a cop

    +1 for getting the cop to provoke you

    +1 for having it recorded to show it to friends

    +1 for the "I headbutted a cop and made it public" medal to show to friends

    +1 for the conviction

    chav total: 10/10

    5 for choosing to be a cop and some days thinking you can do good

    +1 for engaging the right person (headbutting bastards)

    -1 for escalating the confrontation via physical contact and going towards what the chav looks for (giving them a 10/10)

    -1 for either not anticipating the consequences of said escalation or thinking that you can do whatever you want

    -1 for being unable to fend off an unarmed person

    cop total: 3/10

    5 for society

    -1 for chav existance

    -1 for cop existance

    -1 for chav's better than cop's x1 score

    -1 for chav's better than cop's x2 score

    -1 for chav's better than cop's x3 score

    +1 for always being hope

    society total: 1/10

    Doesn't fare too well.

  45. Edlem
    Thumb Up

    What a load of liberal bollocks

    The wee scrote had it coming. Full marks to the cop for taking a headbutt and immediately putting the boy to ground in a headlock.

    In a fair society scroteboy would be looking at 5 years of hard labour, but there you go, bloody liberals have ruined everything.

  46. Mark

    Having watched the vid

    Yup, that's assault. Bad.

    Yup, that's a twat in a uniform. Bad.

    So now that the tit who nutted a cop is going down, when is the police officer going for remedial training and a kick back down to constable?

    Tux cos he'd have your eye out...

  47. Tawakalna

    here we go again...

    although I'm not a big fan of coppers, having suffered at their hands a few times meself, I detest evil little chavvers more. What really bothers me is how out-and-out violence and disrespect has become so glamourised that it scores points amongst the scrote's peers to put it up on YouTube! Along with the foul happyslapping craze and the recent stories about the guy who filmed himself peeing a dying woman and those women who made their kids fight and filmed that, I wonder what's going to become of our country? I'm just glad that pretty soon I won't be around to find out, we're clearing off to more civilised climes where we won't have to put up with this sort of thing from feral teenagers anymore.

    what's the betting that the scrote is now a hero to his *homies* cos the copper right, he don' show him no respeck, innit? Scumbags.

  48. Anonymous Coward

    @Punishment only deals with the symptoms though,

    That is precisely the kind of twaddle that got us here in the first place.

    There are possibly very many root causes that can be identified. One of the biggest is that a lot of the younger generation these days simply cannot deal with disappointment. Theirs is the generation that had everyone winning in school competitions to avoid hurting feelings. Theirs is the cosseted generation where "children come first" is the mantra of their misguided protectors. Systematically all punishments are stripped away in the vain hope that society will morph into some wonderous new thing. Instead the predicatable anarchy follows. And in response further steps backwards are made, concession after concession is given out in the continued hope that those that are the cause of so much grief and sadness will respond. They do, but not in the manner intended, they worsen instead.

    We are all told that there are no no-go areas, but to a person we can all name areas near where we live where to go at night would be an act of extreme folly.

    How do we win back our rights to a safe and peaceful existence? Not by continually back-pedalling in the face of adversity. We need the strength and commitment of our forebearers to push back with great deliberateness. Punishment must mean punishment. That it is painful is irrelevant. The mindless thug knows only strength, and that strength may need to be violent in the form of corporal or capital punishment. It is the only "justice" that they know - and they all laugh in the face of our national weakness. These people do not operate within the norms that most of us would wish to. They see "understanding" as weakness, and only respect strength. So why not give them all the strength that they can respectfully handle? Why not indeed?

    It is not yet the time for most people to take the above at all seriously, regarding it all Daily Mail or bang on Right Wing. They will "tut" as each morning they open the newspaper to yet another killing. But time will inevitably bring us to that point of brutal anarchy. The social experiment of the past 40 years has been an abject failure, and it will continue to fail. Sadly there will need to be plenty more ordinary people - young and old - murdered on the streets before someone voted into power finally calls a halt. But by then our paramilitary police force will have utterly discredited themselves and lost what is left of the public's confidence. 1984 will seem like a picnic on a warm sunny day compared to what we will have to bear then.

