raid on community activist
By Andrew Green
home of Matloub Husayn Ali Khan was raided by seven officers of
the South Yorkshire Police drug squad on 24th February at about
12.30pm. Detective Constable Carl Wilkinson and four other officers
entered and searched the Firshill Road house.
strip searches in Burngreave
Matloub’s wife was strip searched and prevented from witnessing
the search of the house. Matloub returned home while the raid was
was found and no one was arrested. Following protests by concerned
friends of the family, DC Neil Marsh phoned to apologise.
In the April
2001 Messenger, we reported on raids on the homes of innocent
members of the African-Caribbean community, in which people were
unnecessarily humiliated by strip searches. We hoped that following
our exposure of these provocative police tactics, there would be
no more raids based on poor information and no more illegal strip
A strip search is only permitted if the police have reason to suspect
that a person is concealing weapons or evidence. The police had
no reason in this case. They had no reason at all to believe that
Matloub’s house might contain drugs.
Matloub is well
known in the local Muslim community and generally in Burngreave.
A contributor to the Messenger, he actively opposes the
use of drugs. He told the Messenger that his complaints
to the police about drug dealing in the street appear to have been
the police Code of Practice (B, 2.1 & 2.3), before they apply
for a search warrant, the police:
take reasonable steps to check that the information is recent, accurate
and has not been provided maliciously or irresponsibly… The
officer shall also make reasonable enquires to establish what, if
anything, is known about the likely occupier of the premises…’
The police already
know Matloub, because, as a volunteer ‘appropriate adult’,
he attends local police stations to facilitate interviews with juveniles
and vulnerable adults who have been arrested.
People in Burngreave
are worried that this case heralds another outbreak of humiliating
raids targeted on innocent people. We have heard that other raids
have taken place.
being voiced that Matloub was targeted because he is active in the
community, and particularly in the Muslim community.