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An Act for the Regulation of the Royal Parks and Gardens.

[27th June 1872]

Whereas it is expedient to protect from injury the Royal
parks, gardens, and possessions under the management
of the Comissioners of Works herein-after called the Commis-
sioners, and to secure the public from molestation and annoyance
while enjoying such parks, gardens and possessions :


in the Park

- Malice or Incomptence?

...a report on the police

actions at the third annual

Windsor free festival, 24th

- 29th August, 1974.

September 26th, 1974

Release logo
Copyright Release
1 Elgin Ave, London W9 3PR. Tel.289 1123 emergency 603 8654

"Truncheons in the Park" has been prepared to counterbalance the report

prepared by Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Holdsworth relating to the events
that took place at the third annual Windsor Free Festival, 24th to 29th August
1974. In this report, we present allegations against the Thames Valley Police
Force supported by statements from individuals and solicitors. Since this Release
report is at such variance with the Holdsworth report, which contains no criticism
of police behaviour at Windsor, we believe only a full public inquiry under s.32
Police Act 1964 can properly investigate what happened at Windsor and why.

Release staff and volunteers were on the site through the festival. Release
doctors and psychiatrists provided free professional medical assistance. Release-
affiliated solicitors made special trips from London to advise people held in army
barracks (when allowed) and to advise and represent those charged in Windsor
Magistrates' Court.

Since August 29th, we have collected more than ninety individual statements,
fourteen reports from solicitors, photographs, film and press clippings relating
to the events at Windsor. More information is being sent to us daily.

Analysis of this information indicates that a multitude of police abuses

occurred at Windsor. We have enumerated twenty-two specific allegations,
substantiated by statements received, to support our demand for a full public
inquiry - a proposal that has been taken up by seven national newspapers (the
Guardian, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Morning Star, The Sun, Times and Daily

The Home Secretary so far has only called for a report from Mr Holdsworth
which has resulted in a predictable internal "whitewash". And now, Mr David Hall,
Assistant Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police has been asked by Mr Holdsworth
to investigate complaints against individual officers. The use of this procedure
means that Chief Constable Holdsworth and Assistant Chief Constable (Operations)
Soper are immune from investigation (Police (Discipline) Regulations 1965 reg.

It would be grotesque to see junior officers who overstepped the mark at

Windsor, being dealt with at formal disciplinary proceedings by a man ultimately
far more culpable than themselves.

The Staffordshire Police investigation can only result in disciplinary action

taken against individual police officers. It cannot possibly produce a full
account of the whole police operation assigning responsibility for the grave
errors and misjudgements that were made. We feel that this manoeuvre is a blatant
attempt to divert attention from the men responsible.

The premeditated military-style swoop of 29th August was organised and handled
in such a way that violence was the onlypossible outcome. The large number of
random searches, police bail refusals, and other police irregularities enumerated
in this report must also be explained by Mr Holdsworth as Chief Constable for the
Thames Valley Police Force.

We have divided this report into four sections.

1. Pre-festival negotiations - did it have to happen?
2. Allegations of illegal police actions.
3. Home Office correspondence and negotiations - a public inquiry, how close
are we?
4. Appendix of statement extracts and Home Office letters.

Not only must a full inquiry be held, but measures must be taken to ensure
that the Thames Valley Police Force do not repeat their actions at Windsor; that
the Advisory Committee on Pop Festivals be reactivated to work towards an
effective and enjoyable fourth Annual Windsor Free Festival for 1975; and that the
law authorising widely abused power of search now embodied in s.23 Misuse of Drugs
Act 1971 should be clarified and all police forces required to observe it

Release is prepared to produce statements, evidence and witnesses to substantiate

these allegations before a full public inquiry.


The Festival Welfare Services Committee, ("FWS"), a co-ordinating body on

which Release sits with representatives from Civil Aid, St. John's Ambulance
Brigade, British Council of Churches Youth Department, Salvation Army and other
organisations,was involved in planning for Windsor long in advance.

Before last year's festival, FWS offered its assistance to the Crown Estate
Commissioners, but received no reply to its letter until the Festival was over,
and when the reply finally arrived, it merely said that :
"arrangements in connection with the unauthorised events which certain individuals
have planned for Windsor Great Park over the Bank Holiday weekend are in the hands
of the Thames Valley Police and the Commissioners do not wish to avail themselves
of assistance from other quarters".

We knew that the Commissioners were taking the same line this year, and that they
were refusing to talk to anybody about any aspect of the problems the Festival was
likely to cause.

