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BRADFORD DISTURBANCES - DISCIPLINARY OUTCOME

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The independent Police Complaints Authority has concluded its review of the investigation into allegations of polic...
The independent Police Complaints Authority has concluded its review of the investigation into allegations of police misconduct, made by nine complainants, arising out of the disturbances in Bradford on 9, 10, 11 June 1995.

The decision is that no police officer should be charged with a formal disciplinary offence, although one officer will receive advice and retraining from his divisional commander.

The investigation into the disturbances was voluntarily referred to the PCA for supervision by West Yorkshire Police. Originally there were 19 complainants, of these eight withdrew their complaints and the PCA granted a dispensation from the need to investigate in two cases.

In general the complaints were of unlawful arrest and assault - no serious injuries had been sustained and in only one case would the PCA have supervised the enquiry in the absence of a voluntary referral.

PCA member Caroline Mitchell said: 'The allegations which were made, for instance assault of a young Asian woman and her baby, were very serious and the public concern is understandable. From this and other reported incidents widespread but unjustifiable public disorder resulted. This put all those in the area in fear and caused damage to property and vehicles and injury to members of the public and to police officers.

'It is our conclusion that these allegations were without foundation. The PCA has considerable experience of major public order incidents. We know how perceptions of events can become distorted when a person is caught up in violence and so we have placed particular emphasis on the evidence of independent witnesses and on objective evidence such as medical and forensic reports.

'We have also painstakingly cross-referenced the many witness statements until we are satisfied that a true picture of the situation has emerged.

'With the exception of one officer who wrongly exercised his power of arrest we have found no evidence of wrongdoing by any officer. In particular the medical evidence does not support the various allegations of assault.

'Each complainant has been advised of the authority's decision in their case by letter. They have received a detailed analysis of the evidence and an explanation of how the authority has reached its conclusion.'

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