RACIALLY AGGRAVATED ASSAULT (2)
Updated: Mar 12, 2019
The crime featuring in this post is just an example of the lengths that Hampshire police will go to protect their reputations, in this case arresting a victim of race crime.
What did they do or not do?
This racially aggravated assault is another case where the approach towards both the victim and I was equally bad and negligent.
My wife was the owner of a restaurant and employed several Eastern European staff.
A chef from Lithuania was attacked by a group of youths and beaten with a baseball bat.
At the time he was walking home with his partner and another female who were both waitresses. It was a particularly nasty unprovoked attack by a gang of youths shouting racist abuse whilst arming themselves with weapons.
The police arrived at the time and the victim was taken to hospital where he received treatment including a number of several stitches.
The suspects were spoken to at the time and I was informed by Sgt Armitage that two of the suspects were in breach of anti-social behaviour orders at the time however; no action appeared to have been taken.
An officer arrived the next day and the two waitresses pointed out an address where the youths were seen to come out of a house with weapons.
This enquiry could have been conducted at the time of the incident. The victim and the two waitresses also made written statements to the police.
Approximately a month went by without the victim being updated or contacted at all by the police.
I was in a difficult situation as the victim as the victim was asking me was happening with the case. It was also apparent to me that the victim was not receiving the basic level of service, let alone the enhanced level of service required for race crimes.
I had not looked at the crime report and sent an internal e-mail to Chief Inspector Hutson from my own police division asking that the victim be updated, at that time I was then a Detective Sergeant in Southampton.
I received a reply that Superintendent Stephanie Morgan had been contacted and that the victim would be updated.
I had raised a grievance having been again victimised by management for simply trying to rectify matters.
The victim was not updated, the victim was concerned regarding what was happening as he still had to work in the area and was concerned regarding the safety of his girlfriend who was a witness and now also pregnant.
Having had no response I checked the crime report and ascertained that there had been no messages regarding my requests for the victim to be updated and that there had been an appalling level of service to the victim. the Victim's charter and Witness charter had been ignored along with failing to adhere to the manual for investigating hate crime.
There was also an entry from Sgt Cocks corroborating some of my concerns and mentioning in the final paragraph that if the case was not managed properly it was likely that the ‘job’ could be lost.
The victim was subsequently contacted and asked to attend Cowes Police Station, this was his first contact with police some 58 days after he was attacked.
My wife and I attended with him to help with any translation issues and to support him, we wrongly assumed that he was going to be given an apology and updated.
What we were not told was that Sgt Armitage wanted to interview the victim under caution as a suspect, apparently the youths with the ASBOs when the police eventually caught up with alleged that the victim had started altercation which was unlikley and witness statements showed that this was simply made up by the youths when the police eventually caught up with them.
He also stated that there were still other suspects to be arrested and that this interview was the final piece of information to be provided for a CPS advice file which had already been prepared.
At that stage, I reminded the sergeant that an identification procedure had not been carried out and the CPS would likely return the file for that purpose.
Sgt Armitage also agreed that the victim needed an official interpreter for the interview and that one was not available at present.
It could be argued that Mr Vicas should have had an official interpreter when making his initial statement to the police which took five hours.
I explained our concerns regarding this course of action particularly, that the victim was now being treated as a suspect and, he had not been updated since the incident.
Sgt Armitage also agreed that he felt there was no requirement for the victim to be interviewed but he was acting on orders. He stated that he had been present on the night of the incident and had arrested one of the suspects and street bailed the suspect at the time.
I understand that the suspect provided false details to police; I was informed that two of the suspects were also in breach of anti-social behaviour orders at the time.
I asked Sgt Armitage to make contact with Ch Insp Hutson from my own division and pass my concerns up the chain. The approach adopted by the force would only compound any sense of grievance by the victim who is of good character.
I subsequently received a call from Inspector Evans from Cowes police station who informed me that victim could be interviewed under caution voluntarily or be arrested where he would then be allowed to have free legal advice.
I believed that the approach adopted by the police was to cover up a failure in the investigation from beginning to end and pass the buck for any decision making to the CPS.
It was important that these issues were addressed because the Isle of Wight police have a history of failing to deal appropriately with race crime.
The HMIC had previously conducted an inspection of the Isle of Wight police division and commented that the Chief Inspector had only looked at 5 out of 13 race crimes that had been dip sampled.
It appears that there was also a failure to supervise this crime and block my access to the crime report.
Some of the youths were dealt with for public order matters and the victim subsequently withdrew his support for a prosecution regarding the assault against him
Due to the background to the case, he developed a lack of confidence in the police being able to protect his family including his fiancée who was now pregnant.
As per usual, no officers were dealt with for any disciplinary matters except me and I received a further discipline notice for checking the crime report.
When this incident was highlighted in a report to the the then ACC Simon Cole which contained several other serious matters , the first response that I got to my report was being arrested at my home address 4 months later as a result of a malicious PSD operation codenamed "Companionway".