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Tuesday, 14 May, 2002, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
Driver wins damages against police
Raymond Bewry
Raymond Bewry alleged stops were racially motivated
A black motorist stopped by police 16 times in five years has won 5,000 in damages against his local chief constable.

Raymond Bewry, a health and safety adviser from Norfolk, who claimed the stop incidents were "racially motivated", won the case on Tuesday.

His legal team, at Norwich County Court, claimed black drivers in Norfolk are almost seven times more likely than white motorists to be stopped.

Mr Bewry, who sits on the county's race equality council, brought his civil action for unlawful arrest and wrongful imprisonment against Norfolk Chief Constable Kenneth Williams.

'Racial motivation'

The police denied racist behaviour against Mr Bewry.

After the case, Norfolk Assistant Chief Constable John Bligh said: "In light of the judge's decision, the constabulary will reflect very carefully on the detail of his judgement as to any further matters that may need to be addressed."

Norfolk Police said the Police Complaints Authority has twice investigated this incident following Mr Bewry's allegations and, beyond minor procedural errors, found no evidence of misconduct.

Mr Bewry, of St Martins Road, Norwich, told the hearing on Monday he believed officers acted out of racial motivation when they stopped his car in Hall Road four years ago.

But police said he was arrested after acting suspiciously and becoming aggressive.

Arresting officer PC Chris McGivern told the hearing suspicions were aroused when the car accelerated away after being spotted by a patrol vehicle.

The car was stopped and the occupants told there was to be a search.

Stop and search

Mr McGivern said although three of the men were cooperative, Mr Bewry became aggressive.

He was arrested but released after nothing was found in the search.

Mr Bewry's lawyer said there were 1,700 black people living in Norfolk and 219 were stopped and searched in one year.

This represented nearly 13%.

By contrast, the figure for stop and search for white men was less than 2%, he said.


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