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Innocent men caught up in gang war "terrified" by police

TWO men claim they were ‘handcuffed, punched and stripped’ by Merseyside Police’s Matrix team.

And Anthony Spencer has told the Crosby Herald how he was “terrified” as he was led in to the back of a police van.

Andy Jones, 20, and Anthony, 21, believe pressure on officers to stop the string of arson attacks and shootings lay behind their “humiliating” ordeal.

Both men say they were quizzed about drugs, petrol bombs and weapons.

The life long friends from Waterloo were driving down South Road on Thursday, June 4, in Anthony's car when a Matrix van appeared in their rear view mirror.

Anthony had just performed a U-turn, when the van roared past his Vauxhall Vectra and eventually blocked the car in Handfield Road.

The men then watched as officers wearing tactical uniforms poured from the van and surrounded the car.

Anthony, who attended Chesterfield High School and works for Sefton Council in Bootle Town Hall as an employment adviser, said : “I was pulled from the car, cuffed, and forced to the floor. I felt a knee in my back and I remember they were screaming at me to 'stop resisting arrest.' I started screaming too, because I wanted to draw attention to what was happening, but I did not fight back.

“I was then taken in to the back of the van. I could not believe what was happening, and my best friend was watching.

“I remember on my way in to the van feeling terrified. You hear so many stories about people getting badly hurt in custody.

“I feared for my life. They told me that they were not from the area and wanted me to tell them about the arson.

“I think that the police should use local intelligence to prevent this type of thing happening.