    I think that only when those that live behind extreme protection (i.e. our so-called leaders) begin to experience the impact of what they have created will they rise up against what has been done to us all.

    Stop - because it has to one day, or life here will be intolerable.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    Out of control coppers

    The whole episode was engineered by the copper to provoke the youth, he just didn't expect the kid to headbutt him. Being a police officer means you have to be reliable and uphold the law which just didn't happen in this case. Whilst I agree that the kid could well have been due a nicking it's the coppers behaviour that is most worrying, he is inflaming a situation in order to get another arrest towards his target and his behaviour is symptamatic of the corruption and inefficiency that occurs to a very high level within the UK's police forces, honest cops would not allow this sort of behavior from the police to occur. Just watch any of the police "fly on the wall " documentaries on UK television to see members of the police provoke situations to get an arrest or turn nasty with the victim because they can't get the aggressor and all this is happening when the police are asking for their paper work to be reduced. It was exactly this type of policing that cause the creation of the Police & Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) and even that is failing now. No doubt this comment will result in cries of anguish from the coppers who read El Reg but to those coppers I would say look at what happened and ask yourself honestly have you ever seen a colleague create a situation like this and then cover his back for him or even done this yourself, if the answers yes then don't post a reply unless you are prepared admit to provoking someone to enable you to nick them, that's not policing it's vigilanteeism and taking the law into your own hands, and as ACPO and the courts often state no one can take the law into their own hands.

    Of course I'll accompany you to the station officer, I'll just get my coat.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    > what's the betting that the scrote is now a hero to his *homies* cos the copper right, he don' show him no respeck, innit?

    Then they're right. I think too many coppers have ceased to respect civilians. Which is stupid, considering that civilians pay coppers via taxes. This one, secure in his uniform and protected position, tried to push a civilian around. Literally.


    I hope we'll see more of this.

  51. Peter Leech Silver badge

    Re: Essex youth's cop headbutt heads for YouTube

    Er. Guys, if you look at the video then there is already one person being restrained by an officer. This strongly suggests that it was already violent before hand.

    The guy had two warnings on the video to back off, he kept approached the police officer to a dangerously close level where he could have grabbed equipment from the officers belt. The officer kept moving back to keep him at a manageable distance. Left with no option he pushed him back with appropriate force causing no injury. He maintained a sensible distance and tried talking to him and got headbutted. Following that he promptly took the guy down, and presumably arrested him after the video ended. The guy really had that coming, assaulting anybody is stupid, a police officer more so.

    Seeing as we don't know what happened a couple of minutes before seeing that on camera we can't comment. He used appropriate force to the control the situation we could see on the film.

    Usually people are complaining that the police aren't doing anything about violent youths, not that they are doing their jobs.

  52. Tim J

    Little Hitlers...

    They say an Englishman's home is his castle, well in that case the street is his moat - and he should have every right to patrol it as he wishes.

    The defendant's great-grandfather may well have fought the Nazis, so this modern day freedom fighter is just staging his own war against the little Hitlers in uniform that prance around infringing ancient English rights laid down under the Magna Carta.

    What is this country coming to when a man cannot defend himself against the over burgeoned powers wielded by self-appointed Sheriffs. What ever happened to our ancient freedoms.

    Let us rise up and cast down this tyranny which so oppresses us.

    I shall start a defence fund for this brave gentleman, in the name of England and all that is good about Englishness we must all contribute.

  53. StopthePropaganda

    love the anti-police mentality-why was the video removed?

    obviously Mr. Grundy already has a hatred for LEO's and it wouldn't matter what an officer did or a crook did, the LEO would be "guilty" (anyone who *ever* uses the term "pig" to describe a law enforcement officer shows the same prejudice as someone using the term n*gger to describe any african american-that any "tolerance" they ever show is a public display only and not indicative of their real beliefs). Same attitude as the anti Americans that post here.

