Bedfordshire PCC vows action over alleged police attack on autistic man

Faruk Ali's family say he was helping binmen when he was allegedly attacked.

Police will be held to account over allegations a man with severe autism was beaten in the street by two Bedfordshire officers, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) said.

The family of Faruk Ali say he has been left “scared” and “agitated” after the alleged unprovoked attack last month.

PCC Olly Martins said he would “ensure the matter is properly investigated”.

“Learning will take place” if issues about how the force deals with the vulnerable were raised, he added.

According to his family, Mr Ali was watching refuse collectors outside his Luton home on 20 February when two officers got out of a police car and grabbed him.

Bedfordshire Police said the officers had been concerned for Mr Ali’s wellbeing.

An investigation by the Beds, Cambs and Herts Professional Standards Department is taking place, supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

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It is alleged that Faruk Ali was injured and his coat torn in the incident.
It is alleged that Faruk Ali was injured and his coat torn in the incident.

Speaking after a public meeting at Bury Park Community Centre organised by Mr Ali’s family, Mr Martins said he would be holding Chief Constable Colette Paul to account and had already had “a number of conversations” with her.

“I am very keen to see the investigation proceed expeditiously to get to the bottom of what happened and if the officers need to be held accountable, then they will be,” he said.

“If there are points that the organisation needs to learn about how it deals with vulnerable people, then I can assure you those points will be pursued and learning will take place.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, the public also heard the officers involved had not been suspended, but placed on restricted duties outside Luton.

Chief Superintendent Jim Saunders said this decision was “under constant review”.

“I heard very clearly the perspective of the community and the decision as to whether they should continue on those restrictions or be suspended will be continuously reviewed,” he said.

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