Cardiff Police intelligence failure

Cardiff Police’s heavy-handed approach to a suspected terrorist, seems to indicate a concerning lack of expertise. While the government has suggested we all could be involved in anti-terrorist activity, being strip-searched down to your underpants in the road probably wasn’t what we were expecting:

Mr Frederick, who has lived in the city for 35 years and is originally from St Kitts in the West Indies, said: “This was a really terrifying experience. I can only think that the police received a malicious call suggesting there was some kind of a bomb factory in the recording studio in Grangetown I use with my band, the Cougars.

“I’d had a sense that I was under surveillance three days before I was arrested. On the Saturday, I drove up to Radyr to do a workshop and I was aware of a car following me.

“Then there was a strange incident where on the Sunday one of the other guys who uses the studio thought there had been a break-in, but found a note from the police saying they had been in the building.

“I was stopped by armed police officers as I was very close to my home. They had automatic weapons and were very jumpy. I was worried they were going to shoot. I didn’t know what was happening – they just grabbed me and strip-searched me in the street. They told me I was being arrested on suspicion of making explosives and took me off to Rumney Police Station, where they held me.

“Later, when I was being questioned, I was told they had found nothing and they would be letting me go.”

Ms Heath, 49, who works as a youth and community worker in Cardiff, said: “I heard a key in the front door our home and thought it was Victor returning. But he didn’t come in. I then heard some scuffling sound and shouting. When I opened the door there were four police officers armed with machine guns which had infra-red sights. The whole street had been cordoned off. I could see Victor in his underpants outside with police training guns on him. Other officers trained guns on me. I was told I would be shot if I moved. It was absolutely terrifying.

Improvements in training appear necessary, but the case also underlines the importance of ensuring Police have the necessary intelligence tools to investigate suspicions so seemingly panicked over reactions like this can be avoided.