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79-year-old peace campaigner ‘roughed up’ by MoD police officers

Lindis Percy was dragged into a police car last night while attending a weekly vigil at Menwith Hill, the US’s Yorkshire spy base

A SEVENTY-NINE-YEAR-OLD peace campaigner told the Star today that she was “roughed up” by Ministry of Defence police officers at a weekly vigil at Menwith Hill, the US’s Yorkshire spy base.

One witness said that retired nurse Lindis Percy had been “appallingly treated” as she was dragged to a police car last night.

Ms Percy said the rough treatment continued at Harrogate Police station, when the two MoD officers dragged her down a corridor and her jacket was pulled off over her head.

When she was handed over to North Yorkshire Police she was released without charge, but a nurse was called to check her blood pressure and it was found to be “sky high,” Ms Percy said.

She is instructing lawyers to pursue the incident with the MoD force.

Menwith Hill is nominally an RAF base but is run by the US National Security Agency.

It has been the target of peace campaigners for more than 40 years. A vigil is staged at the base’s main gate every Tuesday evening.

Ms Percy said problems with Ministry of Defence police officers had worsened recently.

“On Tuesday I was doing what I usually do, passing and re-passing along the highway, which is legal. I was grabbed by one officer and another bloke and dragged to the side of the road.

“They said I was being arrested under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, which is about ‘causing alarm, harassment or distress’ to another person. I was forced along to a police car. They were very nasty and very rough.

“In the custody place at the police station there’s a corridor. They dragged me again. My hi-vis jacket came off over my head.

“There was a custody officer and I think he was quite shocked. He said he had no intention of arresting me because the incident was over.

“I am talking to barristers in London about this.”

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence Police said: "The Ministry of Defence Police expects all of its officers to maintain the highest possible standards of behaviour and conduct at all times. Any alleged misconduct by our officers is taken extremely seriously and investigated accordingly."

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