‘Sick’ onlookers filmed as Portsmouth precinct drama unfolded

SCENE Police in Arundel Street yesterday
SCENE Police in Arundel Street yesterday

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POLICE have condemned ghouls who filmed a man and urged him to jump from a Portsmouth shop roof yesterday.

Officers cordoned off part of Arundel Street after the 26-year-old Portsmouth man was spotted on the flat roof above Berketex Brides, running over neighbouring shops’ roofs and swigging from a can of lager.

During a two-hour stand-off, as a police negotiator attempted to reason with the man, some people took pictures and video, and even shouted at the man to jump.

Police said footage and photographs of the incident had later been posted on internet sites.

At around 11.10am yesterday the negotiations broke down and the man jumped off the building. He was last night in a critical condition in hospital.

A spokeswoman for Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘This was a disgusting display by members of the public and showed a complete lack of empathy for the person involved and for officers trying to deal with a very sensitive situation under immense pressure.

‘We are also saddened to learn that some members of the public felt it appropriate to film the incident and post these videos to social networking sites.

‘The man remains at Queen Alexandra Hospital in a serious condition and specialist officers are offering support to his family at this difficult time.

‘This was a very unpleasant event which could have been traumatic for those who witnessed it and we’d urge anyone affected to call us on 101 where we can give advice and offer support.

‘Equally if anyone has any information about the circumstances leading up to this incident, please call us on 101.’

Eyewitness Sylvia Cole, from Milton, said: ‘He’d been up there for a few hours and the police were up there with him.

‘I shouted up to him that there were kids down here. I said: “Your life is more important than jumping off here”.

‘The police told me to stop but I was just trying to help.

‘I don’t know why they couldn’t have put something down for him to fall on.

‘There were people taking pictures and videos and that is just sick.

‘One man said to me that “you don’t see things like this every day”.

‘It was unbelievable.’

Timothy Braithwaite, from Buckland, said he was horrified at the behaviour of those taking videos.

He added: ‘There was a woman with kids filming it. What was she doing?

‘I don’t understand how you can be there with kids in the first place, never mind filming it to look at later.

‘It’s disgusting.’