Six members of London’s metropolitan police force are the focus of a criminal investigation after a corruption probe revealed allegations by a serving officer that detectives waterboarded suspects allegedly caught with a “large amount” of marijuana.
“The officers under investigation were among 10 based in Enfield, north London, who were suspended in February in one of the worst allegations of corruption to hit the Metropolitan police in recent years,” reported The Telegraph.
“The part of the inquiry focusing on alleged police brutality has been taken over by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC),” reported the Times Online. “It is examining the conduct of six officers connected to drug raids in November in which four men and a woman were arrested in Enfield and Tottenham.
The British publication added: “Police said they found a large amount of cannabis and the suspects were charged with importation of a class C drug. The case was abandoned four months later when the Crown Prosecution Service said ‘it would not have been in the public interest to proceed.’ It is understood that the trial, by revealing the torture claims, would have compromised the criminal investigation into the six officers.”
“The officers, who include a detective sergeant, were originally suspended over allegations they stole property during the drugs raids,” noted Sky News. “The officers are members of the Enfield crime squad based at Edmonton police station.”
“[British] papers gave varying accounts of the exact technique used by police, with the Times saying that officers poured water on a cloth and placed it over a suspect’s face to simulate the experience of drowning,” reported the Associated Press. “The Daily Mail said police officers repeatedly dunked the suspects’ heads in buckets of water. The reason for the discrepancy was not immediately clear.”
“The [metro police]Directorate of Professional Standards received information from an MPS employee which raised concerns about the conduct of a small number of officers on Enfield borough,” a police spokesman told The Telegraph. “The Met’s DPS then initiated a thorough investigation and as part of this made a referral to the IPCC in April 2009.
“The IPCC is independently investigating the actions of six officers during the arrests of five people in November 2008. ”
“Any allegations of such behavior are treated very seriously … and if found true the strongest possible action will be taken,” Scotland Yard told the AP in an e-mail.
– Article from the Raw Story on June 9, 2009.