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Would you report an assault if you lived in a small town and were worried about potential ramifications?

(17 Posts)
runwaymum Thu 13-Dec-12 13:20:31

Would you report a witnessed assault by private security guards if you lived in a small town and felt that there would be future ramifications for yourself and your family?

Drunk men were assaulted by security guards. The assault was unprovoked and involved the men being punched and kneed in the head. Police arrived, handcuffed the drunk men and took statements from the security guards without the drunk men being able to say anything as they were incapacitated.

WWYD?

Lia87 Thu 13-Dec-12 13:24:14

definitely contact the police and give a statement. the police won't say who gave the statement under confidentiality rules i'd assume

izzyizin Thu 13-Dec-12 13:35:57

Do you know or are you related to any of the men who were drunk?

runwaymum Thu 13-Dec-12 13:58:12

izzy no connection with anyone involved.

Just wondering what you would do in the same situation if you knew there was a high likelihood of the security guards recognising you/ remembering you in the future, and the ramifications of this.

izzyizin Thu 13-Dec-12 14:04:19

When did you witness the incident? Were you the only witness? Do you have any way of making contact with one or more of the victims?

I would report.
My DH was a victim of a serious assault at the start of the year, seeing my husband black and blue was awful, for the kids it was heartbreaking, the psychological effects still raise their head occasionally now.
If it wasn't for witnesses, who where brave enough to come forward, the 3 men who used my DH's head as a football, would still believe themselves to be innocent and would have never have been punished.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Thu 13-Dec-12 14:26:57

It's your civic duty to report what you saw. I'm involved as a witness in a serious fraud case at the moment. The perpetrators would not only recognise me again but they already know my name and address.... and they're pretty nasty people. Sometimes doing the right thing means accepting a bit of risk rather than being a coward.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 13-Dec-12 14:42:12

You really should. I know how frightening it is. I was once asked to be a witness in an assault case for a man who was also being charged with murder. I was pregnant at the time and very worried. Thank goodness he pleaded guilty in the end. It's part of living in a society. We get the benefits, sometimes we get the responsibilities.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 13-Dec-12 14:46:46

security guards of what OP?

RogueEmployee Thu 13-Dec-12 15:03:44

Yes you should step forward. You would want someone to do it for you.

greenfolder Thu 13-Dec-12 15:07:46

in your situation i would go to the police. i would explain my concerns and listen to what they said re confidentiality. there might be more/other witnesses, the men concerned might not want to take it further/there might be ctv which will prove what you say.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Thu 13-Dec-12 15:31:08

I think you should contact the police. How would you feel if your husband/Father/brother was assaulted and someone saw what had happened but didn't tell the police.

If you provide a statement, the men involved will know your name but no other personal details. When you give your statement, you can tell the police that you are scared of being recognised and then, if the men are charged and the case proceeds to trial and you are required to give evidence, you can ask to give evidence behind screens so the men cannot see you.

Purple2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 16:41:31

If you give a statement to police it isn't confidential. The accused are told what evidence the police have against them.

I would still say something though. It is unfair to keep silent knowing someone was locked up wrongly and someone else has got away with it.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 13-Dec-12 16:49:59

I was in another country and was able to have my home address kept secret, not my name, of course. I don't know how it works in the UK but it would be worth finding out.

runwaymum Fri 14-Dec-12 01:43:47

Thank you.
This happened a couple of months ago and I made a statement immediately without thinking about any possible ramifications.

Have heard nothing since then so the drunk men must not have wanted to press charges.

However since then I have been avoiding the area where the security guards are, as I am paranoid about them recognizing me and I have mixed feelings about it all to be honest sad

I just wanted some reassurance that I had done what the majority would have done in my situation as I was starting to think that I was a fool to report it.

DecktheHallswithTroughsofBolly Fri 14-Dec-12 02:00:27

I am in the police, my job is supporting witnesses and victims going through the court process so I can answer all your questions smile

1) If no further action is taken against them or they are cautioned they will not be given the statements
2) If they are charged your statement will be part of the initial disclosure bundle served on the defence at the first court hearing. They only get the evidence, not your personal details on teh back of the statement although they will get your name.

If they plead not guilty and you are required to attend court to give evidence your witness care officer or OIC can apply (via the crown prosecution service) for you to give your evidence screened from the defendant and public gallery. This is called a "special measure". In a crown court you would only be visible to the judge, counsels and jury; in magistrates court only the lawyers and magistrates. I have applied for hundreds of these special measures for independent witnesses with exactly the same concerns as your and never had one turned down.

Just a point - the security guards may be on bail at the moment; some forces/officers are better at updating people than others. If you have the crime reference number I would just phone in and ask for an update. At least then you will know the score. PM me if you need any further advice

DecktheHallswithTroughsofBolly Fri 14-Dec-12 02:02:54

Also, one of the most frequently raised concerns with witnesses is ramifications after a case has concluded. It is really, really, really, really rare. I have worked for the police for 9 years, been in my current role for 4 and I have NEVER dealt with a case where an independent witness ended up with problems from defendants either before or after a trial. We get witness intimidation when the defendants and witnesses all know each other but certainly not where the witnesses are unknown to the defendants

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