The official attitude of the local authority was the same -they refused even
to sell the festival organisers any plastic rubbish sacks for site clearance. Some
of the officers of the authority, however, took a more realistic view. On June
25th a representative of FWS attended a meeting at Windsor called by Mr E.J.
Ferguson, Assistant Divisional Director of Social Services and attended also by
the Medical Officer to the District Council,and representatives of the local
hospitals, the Drug Squad, and others. At this meeting it was agreed that
arrangements would be made for FWS to operate welfare services on a site outside
the park but within easy reach of the festival. The Army were approached, and
Captain J.W. Matthews of Combermere Barracks agreed to allow the use of their
sports field near Queen Anne's Gate, subject to the consent of their superior
landlords, the Crown Estate Commissioners.

On this basis FWS began to plan the operation, and requested a further meeting
to discuss details, to which the Police were particularly asked to send a
representative. However, before this meeting the whole operation was vetoed by the
Crown Estate Commissioners. In the words of Dr. McClatchey, Medical Officer to the
District Council :
"all co-operation was withdrawn from me if I depended on Release or similar groups
of volunteers. Without any reflection on your aims it was claimed that use of
services such as yours known to be associated with festivals would appear to be
condoning the festival itself".

Once it had been decided that no welfare organisation "known to be associated

with festivals" was to be allowed to operate anywhere in the vicinity, the Police
approached the Red Cross and asked them to provide first aid and medical cover,
which the Red Cross declined to attempt in the circumstances. The further meetings
previously arranged took place in Windsor, but the Police failed to attend. Four
Release doctors then wrote to the Hospital Secretary at King Edward VII Hospital
warning him of the problems the Hospital was likely to encounter. On 16th August
FWS issued an emergency statement to the press warning prospective festival
attenders of the situation. (See Appendix E).

Both Crown Estate Commissioners and police refused to discus the problems that
a Festival might create with the voluntary organisations that are most experienced
in dealing with such situations. Two-foot high barriers were erected at the
perimeter of Great Windsor Park in anticipation of a Festival, yet no measures
were allowed to be taken to minimise the problems that a Festival could create.

As a result, individuals attending the Festival were denied the most basic
facilities, and the Health and Social Services of Windsor town were overloaded and
the inhabitants unnecessarily inconvenienced.

The Crown Estate Commissioners seem to have thought that if they ignored the
Festival it might go away. It did not and the Commissioners cannot entirely evade
responsibility for the events that ensued.


Release has accumulated statements and evidence to substantiate allegations of

illegal police activities which occurred | during the third Annual Windsor Free
Festival. We have obtained over ninety individual statements and fourteen reports
from solicitors together with photographs, film and press cuttings. Further
information is still coming in.

Examination of this evidence portrays a multitude of police abuses enumerated

below. Each point is supported by references to individual statements contained in
Appendix A.

1. Random searches were conducted against individuals without reasonable grounds

for suspicion as required by s.23 Misuse ~q of Drugs Act 1971. (App. A - 1,2,3)

Searches took place at Windsor station, throughout Windsor town and all round
the periphery of the festival site. The police justification for such massive and
indiscriminate searches was that Festivals are the site of illegal drug taking and
therefore everyone attending Festivals are assumed to be suspect and in possession
of drugs. Is this rationale a justification for searching individuals two, three,
and on occasion up to eight different times?

Home Office Circular 113/1971 advised Chief Constables that appearance and
manner of dress alone could not justify a search and also required that statistics
of searches should be kept. Despite persistent
requests, these figures have not been published and it is questionable whether
full records were kept. Without such statistics, it is impossible to ascertain the
effectiveness of such a random search operation. We estimate a 10% police
"success" rate, that is one third of the national average for such searches. Does
a search operation with such a low success rate justify such violations of the
civil rights of those at Windsor?

2. Individuals were held for longer than twenty-four hours without being
considered for police bail - a violation of s.38 (1) Magistrates' Courts Act 1952,
as well as Home Office Circular 113/1971. (App. A - 4,5)

3. Individuals held in custody were denied access to solicitors and solicitors

were denied access to individual clients a violation of The Judges Rules 1964.
(App. A - 6,7,8,9,10,11, 12,13)

4. Individuals were systematically fingerprinted and photographed without their

consent before being charged - a violation of s.40 Magistrates' Courts Act 1952.
(App. A - 14,15,16)

5. Police destroyed personal property and equipment without a court order - a

violation of Police (Property) Act 1897. (App. A - 17,18,19,20,21,22).

