Police pull their punches over Prescott's jab

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Indy Politics

Few can have missed the moment when John Prescott punched an egg-throwing protester. It became the image of the last election and was broadcast live on television. But among the tiny band that has not seen that Prescott punch are the police officers investigating the incident.

After nearly three months of police work costing almost £10,000, North Wales police still haven't watched the tape of the incident that took place on 16 May after a party rally in Rhyl, north Wales.

Instead, a team of top detectives has travelled up and down the country at public expense to interview nearly 50 eyewitnesses.

However, they still have not been able to decide whether Mr Prescott should be prosecuted.

That decision will be left to senior officers and is likely to be taken "in the next week or so", a spokesman for the police said.

The police had no explanation as to why internal deliberations were necessary, saying that it "sometimes" happened.

But asked why the investigation had taken so long when the whole thing was on television, a spokesman said: "We haven't got copies of those tapes and so we have to rely on witness statements."

There could be further embarrassment in store. The decision on whether a prosecution will take place is likely to be made public while Mr Prescott is in charge of the country during the Blairs' summer holiday.