    I bet Mr. Grundy (wasn't he the really dumb Legion of Doom "supervillian"?) would be the first and loudest to kvetch should an officer *not* push aside a suspect that was inconveniencing his personal Grundy-space.

    Now where are the anarchos' cries of "censorship!"? Whenever there's a staged and heavily edited video showing apparent police abuse, it's up and mirrored and referenced for years-even if it's proven to be faked or an edited lie. Now there's a video that might possibly get a few folks out of their media-programmed hatred for cops (by showing them exactly *why* cops NEED an agressive attitude to do their jobs!) then suddenly it's removed?

    THAT, my compatriots, is true censorship, REAL information/mind control. By removing things to unbalance the information the public receives. And doing so in a manner that no one dares question...or does it so skillfully and so in-line with public prejudices that no one notices...

    That sort of thing is why slavery went unquestioned for decades in America, why democracy didn't exist in a meaningful way in Europe until just over a century ago, and why the Inquisition nearly burned innovation from Western history-because no one was told anything that they didn't already "believe" so they didn't get upset in large enough numbers to revolt against the established elite.

    This time, the elite wants disorder for the peons, keep them occupied with surviving in their own streets. Keep them hating their neighbors and their families and their own culture. Force them to "love" their enemies...then when society is destroyed from within, the establishment of even the worst dictatorial order is welcomed. Worked pretty well in Germany after WWI as history recalls, and ushered in the most fearsome and dangerous regime the world had seen before or since.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As I haven’t seen the clip, I can’t comment on what led to the incident. But I doubt if those that did watch it would that much wiser. You would need to know what led up to the confrontation: Was the cop called to an incident and if so what? Had it been going on for some time prior to the filming? Had unseen violence against the officer or another already taken place? Was the youth previously known to the officer and if so what for? Violence? What was said between them? The video footage is only part of the evidence and, as always, there is too little information here in which to make an informed judgement.

    In English law an assault is a threatened or attempted physical attack by someone who appears to be able to cause bodily harm if not stopped. The battery takes place when the assault becomes physical and contact is made.

    NB: the mere THREAT of violence can constitute an assault and IF this had already taken place the officer would have every right to defend himself, especially if he had already had dealings with the guy and had a fair idea what to expect.

    What I do know is if you put 10 different officers into an identical scenario, you will see 10 different ways of dealing with it according to age, sex, temperament, experience, ability etc. Gee, human qualities!

    Yes, I have suffered unfortunate experiences at the hands of the police; in fact I have arrested more than one of them – that’s because I am a Police Officer - of some considerable experience at that. They may only be in minority but I have no qualms at nicking bad guys regardless of any uniform worn.

    Finally, I have been an aggrieved in crime more than anyone I’ve ever met – because of my job. I’ve suffered one attempted murder, 3 woundings, 6 GBH’s, more ABH/Common Assaults than I’ve bothered to count. My Wife has been attacked twice (had a note pinned to our door saying “Your bitch loses the kid next week” – she was 8.5 months pregnant at the time), even my 4 year old son had his legs kicked out from under him we I past a team of profession shoplifters who recognised me!

    I’ve had multiple attacks on my cars and homes (had to move because of it). During one smash and grab by 50+ looters they tried to cut my hands off with shards of plate glass! I was once trying to give 1st aid at a town centre road accident some passing guys I’d previously done for burglary ran up and started kicking me whilst attempting CP! I could go on but you get the picture – the point is I don’t get paid enough to get hurt and now become VERY defensive if I even sense an element of menace – this is the real world I’m afraid.

    Footnote: I’ve been armed these last few years and do you know what? Never had so much as a scratch (on duty!) and I’ve taken down some seriously bad people in this role! Make from this what you will.

