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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 July, 2004, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK
Convict to sue police over poster
police jacket
The leaflets were sent to 30,000 homes in Nottingham
A convicted drug dealer plans to sue police for using his picture in a campaign against gun crime.

Michael Polizczuk says police breached his human rights by featuring his photo on leaflets distributed in Nottingham.

The 24-year-old contacted lawyers from civil rights group Liberty to make a claim against the force.

He is serving a four-year sentence at Sudbury Prison in Derbyshire after being convicted of possessing a handgun, ammunition and cocaine.

Name and shame

The leaflets show his picture, alongside other convicted gun criminals, with the message: "No such thing as untouchable".

About 30,000 leaflets were distributed in the city in a name-and-shame campaign in April this year.

He was chosen by police for the campaign which aims to show youngsters that armed criminals are now serving long prison sentences.

Liberty claims the campaign was an infringement of Polizczuc's human rights.

Our concern is that it seems to us that it fuels vigilantism
Barry Hugill
Liberty
Nottinghamshire Chief Constable Steve Green said: "I challenge any judge in the land to say that the problem of gun crime is not such in Nottingham that we need to take steps of this nature.

"As far as I am concerned, I welcome what they are trying to do because these matters ought to be sorted out in court.

"The Human Rights Act is designed to protect the rights of the innocent, law-abiding many, not just the rights of the criminal few."

Liberty spokesman Barry Hugill said his group believed that the action taken by police could lead to reprisals against Polizczuk's family.

He said: "Our objection was not that this was an outrageous breach of his human rights - our concern is that it seems to us that it fuels vigilantism."

Last year Essex Police were successfully challenged in the High Court over a similar campaign featuring a convicted thief.




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