Letter: Lack of evidence

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The Independent Culture
Sir: You reported that Mr Amit Sharma, 19, received damages from the Metropolitan Police Service and that this authority did not uphold his complaint ("Trio awarded police damages", 27 March). Our member Lorna Whyte could not possibly have upheld the complaint.

Mr Sharma's solicitor failed to return the medical disclosure form which would have enabled the investigating officer to obtain a statement from the doctor who treated Mr Sharma. Furthermore, Mr Sharma's companions, who may have witnessed the incident, failed to come forward despite the best efforts of the investigating officer.

On the basis of the available evidence, Mr Sharma's complaint against the officer could not possibly be proved "beyond reasonable doubt".

It is unjustifiable for Mr Sadiq Khan to criticise the police complaints system when he fails to provide the vital evidence needed to prove the complaint. Many lawyers, even those who are critical of the system, give us considerable assistance. In one recent case, seven police officers were required to resign as a result of co-operation from the complainants' solicitor, which enabled the PCA-supervised inquiry to gather the necessary evidence.


Chairman, Police Complaints Authority

London SW1