The following police actions are not justified by any legal power and therefore
constitute offences under para. 8 of the Police (Discipline) Regulations 1965
("Unlawful or Unnecessary exercise of authority"), as well as being in most cases
an actionable trespass to the person or property, and in many cases a criminal
offence under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 or other statutes.

1. The use of truncheons and sticks of wood by police officers against festival
people without provocation. (App. A - 23, 24, 25).

2. The kicking, hitting and beating of men, women and children without
provocation. (App. A - 26,27,28,29).j

3. The confiscation of camera equipment. (App. A - 30, 31).

4. The causing of injuries to individuals by running over them with police

vehicles. (App. A - 32, 33).

5. The taking of names and addresses of individuals who had been searched and
found not to be in possession of controlled substances. (App. A - 34).

6. Provocation of violence against uniformed police by plainclothes officers in

the crowd. (App. A - 35, 36).

7. Impersonation of welfare workers by police as a means of entrapment. (App. A -


The following police actions constitute offences under para. 4 of The Police
(Discipline) Regulations 1965 (Neglect of duty.)

1. Failure to provide adequate facilities for prisoners, such as food, sleepinq

arrangements, washing, toilets, and medical services. (App. A - 38, 39, 40, 41,

2. Failure to provide proper facilities for defence lawyers, such as telephones

and toilets. (App. A - 43,44,45).

3. Failure to provide legible charge sheets, legal aid forms, cross summons and
other necessary documents, including forms for making complaints. (App. A -

4. Failure to take proper steps to contact and check potential sureties, leading
to unnecessary long delays in releasing prisoners who had been granted bail by the
court. This prob- j lem was exacerbated by the courts insistence on requiring
sureties acceptable to the police, rather than taking the responsibility of
accepting sureties themselves. (App. A -49, 50,51,52,53).

5. Frivolous opposition to bail applications. (App.A - 54,55).

The police activity which attracted the most publicity was their premature
clearing of the site on Thursday, 29th August. They contend that they derived the
power to take such action from s.5 Parks Regulation Act, 1872, together with
Windsor Great Park Regulations 1973 in particular regulation 3 (11).
Section 5, as amended by the Park Regulation (Amendment) Act 1974 states :

"Any park constable in uniform, and any persons whom he may call to his
assistance, may take into custody, without a warrant, any offender who in the park
where such constable has jurisdiction, and within the view of such constable, acts
in contravention of any of the said regulations, provided that the name or
residence of such offender is unknown to, and cannot be ascertained by, such park
constable. (italics supplied).
It is perfectly clear that there is a prerequisite to the use of this power of
arrest. A park constable must attempt to ascertain the offender's identity, and
only if this is refused can he then lawfully exercise the power of arrest."

Numerous statements from individuals and journalists indicate that this procedure
was not carried out. It is also obvious that offences were not seen to be
committed before arrests were made.

Windsor Great Park is controlled by the Crown Estate Commissioners who are
enabled by s.6 Crown Estate Act 1961 to make the provisions contained in the
Windsor Great Park Regulations. Provisions for the apprehension of Park regulation
offenders are still to be found in the 1872 Act.

Although s.8 Parks Regulation Act 1872 extends to the police the same powers
as park constables, it is reasonable to assume that the police should exercise
such powers in accordance with the directions of the Crown Estate Commissioners.
S.5 of the Act clearly envisages this. There was no direction given by the
Commissioners to clear the site in such an indiscriminate way.

S.2(1) Parks Regulation (Amendment) Act 1926, as amended by the Criminal Justice
Act 1967, schedule 6, lays down a maximum penalty of a �20 fine for park
regulation offences. This is a clear indication of how such offences should be
treated. It is common practice that bye-law offences, and most motoring offences
that are dealt with summarily, are proceeded with by means of summons. There is no
lawful justification for the police not having done so with regard to park
regulation offenders.
From this analysis, we would make the following allegations.
1. In very few instances were names and addresses asked for, as required by s.5
Parks Regulations Act 1872. (App. A - 56, 57).

2. People were evicted from the site who were not violating any of the Windsor
Great Park Regulations 1973 (App. A - 58, 59,60).

3. The methods used by the police to inform people that they were being requested
to leave the site were in most cases inadequate, and in many cases brutal. (App. A
- 61).

