Examination of Witnesses (Questions 200-221)|
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
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
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
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
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
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.