  55. Anonymous Coward


    Just watched that video clip without the sound - don't ask. :o)

    Not entirely convinced the copper handled that well; there's a bit of a difference between pushing someone away for being "too close"; and bitch slapping them in the face - certainly makes you question a few things... grounds for provocation maybe?

    Before I get flamed to hell and back.... I'm not picking sides with the Chav; obviously he and his little pi*sant mates were upto no good in the first place to attract the coppers attention so he deserves whatever gets thrown at him.

  56. Anonymous Coward

    If police can't respect the public, they should fear them.

    Simply put I was harassed and assaulted by police in my home town over 7 years of my life . All it took to begin it all was having tanned skin and waiting for a friend by their car in front of a apartment building only to be harassed , and shoved while being told by a middle aged white male police officer that he didn't like people with my skin colour being in that specific neighborhood.

    It was a town where the police would find someone that was simply different and harass and assault them for years. Filing absurd charges for things that never occurred and filing many of them instead of 1 so the odds of the person being intimidated into pleading guilty for some of them would increase. Often leaving the person on probation and leaving them with less freedom to be toyed with when they wanted.

    Some things are never needed. Like being dragged more than 50 feet by the chain in between a pair of handcuffs causing permanent nerve damage in both wrists. Binding someone's legs and wrists and pepper spraying them when they're already restrained. Being 14 and witnessing someone covered in their own blood running in fear in the front of your sisters apartment building and out the back onto the roof while being chased by 4 police officers only to see them being beaten with clubs, kicked and stomped on on a steel fire escape. That's a image you can't erase from someones mind. The person running actually hadn't done anything wrong , he just happened to be the black son of a black doctor. His younger brother was tormented by the police as well and eventually committed suicide. He was unable to attend his brothers funeral as the police had contacted him and warned him not to come into town to attend it.

    My point is police need to show respect for those that they're there to protect. They need to show compassion, tolerance and understanding. I feel that there needs to be a fundamental change to when police are allowed to resort to force. That force should only be used to restrain, only used when there is immediate danger to someones life or safety. No pushing, no prodding, no scare tactics, intimidation or cornering of suspects by multiple officers. The assumption is generally that someone is innocent until proven guilty, not that they need to be punished directly by the officer prior to the chance at any sort of defense .

    If police can't show respect to those that they're there to make society a better place for and remember they're there to make it a better place for everyone and protect even their suspects from harm. Then they need to be given reason to fear those that they would torment. This doesn't apply to all police, some are fair people that genuinely do a good job at protecting the rights of all without resorting to force unless immediate danger. Some simply restrain instead of beat a suspect and treat the suspects with some measure of dignity and respect.

    Those that can't treat everyone with dignity and respect, can't restrain themselves from initiating physical contact not only need to fear, they need to be punished. they need to know the fear and pain of those they would torment. They need to fear real charges and immediate job loss, not a cut in rank and sensitivity training.

    I fear with the culture of authority rather than humility and respect police will never have the respect they feel they deserve and many will continue to suffer at their hands for a long time to come. Should they be punished and many lose their lives, or suffer injury for the deeds they've done I don't think they'll learn. Though the alternative of them never being made to pay in any real way for their actions is a far less desirable prospect.

    If they can't show respect and humility perhaps with enough fear police will reconsider their actions. If they fear being cornered, swarmed, beaten , tazered perhaps they won't be so quick to do the same to others.

    [Excised by Reg moderator.]

  57. Peter Leech Silver badge


    > As I haven’t seen the clip, I can’t comment on what led to the incident. But I doubt if those that did watch it would that much wiser. You would need to know what led up to the confrontation:

    But yeah. I agree totally with what you say.

    On a personal note I do hope you managed to get some of those guys for attempted murder. They deserve it.

    > Footnote: I’ve been armed these last few years and do you know what? Never had so much as a scratch (on duty!) and I’ve taken down some seriously bad people in this role! Make from this what you will.

