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Birmingham cop convicted of assault x2

PC Declan Jones has been found guilty of assaulting two members of the public including a boy of 15 he falsely accused of having drugs.

PC Declan Jones, 30, was filmed on CCTV punching and kicking the teenager a day after he also attacked an innocent cyclist while on duty in Birmingham during the first lockdown.

A judge described the West Midlands Police officer’s actions as “embarrassing” and “disastrous” for public relations.

It comes after he and other officers had stopped members of the public for breaching covid laws.

The court heard Jones dragged an innocent cyclist onto a car bonnet and punched him repeatedly on April 20 last year.

The following day went on to kick and punch a teenager he wrongly accused of carrying drugs.

CCTV footage of the attack was played to the court, showing Jones felling the teenager with a roundhouse punch and then aiming a kick as he cowered by a wall.

Prosecutors alleged Jones was annoyed the youth had “broken free” and was running off.

Jones said it was his “honest belief” the teenager had made a downward movement with one of his hands, causing him to fear for his safety, the court heard.

Court

But District Judge Shamim Qureshi, sitting at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, told Jones he used totally unnecessary force against the 15-year-old after he “stood in a surrender pose”.

He added videos of the attacks, in which officers were shown not wearing face masks, were “disastrous” for police relations with the public and “embarrassing” to watch.

The judge told Jones: “It is noteworthy that in all three incidents, not a single officer wears a mask or face covering despite being issued with it by West Midlands Police.

“Nothing turns on this point in this trial, but I have to make the comment that the videos, some of which were released on social media, are disastrous for public relations.

“It is embarrassing for the court to watch police officers selectively enforcing coronavirus laws when it suits them to order people off the streets and to go home, and yet those officers are ignoring the coronavirus laws and operational orders themselves.

“The videos do not show the police in a good light at all.”

Stop and searches in the West Midlands have risen during the coronavirus pandemic – despite people being urged to stay home during lockdown.

Stop and search

New figures show 20,658 searches conducted by West Midlands Police between March – when the first UK shutdown began – and December last year.

Yet that figure was 627 more than the 19,941 recorded in the same period in 2019. 

West Midlands Police has said some of the incidents have involved officers being called out to potential Covid breaches.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show most of the stop and searches last year resulted in no further action being taken, with a total of 1,589 arrests.

There were 11,392 stop and searches conducted under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, a rise of 1,241 from the previous 12 months.

The biggest age group recorded in the searches last year were between 18 to 25 – involving 5,151 people.

West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Waheed Saleem said efforts have been made to reduce stop and searches.


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