A very professionally bungled burglary

IN THE early hours of December 23 1994 the offices of the Colin Roach Centre and Hackney Community Defence Association were broken into and some of the contents stolen or smashed.

On first appearances this seemed to be an ordinary burglary, but closer examination appears to reveal a well planned operation which bears all the hallmarks of high-level state involvement.

The day itself was a significant one; at 12 noon a picket of Stoke Newington police station was to be held. HCDA and the centre helped build for the demonstration which was demanding that Stoke Newington police account for the violent death of Oluwashiji Lapite when he was in their custody (see Weekly Worker January 5).

Equipment needs to be replaced and HCDA calls on the trade union and labour movement, other political organisations and members of the community to show their support and make a donation to the centre’s funds.

Lee-Anne Bates

Stoke Newington police record

1971 – Aseta Simms dies in Stoke Newington police station.
1983 – Colin Roach is shot dead in the foyer of Stoke Newington police station. The community is not satisfied with the inquest’s finding that he shot himself.
1987 – Tunay Hassan dies in Dalston police station (Stoke Newington station was being rebuilt at the time). Days later Seanna Walsh. Who witnessed police officers assaulting him, dies. Gary Stretch is assaulted by seven off-duty City Road police officers.
1989 – Raphael Joseph is violently attacked by Stoke Newington officers.
1990 – Turkish and Kurdish strikers and peaceful protesters are attacked by police. Anti-poll tax demonstrators are attacked by police.

HCDA has dealt with 381 complaints against Hackney (GH) and Stoke Newington (GN) divisions of the metropolitan Police since 1989 and is supporting 83 civil actions against the commissioner.

88 complaints against Stoke Newington CID have been reported to HCDA, of which 75 have resulted in criminal charges.