    That people probably don't want to be shot. :) I take it thats on a firearms squad rather than just being issued a taser?

  58. Andy Barber

    My son

    I'd just put the phone down on my son, who said he had just finished his Community Service, for head butting a copper.

  59. Mark

    Re: A coppers perspective

    Take a look at the vid.

    The kid is told to back off, and the kid walks away. The policeman walked up to him, then the kid walks back to the police officer. The officer then pushes the kid in the head and wakls bck up to the kid. The kid nuts him.

    If the policeman wanted to keep his personal space, he should not have walked back to the kid.

    The kid nutting the officer is wrong because being pushed in the face doesn't warrant a headbut.

    The officer is wrong to walk back to the kid two or three times to face up to the kid. He was wrong in his approach ("back off" isn't as bad as "don't touch me" for starting a fight, but it's still an inducement to show that you won't back off because you aren't afraid).

    So the officer was, IMO, responsible for the headbut and his actions show that he is not sufficiently trained in police action and so needs retraining and being busted back to constable. If he's involved in another such situation, sack him for incompetence.

    Police officers are there to keep the peace. Not make it worse.

  60. Derek Hellam
    Thumb Up


    I think you better read Magna Carta, It guarantees the rights of the barons, and has very little in it to protect the common yeoman/serf/commoner. That is why we don't really have a constitution or bill of right, the closest it came was during Oliver Cromwell's term, Long Live the Republic of Great Britain!

    I for one welcome police violence on chav's!

    When I was young, you where lucky to have a phone, a mobile phone of the stuff of sc-fi movies, star trek etc.

  61. Colin
    Thumb Down

    Re: @ Solomon Gumby (intentional misspelling) & anon friend

    You wrote;

    "It's different however for somebody like a store security guard is not allowed to restrain you (atleast up till a couple of years ago) on suspicion of shoplifting, they can however obstruct any exit until the police turn up."


    It's called a citizens arrest, ever hear of it? In the UK (England and Wales anyway, Scotland might be different) the right to make a citizen’s arrest comes under section 3(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1967 which says:

    "A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders or of persons unlawfully at large."

    I think that has "suspicion of shoplifting" covered pretty well.

    You wrote;

    However should a store security person grab you and you had knowledge of Akido you would (technically) be entitled to release yourself (and damage him/her in the process) as you had been assulted as you where defending yourself.

    Wrong again.

    if you are commiting a criminal act or are suspected to have commited one or are suspected of being about to commit a criminal act, then the citizens arrest laws allow for reasonable force to be used against you to effect an arrest.

    If you use force to prevent a lawful arrest, then the person arresting you is entitled to increase the level of force necessary to effect the arrest, proportionatly based on what you are doing to prevent them arresting you.

    In relation to the use of force. The Criminal Justice Act 1967, says that a person "may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances"

    Admitedly this is quite hard to quantify for each and every possible eventuality, but the Authorities in the UK at least, tend to find in favour of the person conducting the arrest, so long as the arrest itself was lawful and the force used was kept to a minimum.

    (Sarcasm Alert)

    If you don't believe it go down to your local shopping centre and get yourself knicked for shoplifting, try to resist using violence and see what happens to you.

    (Obviously I am not actually advocating anyone try this).

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Coppers Perspective MkII

    1. @ AC – If the Police can’t respect the public.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems to me that you’re writing from the States? I say this because I have 3 American 2nd cousins, one a rural Sheriff, his brother a rtd. Navy Seal and the other a former Navy pilot – and our opinions are invariably poles apart; there are evidently huge cultural differences in Policing and, put simply, they just can’t comprehend or accept much of how we work in the UK; in particular the levels of personal violence that we (in practice) have to tolerate.