4. Excessive force was used in clearing the site. With sufficient planning no
force would have been necessary.
(App. A - 62,63,64,65).


As a result of our experiences and information gathered during the first three
days at Windsor (24 - 26 August), Release sent a letter to the Home Secretary
alleging systematic abuses of police powers and asking for a full inquiry into the
actions of the Thames Valley Police Force under s.32 Police Act 1964. (See
Appendix B). We delivered this letter on 27th August, two days before the massive
police swoop on 29th August. In the aftermath, the Home Secretary asked only for a
report from Chief Constable Holdsworth.

A Release delegation consisting of Lord Melchett, Clive Morrick, Solicitor,

and Don Aitken together with Sid Rawle and Rev. Brian Ferguson from the People's
Festival Committee visited the Home Office on 9th September for a discussion with
Alex Lyon, MP, Minister of State, and officials from the Home Office Police
Department. At this meeting we presented a memorandum containing further
complaints (see appendix C) and had a wide-ranging discussion of the issues
involved. We were informed that the Home Secretary would consider the points we
had made in conjunction with the Chief Constable's report, and that our request
for a public inquiry would be carefully considered.

In the meantime we advised those who consulted us not to make any formal
complaints to the Thames Valley Police. In view of the culpability of the Chief
Constable and his immediate associates, we had no confidence that these complaints
would be properly investigated.

The Thames Valley Police Authority met at Kidlington on 16th September at the
urgent request of one of its members to discuss the events of Windsor, to consider
the Chief Constable's report, and not least important to consider how to handle
the press who had so far been uniformly critical of the police action.

A motion to hold the meeting in private was carried in spite of strenuous

opposition from those who considered that the matter should be discussed in
public, and reporters
present were prevented from seeing any members of the authority and fobbed off
with an assurance that some public statement would be made after the authorities
meeting on 26th September. We are informed that Mr Holdsworth's report contains no
criticism whatever of any aspect of the police action.
Immediately after this meeting, Release wrote a further letter of complaint to
the Home Secretary (see Appendix D). In a final effort to stifle public
discussion, the Chief Constable, without any consultation with the Home Office
asked Staffordshire police for the loan of an Assistant Chief Constable to
investigate complaints against individual officers (see Page 2).


The third Annual Windsor Free Festival was scheduled to run for 9 days, 24th
August to 1st September. It flourished for five days and was brutally shut down on
the sixth.
By Thursday 29th, relations between the crowd on the site itself and most
uniformed officers were amicable. This cannot be said about the situation offsite
where individuals including journalists, doctors, solicitors and even local
tradesmen, were subjected to constant harassment by indiscriminate random

Mr Holdsworth must explain why the police waited six days to clear the site.
His assertion that the force which carried out this operation was thoroughly
briefed is as unconvincing as his explanation of why such a move was necessary.He
must also explain why all uniformed officers who had been on duty on the site, and
had in many cases established good relations with participants, were removed from
the area at dawn on the 29th, allowing the clearance operation to be carried out
by officers completely new to the situation.

He must also explain why festival organisers and participants were deceived by
Police assurances that the Festival would be allowed to continue until Sunday 1st
September, and why a meeting between Police and organisers was postponed by Police
until the morning of the 29th, by which time the operation was over.

The three reasons given for the police action on 29th August were :

* The number of complaints from local residents,

* The extent of drug use.
* The army request for the police to evacuate the barracks.

If there had been an increase in complaints by local residents, why didn't the
police ask that the amplifiers be turned down. The postponed Wednesday night
meeting would have provided an ideal opportunity to make such a request.

It is our opinion as professional workers in the drug field that the level of
drug use at Windsor was low in comparison to comparable events.

Having found the army most considerate regarding our request for the use of
their facilities (see Page 3), we find it hard to understand why the police should
have found them so difficult, unless the army were misled as to the use to which
the barracks were to be put. We particularly would like to know whether the army
are able to confirm the statement of Superintendent Peterson that the police were
not allowed to give anyone access to prisoners for reasons of military security.

We have received a convincing analysis by three eye witnesses of the

operation of the 29th. They conclude that the police failed to follow the basic
rules of crowd control. Instead of breaking up the crowd in a firm but restrained
manner, sections of it were cornered and allowed no avenue of retreat. The police
failed to maintain their cohesion as an organisation and the resulting violence
was caused by small groups of constables, acting without sergeants or officers.

