FAMILY PRESS RELEASE 01.12.09
The family of Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah who died whilst being arrested during a routine stop and search in a car park in High Wycombe in July 2008 have recently met with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to assess the situation in terms of the investigation.
Contrary to unhelpful rumours and speculation locally the investigation is still on-going and the family have asked the IPCC to put an update up immediately to ensure that there is clear communication on this case. His widow Mussarat and his brothers and sisters still feel that there is a strong case against the officers that were present at the arrest and that the level of force used was excessive.
A key development in the last few months has been an apology to the Justice campaign on behalf of the former LPA Commander to High Wycombe in response to a letter that was sent to the organisers when they informed Thames Valley Police (TVP) of a rally that was being organised to mark Habib’s death. The Superintendent himself recognised the insensitivity of the terminology used in the letter and has received management advice regarding this ‘error of judgement’. Both the family and campaign were glad to see that some steps had been taken but still want to ensure that the Officers who restrained Habib are dealt with appropriately.
In the last few weeks the family and the campaign have been increasingly concerned about the spate of deaths in custody that have taken place in Buckinghamshire and the recent police pursuit in High Wycombe which has left an elderly man in critical condition and which has been referred to the IPCC.
‘The death in Chesham of Marilyn Bowden and the two deaths in Padbury are worrying and suggest that no lessons have been learnt from my brother’s death’
Raja Ullah, brother of Habib
Additionally the family and the campaign are concerned that a culture of impunity is developing amongst some TVP officers similar to that which seemingly exists within pockets of the Metropolitan police in particular the Territorial Support Group (TSG). On this basis the campaign has contacted the local MP Paul Goodman and asked him to make representations to the Thames Valley Police Authority and Senior Police Officers as a matter of urgency.
In the last week family members attended the inquest of Mikey Powell who died after being sprayed with CS gas restrained and run over by Police Officers in Birmingham in 2003. They were able to give support and to prepare themselves for the inquest that will take place for Habib in next year or early 2011.
There will be a candlelit vigil outside High Wycombe Police station on Sunday 20th December 2009 between 4-6pm to mark what would have been Habib’s 41st birthday.