Print

So the Metropolitan Police Commissioner thinks it's too easy to sue the police, and wants to make it harder.  Try telling that to Cliff Augur.

On Saturday 5th January 2008, Cliff went to watch Chelsea play football, as he has done most Saturdays for 40 years.  He had with him his two teenage sons and two of their friends. 

 

After the match, as they walked towards his car, his son’s 15-year-old friend went into a pub to use the toilet.  Waiting outside, Cliff heard some shouting – and suddenly the area was full of police, with dogs, who within seconds formed a cordon round the pub, preventing anyone from entering or leaving.  Cliff phoned Charlie, who said the police would not let him out, and Cliff politely appealed to the police.

 

 “I told them that he was a 15 year old boy for whom I was responsible” says Cliff, but he was curtly rebuffed, and the police started pushing people.  “I was knocked into my younger son John.  The dog handler allowed the dog sufficient rein so that it could get at my other son James.  I saw the dog sink his teeth into James’s lower leg.  It was obvious from his expression that he was in a lot of pain.  I shouted to the police ‘that’s my son, let him go.’” 

 

 

 

 

Cliff also kicked out at the dog. He thinks he failed to connect, and if he did connect, it was a glancing blow.  The dog released James and turned on Cliff, sinking its teeth into his leg.  Cliff fell to the floor.  “I remember seeing the dog in my face.  I held onto the dog by the scruff of the neck. I was horrified and frightened.  I thought that if I hung onto the dog I could stop it from doing some serious damage to me.”

 

The dog was pulled away, and two or three policemen replaced it.  “I was on the floor with them holding me down.  I was unable to move.  I felt a tremendous kick to my right side underneath my armpit.   I knew at that moment that something bad had been done to me.  I was gasping for breath.  I really thought I was going to die.  A few seconds later I felt someone standing on my back holding me down with their foot. 

 

 

 

“They were still holding me down but by now they had got my hands out and they had cuffed me.  I managed to look over to my right and I saw two policeman holding James on the floor.  He was shouting ‘help me dad, help me’.  At that moment a policeman came over and punched him in the face whilst he was being held down on the floor.  I saw that clearly, that will live with me forever.  He may have been wriggling but he is the same size as me and he could not have got away.  It really upset me that I could not help my son.  I was then hauled onto my feet.  I could hardly talk, I was gasping for air.”  

 

Cliff was in dreadful pain throughout the long period he spent in the police station, but was given no treatment apart from a painkiller. At last, when fingerprints, photographs and other formalities had been completed, an ambulance was sent for. Cliff and his son were taken to Charing Cross Hospital where he was found to have four broken ribs and a punctured lung.

 

 

         

The Independent Police Complaints Commission initiated an investigation, and then passed its file to the Crown Prosecution Service for action.  The CPS did not prosecute the police officer named by Mr Augur because, according to IPCC commissioner Nicholas Long,  “the investigation could not identify conclusively the officer concerned.”

So the uniformed thug who kicked Mr Augur's chest in is still patrolling the streets of my city, and no one in the police is helpiugn the IPCC or the courts to bring him to book.