Five Reasons to Ring NMP : Countdown to the Olympics

As we enter the five day countdown before the Olympics begin here in Newham, NMP will be publishing anonymised examples of cases we have supported via our Emergency Helpline everyday. It is cases like these that show how our staff and dedicated volunteer base are able to make a difference in our community through providing 24 hour freephone emergency casework support around race hate crime and civil injustice issues. This is why we are saying if you need advice, ring us this summer.

Case 1: Mr A was approached on the street by police officers who carried out a ‘stop and account’. The police then informed him that he was in a dispersal order zone and was required to leave. Mr A, who lived locally, continued on his journey home but was approached again by police officers and arrested for “contravening a dispersal order”. He contacted NMP’s Emergency Service for support. We were immediately able to find him a solicitor who provided legal representation at the magistrates’ court and as a result, he was acquitted.

Case 2: Ms B was stopped and searched by police officers and then subjected to an immigration check. The police said they were not satisfied by her valid documents and arrested her. Ms B was then detained in custody and later released without charge, after having her finger-prints and DNA swab taken. She contacted NMP requesting support, particularly to ensure that the finger-prints and DNA swab samples were destroyed. NMP sought legal advice and Ms B was able to successfully challenge the retention of these samples.

Case 3: Mr C was arrested in Stratford late at night whilst out with his friends. The friends asked the police which station he would be taken to but did not get an answer. A friend of his rang our Emergency Service asking for help in locating him. The NMP helpline volunteer rang every custody suite in the area until they tracked him down. The volunteer was able to speak to the arrested man to check on his welfare and arrange a solicitor for him. The volunteer kept in contact with the friend overnight and called custody back every few hours to check on progress on questioning and releasing him. Mr C thanked NMP upon his release (no charges) for ensuring he wasn’t isolated and for keeping his friends informed.

Case 4: Mr D, a young Bangladeshi man, approached NMP for support because he was frequently being stopped by the police and felt he was suffering racial discrimination – during the summer, when he was in the park, he was stopped almost daily. He called the Emergency Service from the park one evening to say he could see two police officers nearby, who he thought would approach him any moment. NMP stayed on the phone with him and shortly after the officers approached him. Mr D asked the police to explain why they were stopping him to the helpline adviser, which they did. NMP was able to inform Mr D of his rights, make a note of the officers badge numbers and hear how the stop was conducted. The officers left shortly after without incident and Mr D was able to continue enjoying his time in the park. NMP successfully assisted him to pursue his longer term racial discrimination claims against the police at a later date.

Case 5: This one, we believe, speaks for itself. NMP supported this brave young man, who alleged racial abuse in the back of police van, to make his case public after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) refused to prosecute. Following public outcry and a reviewal of the case, the CPS reversed their decision.

In the two months after this a wave of cases came forward totalling 51 allegations of racism by police officers. This has now sparked a series of reviews, a number of suspensions and has resulted in senior police officers and politicians publicly renouncing racism and promising to do more to eradicate it within the force. We wait to see if anything changes, but certainly it is an example of the strength of those at a grassroots community level to have their voice heard by those in power.

If you need support – call us!