An ex-Downing Street aide has accused two street ‘rangers’ working for a local business group in a cathedral city of ‘assaulting’ her black 15-year-old son in a Superdrug store.
The boy, whose mother Kirsty Buchanan is a former Number 10 aide, was forcibly detained by the two men on the floor of the shop in Chichester, West Sussex.
Footage released by Ms Buchanan on Twitter showed the two men holding the teenager on the ground while they handcuffed him before the arrival of police.
She said: ‘This is my 15-year-old black son who was followed while he shopped for shampoo by two council workers called rangers. He was assaulted by them, then sat on and handcuffed by them. When Sussex Police arrived, guess who they arrested?’
Sussex Police are now investigating and said a 15-year-old boy from Worthing and a 16-year-old boy from Chichester were arrested on suspicion of assault. Superdrug claimed female staff were assaulted and the store had to be shut due to damage.
The two men are ‘rangers’ for the Chichester Business Improvement District, which works in partnership with the city council. The BID said they act as ‘the eyes and ears on the street and a reassuring presence for those in the front line of petty crime’.
The BID describes itself a business-led initiative which is ‘independent from local authorities and other statutory agencies and delivers projects over and above the baseline services provided by them’.
Ms Buchanan has urged the BID to contact her about the ‘behaviour’ of the rangers, telling it on Twitter: ‘You surely cannot condone the way they have treated my son?’
The boy was forcibly detained by two men on the floor of the shop in Chichester, West Sussex
Ms Buchanan claimed to the Daily Mirror that the rangers were aggressive towards her son and his friends, saying: ‘What I have been told is the ranger pushed him and my son pushed back.
‘He was then slam dunked to the floor and sat on top of him as you see in the video and they put plastic handcuffs on him – the police then arrived and arrested my son.’
The boy’s mother Kirsty Buchanan was once political editor at the Sunday Express and is a former adviser to Theresa May and Liz Truss
Video footage circulating on social media does not show the moment of the alleged ‘slam dunk’, but shows the boy being restrained.
Ms Buchanan, who was once political editor at the Sunday Express and is also a former adviser to Theresa May and Liz Truss, said she did not hear from her son for an hour and a half while he was being held at Worthing Police Station.
Ms Buchanan also said that her son had regularly experienced racist incidents and has been stopped and searched many times.
She tweeted last night: ‘So @sussex_police have a policy of not holding minors. My son is still in custody and has yet to be interviewed.
‘I have been told by a senior officer Superdrug camera footage has not been recovered by police yet. Why on earth not?’
She later revealed that her son – who is due to six exams in a few weeks’ time – was let out of police custody at 1.15am this morning before heading home.
A Sussex Police spokesman told MailOnline yesterday: ‘We are aware of a video circulating on social media of a teenager being detained by civilian security staff in Chichester this afternoon (22 March).
The men involved are ‘rangers’ for the Chichester Business Improvement District in the city
The boy’s mother, Kirsty Buchanan, said the security guards ‘dunked’ her son to the floor
‘Police were called to the store in East Street shortly after 3.30pm to reports of a group of teenagers involved in an altercation.
‘A shop worker also reported being assaulted. Officers attended the scene and three teenagers had been detained by civilian security staff.
‘A 15-year-old boy from Worthing and a 16-year-old boy from Chichester were arrested by police on suspicion of assault.
‘They remain in police custody pending urgent enquiries, supported by appropriate adults. Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of what happened.’
Superdrug revealed female staff were assaulted and the store in Chichester had to be closed
A spokesman for Superdrug told MailOnline yesterday: ‘An incident occurred today in our Chichester store between Chichester BID Rangers and a group of young males they were monitoring.
‘Unfortunately, female staff were also assaulted. This is now a police matter, and we are offering our full assistance to Sussex Police.
‘Our priority is always to keep our colleagues and customers safe, we have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to violence and aggression. The store remains closed due to damage caused.’
And a Chichester District Council spokesman said: “We have been made aware of an incident that took place in Chichester city today and we want to clarify that no Chichester District Council staff were involved.”
MailOnline has contacted Chichester Business Improvement District for comment.
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