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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Police violence under investigation

May 21 2009
Excessive force and racist abuse outside Camden winter shelter An investigation has been launched after an incident at a north London homeless shelter. Two Metropolitan Police officers who allegedly used excessive force and racist language against a homeless man are being investigated by the Directorate of Professional Standards, the Met's body for preserving ethics and standards. A witness who does not want to be named claimed the officers pushed an elderly man to the ground without provocation, outside the United Reformed Church, in Buck Street, Camden. The man was a guest at the Camden & City Churches Winter Shelter, a night shelter that uses seven churches across the capital, ensuring each night of the week is covered. A spokesman for the shelter said: "As an investigation is underway, we cannot comment at present."The incident is believed to have happened below CCTV cameras and in front of pastor Rev Maggie Hindley. A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "We received a complaint on 1st February, 2008, against two police officers. The complaint alleged that the officers used excessive force and racist language while talking with a member of the public. The matter is being investigated by the Directorate of Professional Standards and it would be inappropriate to comment further. No officers have been suspended." Frank Dobson, MP, and Cllr Patricia Callaghan, who has visited the shelter and provided a cooked dinner for guests and volunteers, have been informed of this incident.