The police were generally unprepared for the background and nature of the
crowd and a number seriously overreacted, some of them hysterically. Commanders
and officers were placed in the invidious position of having to defend and carry
out an indefensible and, ultimately, impossible task. There were many instances of
individual officers and members of the crowd attempting to take the heat out of
the situation.

Under the circumstances the crowd showed considerable restraint given the random
attacks being inflicted upon it by particular maverick constables. In a picket-
line or football crowd situation there would probably have been a full scale,
bloody riot.

The incompetence or sheer lack of leadership of the police at the top

inexorably led to a breakdown and collapse of discipline at the bottom. The
hysterical and violent behaviour of certain junior officers was, in part, a direct
result of the "anti festival" attitude prevalent in the upper ranks of the force
and its inability to conduct an efficient police operation.

This brief summary of the large quantity of material we have

gathered should be sufficent to explain the urgency of our demand
that there must be a full public enquiry into the Windsor fiasco,
that measures should be taken to ensure that a similar police
operation is not repeated, and that the police forces must be given
clear guidelines as to the treatment of such events in future.



1. 'Monday 26th. We go into Slough for shopping purposes, on the return journey we
are stopped and searched three times. First time we were asked if we knew what we
were being searched for. We answered "Yes". At no time were we given reasonable
explanation under the terms of the act for the resultant vehicle and body search.
Nothing was found .... Second search .... Subjected to vehicle and body search,
again with no reasonable grounds being given .... Third search .... we protest
about the number of searches in the last mile .... Tuesday 27th .... Subjected to
vehicle and body search again without reason being given.'

2. 'I am convinced that searches were random with no thoughtgiven to reasonable

suspicion , I had proof of identity but was still searched - when I asked what
reasonable suspicion the officers had they said a constable down the road radioed
them to search the car. They all but admitted this was a lie and accepted our
contention that any such P.C. was himself lacking in reasonable suspicion.'

3. 'After the car had been thoroughly searched we then had a discussion with the
officer ... this was clearly a random search and there was no authority for it ...
The police officer said to me that we couldn't prove it but the clear intonation
of the conversation was that the search was entirely random.'
4. 'Police power to grant bail was not exercised in individual cases - a blanket
refusal was given to cover all cases.'

5. 'I was detained without charge for more than 24 hours. I was arrested 3.30 am
27th August and charged after 8.00 am 28th August.'

6. 'During the 27 hours in which I was in custody, I continually requested to use

a telephone to contact a solicitor. This request was continually denied.'

7. ' Having identified myself as a social worker using my warrant card issued by
the County Council of the County of Lanark, I asked if I could accompany the two
boys into the Barracks. The officer told me that he had orders not to allow anyone
in especially lawyers and social workers.'

8. 'despite requests the police refused to disclose where defendants were being
held once they had been removed from the Army barracks and access there was not
available to lawyers.'

9. 'At one point a person from whom I was actually taking a statement prior to his
appearance in court was removed from the cell despite my protests.'


10. 'On many occasions, individuals would be taken to appear before the court
before I had finished advising them.'

11. 'There was a lot of difficulty to be gone through obviously with no real
reason - before a comparatively respectable looking non-lawyer, like me, could
gain access to the defendants.'

12. 'At this point he denied access (to the Barracks) on the grounds of 1,
security (the Army) and 2, lack of facilities.'

13. 'Refusal of access to Barracks to anyone - lawyers, friends.'

14. 'I understand that all the defendants had been photographed by the police. I
have not looked into the rules about this, but I seem to remember that the police
are not allowed to photograph defendants without their permission. In no case was
such permission asked for.'

15. 'No justification for mass photographing.'

16. 'I was taken to the army Barracks where I was searched,finger-printed,
photographed etc. I was at no time advised about my rights concerning these
activities, or about seeing a solicitor.'

17. 'A lot of people were taking photographs, but the police would come up and
arrest them, or rip their cameras out of their hands and expose the film. They
would smash the cameras.I had my Zeiss smashed - it was worth about �60.'

18. 'Police came across the field in one big wave, pulling out tent pegs and
ripping tents. They didn't care who was inside them - there were some families
with young children - and they were pushing everyone.'

19. 'Many of the defendants had in fact lost their belongings and tents, some of
which had been destroyed by the police and there were rumours that there had been
a big fire burning all these things.'

20. 'Willful damage to property - cameras were confiscated and smashed and the
films destroyed by the police. The pulling up of tents without the owners consent
or being present.'

