Probe Into Armed Arrest Error

Police Misconduct

09.07.2008

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating after an Oxford University graduate was held at gunpoint in a case of mistaken identity as he stepped off a train in Bournemouth.

Rapper Nzube Udezue, 21, was ordered to lie face-down, handcuffed and arrested by armed police on a platform at the town's railway station. It followed an alleged firearms incident in Basingstoke.

Mr Udezue, who goes by the rap name Zuby, was wrongly identified as the suspect by a British Transport Police (BTP) officer travelling on a train from Southampton to Bournemouth.

Writing in his blog, the computer science graduate, said he had never been so traumatised in his life. "It took me a couple of seconds to realise it was me all those guns were aimed at," he said. "I felt like I'd stepped off the train and into a really bad dream."

The Independent Police Complaints Commission was informed and has ordered Dorset Police's professional standards department to investigate the three forces involved - Dorset, Hampshire and the BTP.

Mr Udezue and his family, who live in Bournemouth, have been visited by a senior Dorset Police officer and the force has apologised.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Ifti Manzoor from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This case clearly seems to be a case of mistaken identity. Whilst the police have a difficult job to do it is clear that the intelligence was wrong. This must have been an extremely frightening situation for Mr Udezue and I am pleased that Dorset police have apologised and that an investigation has been ordered by the IPCC.

"Mr Udezue may well choose to sue the police for his ordeal in due course."