Sunday, 8 May 2011 INDEX

Bad theatre
I live in Lea Bridge Road, one of the most dangerous roads in London. One year we had five murders or sudden deaths, in the road. In 2008/9 there were about 650 homicides in the whole country.

At one this morning I was awoken by a young woman screaming. When I went to the window to look out I saw a woman, or young girl being held down on the pavement by two police officers. She was screaming, over and over again, "I ain't done nothing" in best Dickensian form. If it had been a performance, I'd have said she was a ham and needed to go on an acting course. After a while she screamed "I'll call the police" to which the officer (a woman) who was holding her thighs responded "we are police officers".

While all this was going on a woman was sitting almost motionless close to the scene pointing a mobile phone at them. I took it that she was videoing the proceedings.

The woman on the ground continued to struggle and evidently caused the male officer who was holding her shoulders, some difficulty, because he started to kick her. She then yelled repeatedly "why are you kicking me". The woman continued to video and the police officers did not ask her to stop, so I twigged that she too must be a police officer.

This went on for several minutes and then police cars started to whizz along Lea Bridge Road with sirens blaring. I thought "my goodness, there must be a major incident, perhaps these officers will release this young woman and go to the incident'. Several police cars sped past. But then they came back. Evidently the police don't know how to use their sat navs.

Eventually there were ten police vehicles of various kinds parked outside my house, including one which was the supervision vehicle, suggesting that an officer of some rank was in attendance.

They took the young woman away. No doubt she was charged with assaulting the police or some such offence. Perhaps she will be sent to prison. But Lea Bridge Road is a pretty tough road and it is difficult to see how much damage a young woman can do at 1 a.m. Perhaps she was taking drugs, perhaps she was touting for prostitution. I don't know.

Next time I see a police car speeding down a road, siren blaring, I will not imagine they are headed towards an emergency tea break. I'll think of them converging ten vehicles to gang up on a young woman held prostrate on the pavement.

Posted by Jonathan Brind
Sunday, 8 May 2011 INDEX