December 17, 2021 12.12 pm This story is over 30 months old

Chief inspector questions why public didn’t help him during arrest assault

The incident left him with a scratched retina

By Local Democracy Reporter

A chief inspector at Lincolnshire Police has asked “what have we become?” after members of the public filmed him being assaulted while making an arrest, rather than going over to help.

Phil Vickers, chief inspector for the North and South Kesteven beat area of Lincolnshire Police, suffered cuts and bruises as well as a scratched retina while making an arrest in November.

He claims those in the vicinity did not intervene, and that he saw people get their phones out to film it instead. It is unclear what incident this refers to, but The Lincolnite has contacted Lincolnshire Police for a statement to find out the details of the case.

In a tweet on Thursday evening, CI Vickers said: “I saw phones out as he threw punches and three mates made threats, but no one stepped in. What have we become? What reflection on police and society?”

Many rushed to support the officer on social media, and Vickers said he called out “quite forcefully” for help but did not revive any, questioning whether “public perception from media reporting” was to blame.

In one Twitter response, Phil Vickers said: “I’ve never experienced a violent arrest in public where no one steps forward to help, there’s always been someone with the gumption to ‘do the right thing’.

“Left me wondering whether policing really has lost support.”

The second Sarah Everard tribute right outside the former police station on West Parade. | Photo: The Lincolnite

The police and public relationship has been tested this year with widespread headlines surrounding the murder of Sarah Everard, who died at the hands of Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens. Couzens has since been removed from the force and jailed for life.

Lincolnshire Police praised the work of Mr Vickers, responding to his tweet with: “This, from a man who always steps in, on or off duty. Countless times he has put himself in danger to protect others and will no doubt do so again.”