Burngreave residents have shown their support for police operation Gulliver, a forty-day operation, using Section 60 powers to stop and search anyone police suspected of carrying drugs, knives and guns. The operation has made 51 arrests, recovering stolen vehicles, drugs, large amounts of cash and a firearm. However, some questions have been raised about how the operation has, on occasion, been pursued.
On 21st November 2006 local shop proprietor Nellie Ramsey was left very angry at the action and words used towards her and the premises by a mountain bike patrol officer.
“A local man was passing by the shop when we saw these three officers riding bikes move in and stop him right outside my shop door,” explains Nellie.
Her shop assistant Nadia adds: “We heard that man saying to those officers that he had nothing untoward on him – anyway both our windows were open.”
Nellie continued, adding how they began searching the man who had his back directly against her door preventing any access or exit from her fast-food business premises. They were doing it right outside my front door, I opened the door and explained I did not appreciate this search going on directly outside preventing customers gaining access.” Nellie explains she was then told to shut up and close her door as the officer pushed the open windows closed from the outside.
“We could still overhear them telling the man they’d searched, that Nellie’s wasn’t a reputable establishment and they could even search us if they wanted,” added Nadia. “We then heard the man they searched defending our establishment’s reputation.”
“I’ve never been spoken to like that – unlike a similar incident here last week when local officers searching moved away from the shop and were very polite, explaining they wouldn’t be long in what they were doing. I agree that they have to do what they do, but they don’t have to do it directly on my doorway or become disrespectful towards me or my business,” added Nellie firmly.
by Rob Smith