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Family 'targeted by police for past eight years'

CONCERNED: Janet Smith and Simon Osbourne

A FAMILY claim they have been harassed, victimised and targeted by police over the past eight years to the extent that they now fear for the safety of their two grown-up sons.

Janet Smith and Simon Osbourne say police in Nottingham have made their lives a misery, along with their two sons 26-year-old Cadell and Duval, aged 21, who they say are stopped and searched constantly and accused of being involved in drugs and gangs.


In the first flashpoint outside a shop in Radford back in October 2008, they claim Cadell was left with a dislocated shoulder and concussed after being repeatedly punched by officers, some of whom were on mounted patrol. He was arrested but no charges were made.

A personal injury claim regarding Cadell’s shoulder injury was finally settled in November 2014 and he received an undisclosed sum in compensation from Nottinghamshire Police.

His mother Janet said: “The police knew they had injured Cadell and took him to hospital but simply dropped him off outside. They didn’t even have the decency to go in with him because they didn’t want to have to publicly admit to medical staff what they had done.”

A second major incident occurred in August 2011 outside the family home, which they say was sparked by their sons being stopped and searched. They claim up to 200 officers attended the scene, which left their nine-year-old daughter so traumatised she was found hiding in a wardrobe.

“We are continually being targeted, harassed and victimised but no one is doing anything about it,” said Janet.

“We are getting to the stage where we are fearful for our safety and that of our boys. We simply don’t know where to turn.”

Janet and her husband Simon, a gym advisor with Nottingham City Council, spoke out recently at the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust Memorial Lecture held in London’s City Hall, where Home Secretary Theresa May gave a keynote speech on the relationship between the public and the police. It was attended by Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty.


The Osbourne family also claim that during the 2008 incident when Cadell was arrested, officers on the police radio are heard using the term ‘3/5’s’ to refer to Cadell in their call log. This, they say, is a racist term going back to the slavery era in America when, under the US Constitutional Convention of 1787, slaves were counted as ‘three fifths’ of a white person in some States.

Nottinghamshire Police have strongly denied this allegation. In a statement, they told The Voice: “The term 35 is a radio code to denote that a person has been arrested. This code is used for anyone who is arrested, no matter what their ethnicity, to ensure clarity of communication back to the control room.”

On the general situation regarding the Osbourne family, Nottinghamshire Police said in a statement: “We categorically refute claims that Mr Osbourne and his partner, and their sons are being harassed or targeted by officers.”

They confirm that the case regarding Cadell’s dislocated shoulder was settled last year. In response to the 2011 incident, they say: “Three people were arrested on 10 August 2011, which was when Nottinghamshire and other forces across the country had a significant amount of resources dealing with incidents of violent disorder.

“Cadell Osbourne, then aged 23, and a 17-year-old youth were charged with assaulting police officers in the execution of their duty – and were both found guilty following a trial.

“Simon Osbourne, then aged 44, was charged with wilfully obstructing an officer in the execution of their duty, and was subsequently acquitted at court.

“The force has looked to engage directly with this family to discuss their concerns, but this offer has been turned down.”

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