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Police who 'assaulted' suspects return to jobs

Three police officers due to face a disciplinary hearing for allegedly assaulting suspects during a drugs raid have been reinstated after the key witness declined to give evidence against them.

The police watchdog had considered forcing the Metropolitan Police to hold its first public misconduct hearing, but the plans fell apart after the witness said it would no longer help the inquiry into the raid in Tottenham, north London, in November 2008.

The three officers from the Enfield Crime Squad were reinstated to restricted duties as a result of the collapse of the case against them, Scotland Yard said last night. The force declined to say if they were back at work in the Enfield area or what jobs they were doing.

Prosecutors in 2010 ruled against pressing criminal charges against six officers who took part in the 2008 operation following an inquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). Scotland Yard later cleared the way for three of them to face a disciplinary hearing.

The IPCC Commissioner Mike Franklin said: "Regrettably, in this particular case, the main witness has declined to provide their evidence."

The Enfield Crime Squad was the focus of an anti-corruption inquiry after a whistleblower came forward with a series of damaging allegations, including that officers attacked suspects and took private property for their own use. In a separate case last year, six officers from the squad were disciplined but kept their jobs despite being caught on film smashing up an unarmed suspect's car with baseball bats in June 2008.