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Exclusive: Anger as Manchester UEFA Cup can't find 'useless' footage of cop punching Rangers fan - despite catching 49 riot suspects on camera

Mar 21 2009 By Joanne Curran

COPS tracked down 49 UEFA Cup rioters with CCTV - but have told a Rangers fan who was attacked the pictures were "useless".

Chef David Thomson, 39, says he was punched in the face and called a "Jock b*****d" by a Greater Manchester Police officer.

Now he has accused them of double standards after officers used the cameras to identify 49 Rangers fans suspected of rioting.

David says he tried to flee Piccadilly Gardens fanzone last May as Rangers fans rioted after a big screen in the area broke down. But an investigation found that none of the 11 cameras in the area captured David's alleged confrontation.

The report said they were unable to pick out the policeman at the centre of the assault allegations and the complaint was thrown out as most CCTV footage in that area was "distant or unclear".

Police pored over 900 hours of film from city council cameras, 800 video clips on the internet, more than 800 still photographs and 4500 hours of footage from the BBC and other broadcasters.

Officers identified 49 suspected rioters and made 20 arrests in a series of dawn raids over the past week.

One of the men, suspect No60, can clearly be seen standing in front of Somerfield supermarket in Piccadilly. That is in the same area where chef David, 39, of Hillington, would have been on the night.

He went to the final with his wife Eleanor. He also claims the police officer called his wife a "stupid cow".

David said: "How can they easily pick out dozens of fans they suspect of rioting using CCTV cameras and yet when it comes to finding footage of me being punched in the face, they say the cameras aren't good enough?

"It doesn't make sense, so what is the truth? The cops in Piccadilly Gardens were the only ones we came across who were looking for a fight.

"I was just trying to get out but they wouldn't let me through. The cop stopped me, called me a Jock b****** and punched me right in the jaw.

"I fell into a fence and broke a tooth. The officer didn't have his badge on him so I was unable to identify him. I can't identify him and, because there's nothing on camera, the police have just dropped the complaint. I'm so angry."

Greater Manchester Police's professional standards branch report said footage from 11 cameras was checked near where David was.

Of those, it said six council cameras "were found to be of no evidential value to the investigation of your complaint".

The report said: "Due to the mass of people in the area and the distance from which the footage is taken, it is not possible to identify the incident that led to your complaint."

Police also questioned three sergeants and seven constables.

Superintendent Paul Buchanan, from the Professional Standards Branch, said: "Despite trawling significant amounts of CCTV, we cannot find evidence to back up any of the accounts he has given us."

See what they want so see!

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Guest Andypendek
The print media in scotland have fallen out witrh the gmp, they will attack them where they can

Nevertheless.

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