West Midlands Police apologise to man after 'turban forcibly removed' during arrest

Perry Barr custody suite, Birmingham Credit: BPM Media

West Midlands Police have apologised to a man who claimed his turban was "forcibly removing and stamped on" in Birmingham.

The force have responded to the allegations against one of their officers, following a protest outside Perry Barr custody suite on October 27.

Assistant Chief Constable for Local Policing, Richard Baker, said in a statement: "Today I met with the man to apologise to him for any distress he experienced as a result of this incident."

He continued: "We understand the religious significance of head coverings to the Sikh faith and we know reports of this incident have caused outrage and anger to the Sikh community and the wider public."

The Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) are now carrying out a full investigation of the officers' interactions with the man in custody.

'If you want to disrespect Sikhs you disrespect their turban', Amritpal Singh Dhesi says

Amritpal Singh Dhesi from Sikh Council UK was among the protestors outside the Perry Barr Custody suite last month. He said if it occurred, it is shocking.

"It shows the up-most disrespect possible. For example, for nations - if you stamp on their flag."

"This is something greater than that. This is our everything, this is our crown. If you want to disrespect Sikhs you disrespect their turban," Mr Singh Dhesi.

He added: "For us, the Sikh turban is like God is placing his hand on your head, it's our crown so any disrespect to that, is a disrespect to the faith but also a disrespect to god."

The alleged incident took place at Perry Bar Custody suite and involved a member of the Sikh community, who had been arrested for 'minor traffic offences'.

Mr Baker said: "I do not underestimate the impact this has had on the man as well as the Sikh community, both locally and further afield".

He added: "This is absolutely not representative of West Midlands Police. We are committed to treating everyone with dignity and respect, and we continue to strive for better relationships with the communities we serve."

"We are determined to hold to account any officer who does not adhere to the standards of professional behaviour."