Bristol Copwatch statement on the armed police and home raid
On the evening of the 2nd of May in St Pauls armed police descended on the home of one of our new core team members following a bogus phone call they received around 8 pm the police told press contacts was from a man in his twenties that a woman fitting her description had been seen on Argyle road hitting a car with a traffic cone and had then threatened to shoot someone.
She apparently had been holding what looked like a gun and had blonde hair, a black beanie hat on, and a black rucksack. The bogus caller claimed the gun was put into the rucksack.
What’s interesting to note at this point is that our team member and friend to all of us is older than the alleged suspect it seems never existed and the only matching description was of blonde hair. She also doesn’t own a beanie hat.
We also note with interest the media silence from Avon and Somerset Police on the raid and can only assume that’s because not only the report they received was bogus and solely malicious but that the firearms team that responded appeared to have been directed around the house and were even given a key to the back gate.
What’s also interesting to note at this point is that none of the residents of Argyle Road or in St Pauls knew of the incident that was reported to the police that triggered the armed response. What we have heard however, is that the community was more than aware of the police converging on an innocent woman’s home, in fact, the car park on her street (Argyle Road is a few roads away from where she lives )was apparently full of their vehicles.
Around thirteen armed police officers raided our team member’s home in a botched response that left her angry and traumatised. “In comparison to previous encounters” we have been told the commander of the so-called police operation was “actually ok”. Bristol Copwatch has also been told that police made assurances of not making an arrest and then did, followed by a subsequent de-arrest when to no surprise to any of us no gun was found.
It’s important at this stage to note that the police took a black hat from the address that in no way at all resembled a beanie and the description that fitted was changed when officers found two dresses that had not been worn for years.
“They took two dresses, a hat, and a sling bag.”
We are interested to understand where exactly the intelligence that prompted the armed response came from. Speaking broadly specialist armed police units are police who have historically gotten away with murder unchallenged. We cannot imagine anything more terrifying than armed police raiding a home acting on false and misleading information.
“They said I mustn’t make sudden movements after they were in the flat. They threatened to take the door off. I don’t know how many there were as some were outside the back door.”
A young and insecure cop succeeded to frighten our friend and team member and we note with concern that the police after no weapon was found and a de-arrest was made refused to give names, ranks, and badge numbers.
We’ve also noted with interest that the reference number provided was only four digits long and that the police have already changed the gender of the imaginary victim in the incident that never happened on Argyle Road on the 2nd of May.
Despite telling the press the victim was a man in his twenties, our friend was told by the police the victim was a woman. It’s not the first time we’ve known the police to change their story.
So you may be wondering what Avon and Somerset Police think they are doing. They have chosen to target and put pressure on a vulnerable woman who came to Bristol fleeing domestic abuse in London and who is now a resident of St Pauls who is friends with many people in the black community and this from our point of view, is what the police’s problem is.
“I came to Bristol fleeing domestic abuse in London then being targeted by Avon and Somerset police instead of being treated like the victim I was in reality. I’ve so far been arrested 7 times and taken to the police station without any evidence.“
Avon and Somerset Police are well known for their revenge policing and vendettas that can sometimes span months and even years. The police would like you to think they serve, protect and respect the general public when we know they serve, protect and respect themselves alone.
It’s time we started to take a stand as a community against increased levels of police misconduct in Bristol and Avon and Somerset. The armed police seem to be better at getting it wrong then getting it right.
Armed response in St Anne’s in Bristol has been equally problematic with no real explanation for the use of Armed Response Vehicle patrols given. These are cops that kill. Maybe that’s why they wouldn’t give their badge numbers or names.
Thankfully five badge numbers were recorded despite our friend not being allowed to film in her own home. We’re working in our role as caseworkers and advocates to assist in the pursuit of not just justice but the truth.
If Chief Constable Sarah Crew insists on letting an increasingly out-of-control force exercise extra-judicial punishment tactics on vulnerable women then it speaks volumes about the state of policing today.
We would like to reiterate no gun was found and no arrest was made. Our friend and team member was frightened and was thankfully on the phone with a friend she believes if this had not been the case
“They would have taken me away”
She has said thanks to all of us at Bristol Copwatch for the support she has received. We will always fight the corner of anyone who is put through so much because #WeCopWatch.
When it comes to the police, the divide gets wider and the trust erodes. We feel a public apology should be issued by the Chief Constable’s office for what could have been a fatal error of judgment. It’s clearer than ever that in 2023 they don’t protect us. We don’t think they ever will.