21. 'I was approached by three uniformed officers after taking eight shots who
took my camera, tore the film out of it,and then dropped the camera, telling me
not to take any photographs, because it was illegal.'

22. 'The police formed a long line and walked towards the bandstand. They smashed
down everything in their path, including all the tents and shelters that had been


23. 'As I approached within approximately 20 feet of the stage, I witnessed police
rushing into the crowd and hitting people with truncheons. One uniformed police
officer was hitting individuals with a piece of wood about four feet Long and 2-3"
in diameter. I saw no blows struck by the Festival people against the police.'

24. 'I saw a lad just waiting by the fence. A copper came up and just banged him
across the head with a truncheon. It split his head right open. There were an
awful lot of people hit on the head with truncheons. We have pictures of police
wielding truncheons all over the place. We have reels and reels of this.'

25. 'There were a couple of baton charges and young parents with small children
found themselves in the front line of the battle'.

26. 'He (plainclothes policeman) was standing with his back to us with his arms
folded, then he swung round and belted my girl in the mouth knocking her
unconscious and breaking one of her teeth.'

27. 'A small child of nine years was hit in the face by a police officer, came
back to where his mother was and became unconscious. One man was bodily lifted
away after having been punched in the face, blood running down hIs face as he was
carried away in a prayer or submissive position.'

28. 'I was leapt on, punched kicked and generally brutalised, then carried to a
transit van where I was sat on, kicked, kneed and struck repeatedly to the
fontenelle (the soft part of the head above the temple).'

29. 'We were pushed to within four feet of the police line. At that moment a
police officer kneed me in the groin. X came to my assistance and was kneed in the
stomach. Both lines had become stationary, but I saw instances of police punching
individuals. X was seven and a half months pregnant.'

30. 'I took some photographs of the fighting behind the stage. A policeman took my
camera and hit me several times with a clenched fist and kicked me backwards. He
kept my camera.'

31. See Extract No. 17.

32. 'During this incident a police car deliberately swerved on the grass roadside
verge and ran over my sister's foot, she was later treated for injuries at the
Edward VII Hospital in Windsor.'

33. 'I was walking down the road, when without any warning, a police Ford Transit,
Reg.No. PPP340M, hit me from behind. This knocked me on the ground; the driver did
not stop to see how I was.'


34. 'My main complaint is firstly that my name and address was taken after protest
with the threat that I would be taken to the station if I failed to give it. (This
occurred after a search was made in which no controlled substances were found.)'

35. ' cans were being thrown by the crowd in front of the stage at the police on
the stage. There were no cans being thrown at the stage from the rear, it was very
cool, until I saw one 30 year old dressed in blue denims and a red tee-shirt throw
a can at the officers on the stage. I then dived in and reasoned with him. He then
left the vicinity of the stage. (I later saw this man sitting in the front seat of
a black maria on the road talking to police officers. He was in no way restrained
and had on a checkered arm band. From this I deduced he was a pig.)'

36. 'When I mentioned that I had seen a number of long haired people in jeans
wearing arm bands being among those who seemed to be intent on an open
confrontation witn the police and that I had personally seen some of them throwing
eggs, tins of vegetable and fruit at the police, he (a police officer) stared at
me for a moment and very embarassedly said "Those were our own men".'

37. 'I went to Windsor myself, when I got out of the station some cat came up to
me and he said 'I'm from Release". Then he said if I had any drugs, to get rid of
them because he said that the pigs were just outside the station. When I'd done
this, this Release? cat approached me and said "I'm D.S."...

38. 'When I saw X he looked extremely ill and he told me he had been asking the
police for a doctor all day and was told one would be coming sometime but never
did. When I finally bailed X out he was in a very bad state.'

39. 'When I saw X he was weak, febrile and had grossly inflamed tonsils. I treated
him with penicillin. ... In my opinion X should have been allowed to see a doctor
while being held in custody.'

40. 'Defendants stated that they had received no food for up to twenty-four hours,
and were taken into court without being given facilities for washing.'

41. 'The sleeping accommodation was grossly inadequate ... there were between four
and six people in each cell ...'

42. 'The lavatory accommodation was grossly inadequate considering the amount of
time people had to spend at these particular cells.'

43. 'There was no privacy for interviewing defendants.'

44. 'The use of a telephone, even to clear up queries requested by the court, was
not extended to defence solicitors.'

45. 'There were no toilets for female lawyers'.

