Over the last few weeks we have noticed that things have been very quiet ootside Dundee burroo, and we turned up today with no expectation that things would be any different. How wrong can you be? Even before we had set the stall up, we were called upon to intervene when an unemployed man on ESA was being physically ejected from the premises. As soon as the G4S security guards spotted us one of them disappeared back into the buroo like shite aff a stick, whilst the other security guard, who really quite fancies himself as a hard man, told us to go and reproduce ourselves before also disappearing back from whence he came. When we had calmed the unemployed guy down, which, not surprisingly, took a bit of time, we learned that he had been in the burroo for a meeting to discuss a complaint that he had regarding his treatment at the hands of Triage. He was accompanied by his girlfriend, but was told that she could not accompany him into the meeting. When he objected to this clear breach of his rights all hell broke loose. He claims that he was then set upon by a number of security guards, and that they forced him into the lift where he was yet again assaulted.
When he had clamed down a bit, he phoned the police to make a complaint, but this turned out to be a very convoluted process. A number of other unemployed people who had witnessed the assault and who were willing to provide evidence hung around waiting for the polis to arrive. They waited and waited, and waited some more. Eventually, after around 1 1/2 hours a solitary polisman turned up and then proceeded to very conspicuously ignore the SUWN volunteers around our stall, along with the complainant, before he realised that he had to engage with us. When he did engage, however, he did so in such a manner that the complainant refused to talk to him. The arrogant and high handed manner of this plod was totally out of order and the complainant was quite within his rights to object to the way the polisman spoke to him.
After a discussion among the SUWN volunteers and the complainant we decided that the best course of action was that the complainant should be accompanied by a SUWN advocate to the Bell Street polis shop to make the complaint there. However, when they arrived at Bell Street, the place was not exactly jumping. Indeed, it appeared more like the Marie Celeste than the crime fighting centre of Dundee, and it was around 3/4 of an hour to an hour before two quite young beat bobbies appeared, having been called by the desk sergeant. The resulting interview did not, though, go well and the complainant emerged in an agitated state, due to the line of questioning.
This case remains very live, and shines a very bright light on the way that ordinary people are being treated at Dundee buroo when they dare to object to being treated in a high handed, arrogant and violent manner by the DWP, G4S bullies and their little helpers in Police Scotland. We are sure that this is not the last that you will hear of this case, and we will update as and when we can.