Policing of the G20 Protests - Home Affairs Committee Contents


Examination of Witnesses (Questions 200-221)

MS NICOLA FISHER

12 MAY 2009

  Q200  Chairman: Have you been given any timetable from the IPCC as to how long it will take in order for them to complete their inquiry?

  Ms Fisher: They said a year to 18 months.

  Q201  Mrs Dean: Did you report the sergeant's actions to a higher ranking officer at the memorial? Did you report it there and then?

  Ms Fisher: No.

  Q202  Mrs Dean: How did you first report what had happened?

  Ms Fisher: When I got back to Brighton I phoned a solicitor and they made an appointment for me. As there was a Bank Holiday it was nearly two weeks until I got the appointment. On the day that I went to see the solicitor, when I was on the train back to Brighton from seeing the solicitor, was the day that it was all over the news.

  Q203  Mrs Dean: So you had gone to the media before you saw the solicitor?

  Ms Fisher: No. I went to a solicitor and on the way back to Brighton on the train people started phoning me up saying I was on the news. By the time I got home I had all the national press outside my house and my family's house. I did not go to the press; they came to me in massive numbers.

  Q204  Mrs Dean: Is the implication that the solicitor went to the media or the media picked it up from the video?

  Ms Fisher: The solicitors did not go to the media. I do not know. All I know is I was on the train coming home. People phoned me saying I was on the news and by the time I got back to Brighton I had every national newspaper on my doorstep hounding me and all my family's houses. I have never been in that situation. I did not know what to do. I was advised by a professional that if I spoke to one of them it would get the rest of them to leave me alone, which may not have been the best advice.

  Q205  Chairman: Have they left you alone since then?

  Ms Fisher: Pretty much now, yes.

  Q206  Bob Russell: And now you are giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee! That was quite an incident. Did the police move on after the alleged attack on you?

  Ms Fisher: After the attack they started pushing everyone down a side street, they were kettling people. I do not see why because there were probably less than 100 people there, but they kettled the few people who were there.

  Q207  Bob Russell: You say you were kettled, but the previous witnesses recall being kettled for four or five hours. You were not kettled for four or five hours, were you?

  Ms Fisher: No. We were just pushed down the side roads. If we had wanted to go backwards we could, but I had left one of my jackets in front of the police lines, so I had to wait a couple of hours to be able to retrieve my jacket.

  Q208  Bob Russell: Although you described the incident, you were not kettled in the way that others we have heard evidence from today were.

  Ms Fisher: I was not trapped, no, but we were pushed.

  Q209  Martin Salter: Ms Fisher, you said you took professional advice and I assume you are still being advised. What is your next step in terms of pursuing your complaint against the alleged assault?

  Ms Fisher: I am not being advised anymore. I am just leaving it in the hands of the IPCC.

  Q210  Martin Salter: Do you have confidence in the IPCC process as a consumer of it so far?

  Ms Fisher: I am not sure. I have not had any experience with them before and I have heard various opinions. I am really not sure about that.

  Q211  Martin Salter: What has the IPCC done so far in terms of pursuing your complaint? Have you had the initial interviews?

  Ms Fisher: Yes. They took a witness interview from me and my partner and that is all I have heard from them.

  Q212  Martin Salter: Feel free to let us know if the IPCC does not follow up on your complaint.

  Ms Fisher: Okay.

  Q213  David Davies: Ms Fisher, what happened, as I understand it, is the policeman pushed you back, you pushed him and swore at him, he swore at you and it was after that that he pulled out his asp. That is more or less correct, is it not, in summary? What action do you think he should have taken once you pushed him?

  Ms Fisher: It was not that he pushed me and I swore at him. He pushed me and I said to him, "What are you doing hitting a **** woman?" I was angry because I had been pushed for no reason. Straightaway he hit me over the face.

  David Davies: You said in your earlier evidence that you had pushed him in anger. What action do you think a police officer should take if they are pushed by a member of the public? In our recommendations what should we be saying that police officers should do if they are pushed by members of the public?

  Q214  Chairman: Ms Fisher, in the circumstances in which the police officer was in, not in normal circumstances, if you take Mr Davies' question into the context of the hothouse of the G20 protest.

  Ms Fisher: It was not the main G20 protest, it was the day after and it was a vigil. It was a very quiet, peaceful environment.

  Q215  David Davies: We are obviously going to make some recommendations here. If a member of the public pushes a police officer, what action should the police officer take in that situation?

  Ms Fisher: Should not the question be why would the police officer be pushing me in the first place when I had done nothing wrong?

  Q216  David Davies: We will certainly be asking that question. In general terms, what do you think a police officer should do if a police officer is pushed by a member of the public?

  Ms Fisher: I did not approach him and push him. I pushed him in response to him pushing me.

  Q217  David Davies: Are you saying that basically police officers should treat somebody, if they are female, as a lady and not respond to them?

  Ms Fisher: I think a police officer should not come up to someone and push someone for no reason. I think they should ask you to move. If he asked me to move, I would have moved. He came up to me, he pushed me with some force and when I complained about this he instantly attacked me.

  Q218  Tom Brake: I wonder how tall you are. Are you five-foot, five-foot-five or five-foot-six"?

  Ms Fisher: Five-foot and three-quarters of an inch.

  Q219  Tom Brake: The police officer was probably six-foot.

  Ms Fisher: I think he was more.

  Q220  Tom Brake: Would it be the case that you would expect an officer, even if you had pushed him, to respond proportionately? A proportionate response from someone of his size and someone of your size would not have been to hit you, would it?

  Ms Fisher: Yes.

  David Davies: What would that proportionate response have been?

  Q221  Chairman: Ms Fisher, are you likely to be going to any more vigils for anyone else in the future bearing in mind what you have been through?

  Ms Fisher: I doubt it, no.

  Chairman: Thank you very much for coming here and sharing your evidence with us. We are most grateful.





 
previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2009
Prepared 29 June 2009