46. 'Failure by the police authority to provide lists of defendants or even the
order in which they were placing the papers before the court proved exceptionally
hampering to the legal personnel appearing for defendants'

47. 'I tried to help in one case by getting information forms so that a man could
take out cross summonses against the police for assault. After about two hours
waiting and prodding, it eventually appeared that there were no such forms in the
court building and that the staff left in the main clerk's office further up the
town were unable to find any there.'

48. 'There weren't nearly enough Legal Aid forms available.'

49. 'Insufficient importance was given by the police to notifying sureties in

custody as quickly as possible and obtaining their willingness.'

50. 'The court were granting bail but only with sureties acceptable to police.
Until about 10 pm, the police were insisting on sureties from householders. This
meant delays while parents were contacted. Later, friends were accepted as

51. 'Many of those arrested had travelled far to get to the Festival and for them
to provide sureties "acceptable to the police" (i.e. any friends who had
accompanied them to the festival were excluded) was onerous.'

52. 'The surety office was manned by one constable with a single telephone, who
was responsible for telephoning sureties and for typing the appropriate forms. On
the one occasion when I visited the office, the officer had an appalling backlog.'

53. 'No facilities available to contact sureties.'

54. 'Originally the prosecutors objected to bail in a number of cases but after
there were a number of lengthy bail applications the prosecutor subsequently made
no objection to bail in most cases.'

55. 'Bail was opposed in one case, on the grounds that he was of no fixed abode,
having resided for several months at Stonehenge'.


56. ' I approached the policeman to ask what was going on.The policeman refused to
speak to me, so I then asked the individual whom the policeman was escorting.
Before the individual had a chance to answer me, the policeman kicked me in the
crotch and in the leg. I tried to free myself, but the policeman kept hold of me.'

57. 'I saw some people, including children, being kicked and thrown bodily off the
stage, and in general, being given no opportunity to leave the stage peaceably.'

58. 'Many who had apparently committed no offence were snatched as they tried to
stage sit-down protests. Several police were restrained by senior officers as they
bundled fans away.'

59. 'Between the road and the fence a police inspector approached me, while I was
walking back towards stage C area. He instructed me to leave the site and pointed
down the road. I said "It's a free park and belongs to thepublic and you can't
take me off the site". He looked around to ensure no one could see and kicked me
in the back of my legs. I dropped to the ground and from behind me he put his foot
on top of mine. He then said: "Fuck off now or you'll be arrested". He then moved

60. During lunch we occasionally talked to police ourselves, gaining the distinct
impression that they were unsure of their legal position or their validity .

61. 'August 29th. I was awoken by a policeman kicking me in the leg, and he told
me I had five minutes to pack up and leave the site.'

62. 'There was certainly some provocation, but I have never seen police react to
people in this way before. I was in Groevenor Square when the police were being
charged by demonstrators carrying scaffolding. I was outside the Chinese Embassy
when the police were attacked with hatchets and iron bars. But even in those
circumstances they never acted as they did today. It was a form of mass hysteria
which seemed to affect all the policemen.'

63. 'I saw a police officer kick with his knee, then grab by the hair a man who
was not provoking any force necessary for his removal'.

64. 'A plain clothes policeman turned round and lashed out and hit X in the mouth
with the back of his hand. She fell down and went unconscious. The policeman left
the site quickly.'

65. 'I saw a group of about 10 police officers standing round the tent watching
another officer kicking someone who was trying to crawl out from under the tent
which had collapsed. Those who were watching were laughing and jeering and
encouraging the officer who was engaged in the kicking.'


27th August

Dear Home Secretary,

During the last few days RELEASE has been attempting to assist
those arrested at and around the Windsor Free Festival. We
have been extremely concerned about a number of aspects of the
Thames Valley Police operation at Windsor, and after some
thought on the matter, have decided that the right course would
be to ask you to exercise your powers under section 32 of the
Police Act 1964 to cause an inquiry to be held into the matter.
The main issues which concern us are the following:

(1) The abuse of section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 197l

by the employment of random searches on a very wide scale in the
absence of reasonable grounds for suspicion. In this connection
we would also bring to your attention that the recommendation
contained in paragraph 127 of the Report by the late Advisory
Committee on Drug Dependence on Powers of Arrest and Search in
Relation to drug offences, which was embodied by your predecessor
in a circular to Chief Constables was not followed, and that
officers conducting searches declared themselves not be to be bound
by it.

(2) The fact that some of those arrested wvere held incommunicado
in premises under military guard for up to forty hours and thereby
deprived of any opportunity to communicate with friends or to
receive legal advice of any but the most perfunctory kind.