    If the events truly played out as you described, then the ‘officer’s’ involved are beneath contempt - such behaviour is beyond my comprehension. In a ‘civilised’ society it should be the duty of the strong to protect the weak, not to oppress them, which is precisely why I, and most others, joined in the first place. And this is precisely why I, and most like me, have no hesitation rooting out any bad ones amongst us.

    I, of course, completely agree with your sentiments, what right minded individual wouldn’t. But sadly, the real problem is that prejudice cuts all ways and, sadly, so many people seem to believe that one sort actually justifies another without any sense of irony whatsoever. For very good reasons I have more sympathy for your stated experiences than you might expect or even want to believe, BUT:

    Nothing I have, or will say, will give you any meaningful indication as to my sexual orientation, ethnicity or colour, education, political beliefs, religious persuasion, gullibility or susceptibility to peer pressure - and yet most people have and will pre-judge me in certain of those regards based solely upon my occupation – several of the above comments make that abundantly clear – What I will say is that I am most definitely NOT your stereotypical white anglo-saxon protestant male hetro-sexual – far from it - but what I am is entirely my business and utterly irrelevant to anything I say and do as a copper!

    2. @ Peter Leech

    Thanks for the link – having now seen the clip my original comments still stand only now it is clear to me that at least one unobserved incident has already taken place, evidenced by the nicked bloke under the other officer who was a) calling on his radio and b) seemingly more interested in what his colleague was doing than his own prisoner – and as a general rule, passive prisoners seldom end up pinned to the floor - but we’re still none the wiser as to any previous build-up, assault or provocation – the existence of which sets up the entire context of the clip.

    I certainly couldn’t hear what the head butter said to the sergeant immediately before his reaction. Supposition I know, but I’m afraid the body language is such that the head butter appears no stranger to police attention. I, like most cops, am more than a little familiar with such confrontations, in particular those, oh so tedious, nose-to-nose, dare-you-to-touch-me scenarios that frequently follows fights and disorder. He didn’t seem remotely intimidated and actually looks first at his audience, smile and pause before the head butt which, in my estimation, is self-evidently disproportionate. But what do I know? Like you I wasn’t there and am not in possession of all the facts.

    >On a personal note I do hope you managed to get some of those guys for attempted murder. They deserve it.

    Me? I very much doubt I’d be able to respond to such a face butting as calmly as that officer; as previously mentioned, I’ve been grievously hurt too many times (curiously, being shot at is so much more impersonal) I now take great exception to being hurt especially having experienced so many ostensibly straight forwards cases being:

    a) dropped by CPS for lack of independent corroboration

    b) plea-bargained away pre-trial without ever consulting me

    c) Not Guilty findings resulting from the introduction of dishonest and outrageously ‘unreasonable doubts’, false alibis and conspiratorial defence witnesses.

    d) receiving such derisory sentences that offenders subsequently laugh in your face – and on one occasion prompting the just convicted moron to attempt an unprovoked attack in the court car park - in the presence of the magistrates!

    Not to mention all those occasions where an arrest was either impossible or impracticable and the offender remaining unknown – such as the case of my attempted murderer and the looters that tried to remove my hands – incidentally, I got into hot water for not even attempting an arrest. Can someone explain to me how mass looting is my fault?

    >That people probably don't want to be shot. :) I take it thats on a firearms squad rather than just being issued a taser?

    Yes, now on a dedicated firearms unit, in my Force only armed officer’s carry tazer. But you would be surprised at the number of ‘serious villains’ who, on being faced by armed police either, walk towards you shouting words to the effect of “do it if you’ve got the balls!” or merely turn their backs laughing and try to walk away. The assumption being that British police shoot so rarely there’s little chance they’ll ever get hurt, which in truth is quite true.

    In closing, what I really didn’t anticipate, all those years ago, was the sheer personal cost and cumulative damage that ‘doing the right thing’ would involve; but hey, why should I be happy?

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    With due respect to the very decent people I know who live in that area, enough said.

    And surely most cops in the district must have almost daily experience teaching them how to handle this sort of stuff?

