Dursley men accuse Gloucestershire police of bullying and harassment after "repeated" stop and searches
Updated 7:23pm Saturday 12th April 2014 in News By Daniel Chipperfield, senior reporter covering Dursley, Cam, Wotton-under-Edge, Sharpness, Slimbridge, Berkeley, Coaley, Uley, North Nibley, Stinchcombe and Cambridge
TWO men have accused the police of harassment and bullying after allegedly being repeatedly stopped and searched.
John French, from Highfields in Dursley, was pulled over on Long Street in the town on Friday, April 4 by police car.
Mr French, 24, and his passenger were then searched and he was put in handcuffs.
As the men were being searched by two policemen, a third officer arrived in another police car to assist and searched the black BMW.
Mr French said he had pulled over to send a text on Long Street after returning from Gloucester where he had spent the morning undertaking construction training.
According to him, when he then pulled back out onto the road, a police car pulled up behind him and flashed its lights, indicating him to pull over.
He told the Gazette the policemen did not initially give a reason for why they pulled him over but later said they were looking for drugs.
Nothing was found in the car and Mr French was allowed out of handcuffs.
“They are doing it quite regularly, they follow you for no reason,” he said.
“It’s annoying I have done nothing wrong. They have no reason to pull me over and search me.”
He admitted he had been in trouble with the police before and believed that was maybe why he was been targeted, describing it as “bullying”.
“When they know you they focus on you,” he said.
“They were trying to find a problem. They are supposed to react to problems not look for problems.”
His friend and passenger George King, 23, from Hilltop Close in Stroud, who was also searched, said it happened all the time and believed they were being "harassed".
“It’s probably from previous times we’ve been in trouble with the police,” he said.
“They will not leave us alone. There’s no reason for them to stop us.”
One of the policemen at the scene told the Gazette that it was entirely legal what they were doing.
A Gloucestershire Constabulary spokesman said the officers had reasonable suspicion and information to stop the vehicle and carry out the search of these men.
"At all times our actions were explained to them and they were treated fairly," he said.
“It is standard practice to handcuff people who are stopped if there is a perceived threat, which there was in this case.”