(3) The apparent policy decision to refuse to consider granting

police bail in any case, without any inquiry into individual cases
as required by section 38 of the Magistrates Courts Act 1952
in cases where persons are held for more than twenty-four hours.

(4) The fact that the names and addresses of those searched on
whom no controlled drugs were found were taken without any lawful

(5) The employment of unnecessarily underhand and disreputable

methods by "undercover" agents, including in at least one case
the misuse of the name of this organisation.

(6) The interrogation and in some cases charging of persons under

the influence of hallucinogenic drugs and the use in evidence of
statements obtained from persons in such a condition.

It should be noted that the majority of these allegations relate

not to the behaviour of individual police officers, which in most cases
we found to be reasonable and courteous, but to the execution of a
policy laid down some months in advance at a high level within the
force. It is for this reason that we do not consider the machinery
provided by section 49 of the Police Act I 1964 to be appropriate and
we therefore ask you to exercise your power to initiate an inquiry
under section 32 of that Act. We are prepared to place before such
an inquiry, detailed evidence in support of each of the matters of
complaint mentioned herein.
Yours Sincerely, ...
Don Aitken, Legal Counsellor, Release
Dr. John Guy, MB BS,
Clive Morrick, Mike Reed, Solicitors


Further to our letter of 27 August we would like to make a

number of further points with regard to police action at the
Windsor Free Festival.

Firstly, there are a number of matters relating to the clearing

of the festival site on 29 August. We would like to ask:-
i) Why festival organisers and participants were deceived by Police
assurances that the Festival would be allowed to continue until
Sunday 1 September, and why a meeting between Police and organisers
was postponed by Police until the morning of the 29th, by which time
the operation was over.

ii) Why all uniformed officers who had been on duty on the site,
and had in many cases established good relations with participants,
were removed from the area at dawn on the 29th, allowing the clearance
operation to be carried out without violence.

iii) Whether it was clear, as it ought to have been, to the officers

in command that the operation they envisaged could not have been
carried out without violence.

iv) Why false statements were issued to the press, including the
statement that no truncheons had been used.

In addition to the above points we would would wish to raise a

considerable number of particular incidents of what can only be
described by the rather devalued phrase "police brutality".

There are also a number of other points, including the treatment

of medical and welfare services both before and during the Festival,
the difficulties placed in the way of lawyers, and the obstruction of
suerties, which led in one case to a defendent spending ten days in
custody after being granted bail by the Court.

We believe that all these points add further cogency to our

request for an enquiry under section 32 of the Police Act 1964. We
repeat that we are in a position to produce evidence to substantiate
each matter.

A 9.9.74


Dear Home Secretary, 16 September 1974

Windsor Festival

At their meeting today the Thames Valley Police Authority appear

to have decided that police activities at Windsor either cannot or
should not be justified in public. It is clear that members of the
Aurthority having heard only the Chief Constable's version of events,
a version which contains no word of criticism of any aspect of the
police operation, are noty sufficently informed to reach a considered
opinion on the merits or otherwise of the action taken. The
extraordinary measures taken, at the Chief Constable's request, to
keep the whole of his report from public view and not to allow the
public or press access to any part of the Authority's meeting suggest
that Mr Holdsworth is anxious to avoid any public scrutiny of his
actions, or even of his own account of what those actions were.

Clearly no public statement will be made by the Authority until

the whole matter has been safely forgotten. We therefore feel it
urgently necessary to renew our request to you of "7 August for a
public enquiry under section 32 of the Police Act 1964, and also to
ask that Mr Holdsworth's report, or such parts of it you deem
proper, should be published, so as to enable the public to judge for
themselves. In the event of there being no enquiry the evidence in
our possesion will be published in full, in the hope that both
sides of the story may be heard.

Yours sincerly, D.A. Aitken, Legal Counsellor, Release





Anyone thinking of going to the Windsor Festival (advertised

for 24-31 August) sdhould note that:

1) The Crown Estate Commissioners, as owners of the land, have

denied permission for this Festival to take place, and have instructed
the Police to enforce the Park by-laws.

2) The Police will therefore not allow any tents to be pitched, fires
to be lit, or music to be played. Anyone doing so will be at risk of

3) None of the normal facilities available at a festival (water supply,

toilets etc) will be available, and no welfare groups will be permitted
to operate on the site.


Contact 01-289-1123