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually I'm in Canada

    @AC (Coppers Perspective MKII)

    I'm writing from Canada the lovely tolerant country that it is. The review process here for complaints against police conduct could be considered little more than a joke. At least with the police force in question for the incidents i gave reference too the complaint process was handles entirely internally. No third party or impartial investigator handling and investigating the complaints.

    The town in question where these things occurred and still do occur regularly is St. Thomas, Ontario. A town I've since left and never regretted leaving. If you can believe it I was once charged with assault for spilling a cup of coffee. It took over a year and a half to get the charges thrown out with near daily harassment during that period.

    Random information about the town. Per capita it has more police officers than a neighboring city almost 10x the size. There was once a string of incidents in which police officers would take turns dressing up in a novelty bunny costume and going into the holding cells to beat one person they liked to toy with being held just for their own amusement. It took years of this abuse before the person affected didn't sound like a madman when he was before a judge trying to convince them of what he'd gone through. Eventually the judge made the police turn over the tapes from the camera's aimed at the cells only to find the person had been telling the truth for the past 3-4 years that it had been happening to him.

    When penalties for offending officers are non existent or a joke in comparison to the hell they can put their victims through. A position of authority shouldn't mean that a victim has no right to physically defend themselves.

    In such a flawed system those that lack the respect for the public and the composure to do their job fairly and respectfully should be subject to some form of punishment by or on the behalf of those that they would torment.

    I agree the conduct of the officers in question is beneath contempt.

    I don't think our views are that far apart. The actions of the police in that specific town are beneath contempt . With a failure of a internal review process in place I do think there is some need for civilian action to ensure fair reasonable treatment by the police.

  65. Gordon

    Do what??

    No, it most certaInly isn't illegal for a copper to shove someone. If the copper has asked said person to move on and been subjected to foul-mouthed abuse and refusal, then they are actually allowed to give the little sods a shove in the general direction to make the point quite emphatically. Battoning them to the floor then giving them a shoeing would be excessive. A gentle shove to show them they *really* mean it and are not afraid of them isn't unreasonable.

    I wonder what kind of friendshop this lad is going to have with the Cameraman now? Come to think of it, why is it assault, and not assaulting a police officer?

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So you are saying thay anybody who feel like it can grab a member of the public, becasue they claim that I am a thief or worse (I hate the phrases shoplifter & joy rider)

    I am not allowed to release myself from the grip from any self appointed person ?

    If some (delusional) stranger grabs me and starts pushing me about am I going to stand there and let him/her do whatever they want ?

    Yeah right, I am going to put some form of restraint on him for my own defence (as the person in question has obvoiusly not been taking their meds or real thieves scare them too much). I will then start shouting for the cops, if he gets damaged in the process through getting more violent then thats his / her choice, as it's best not to struggle against such holds.

    Not being a chav I wouldn't start pounding him into the pavement, but I will not stand there and have some idiot physically abusing me. As I haven't stolen anything he has no reason to carry out a citizens arrest

    Or perhaps it's fine to simply accuse accuse me of anything they want, and then to knock me to the ground, or push me down the stairs (I saw a security guy do that in a Virgin store one day)

    The reason I mentioned Akido is becasue it is defensive and totally useless to initiate attack, and is the response is controlled. Striking people is incredibly unpredictable and can often lead to death or permant injury (one of the reasond it is frowned upon in society)

    Mr Gumby : whats a side chop ? is that like a judo chop (to quote A. Powers) or a pork chop. Hmmm I smell Troll, but on which side of the debate ?

    The cop could have delt with it better, but if somebody pokes me should I be able to kill their wife and children too.

  67. Rich C

    Second assault?

    Watch the clip. Near the start it shows a second kid being restrained on the ground by a policeman who has blood on his face and nose. It looks like someone has just punched the policeman in the face. In which case the policeman shoving the kid to make him keep his distance while he talks to him seems perfectly reasonable.

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