IPCC to examine West Midlands Police investigation into racial assault

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is to manage an investigation into the actions of West Midlands officers following an
incident at a retail park in Birmingham.

In March 2006 there was an assault on an Asian male store manager at the retail park by a white male customer. Police were called to the scene and the customer was arrested. The victim received treatment for minor injuries. He was subsequently unable to work as a result of the trauma for a prolonged period.

The victim of this attack has subsequently complained about the actions of West Midlands officers and the way in which this incident was investigated. His and other eyewitness accounts allege that following the assault the assailant made racially abusive comments about him.

Subsequently, the police cautioned the man and he was then released from custody despite the alleged racial aggravation of the assault.

This matter has now been referred to the IPCC and Commissioner John Crawley has confirmed that a managed investigation will be undertaken. This will be led by IPCC Investigator Greg Reilly assisted by officers from West Midlands Police Professional Standards Department.

Mr Crawley said: “The assault on this victim is troubling and understandably this has had a deeply traumatic impact on his life subsequently. Whilst the police response to the initial incident was a prompt one, the manner and speed at which the police disposed of this matter raises serious questions, especially if there was evidence of racial aggravation and it was not properly considered in accordance with the law. We will be seeking to establish the facts of this incident and what actions were taken by officers during the course of this investigation.

“In the meantime I would like to express my personal sympathy for the frightening experience the victim has suffered from as a result of simply doing his job “

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