Could anyone involved with UK law tell me if what my wife experienced this week is lawfull (probably) and acceptable (I think not). A local gym with a spate of thefts called in the police who set up a 'sting' operation. My wife saw a woman carelessly drop her her purse into her open bag and leave it - she follwed the woman out to warn her but she was 'on the phone' and didn't want to intrude. She passed a few words with her friend in the gym before going to the studio to do a class. Later, when she'd left the gym and walked up towards a local cafe with a male friend they were approached by 2 large rough-looking men who held something up to her and said "Can I interest you in this?" Her initial reaction (thinking it was a salesman) was "NO", but when she saw enough of it to realise it was a police card (probably a warrant card - but not enough time to see), then her attitude was "Right - no problems". Her friend as asked to remove himself while they talked to her. They both questioned her harshly and abruptly - interrupting her answers and (from the description she gave me) badgering her. They examined her only £10 note against a list, and wanted to go through her bag. She didn't want that to be done in the street (dirty gym kit and 'female' things in the bag), and she was not going to go down a back alley they indicated (which I know leads to the police car park). At this point she was wondering if they WERE cops, or potential rapists with a made-up card She insisted on being taken to the police station (about 30-yards). She was taken into an interview cubicle and everything was taken out of her bag and spread around the floor. Comments were being made about all her stuff "You have a lot of stuff here", "Do you need all this?", "Why do you have so many plasters?", and all the time the attitude was extremely accusatory. Then they brought a female officer in to strip-search her. The room was small, and there was a full length glass strip in the door. She had to strip to her bra on the upper body, and because of 'big knickers' she needed to drop everything down below. As this was going on the door was attempted to be opened a couple of times, and the female officer was forced to SHOUT at the men to go away and give her time. The male officer's comment when he came back in was "You're free to go - you have nothing on you that we are interested in. I hope this hasn't given you a bad impression of the police". Typed in black and white, it doesn't sound too bad - but nothing can describe the trauma and humiliation she felt at being treat the way they did. They 'crime' she had committed??? The friend she spoke to was one of the suspects (what happened to her was even worse - and she was totally innocent as well :woo: ). She has neurological problems (suspected M.S.), and needs to keep stresss and trauma to a minimum. She has also suffered depressive problems and was attacked as a teenager. (Not an easy life, all in all ) She did not eat or sleep that night - couldn't stop shaking and replaying it in her mind. I took an emergency day off work the next day to be with her, and the reaction continued despite 'medication' we had available. That night she slept through exhaustion, but was awake again 4am the next day - I took another day off work and took her to doctors. All this while she is thinking that the gym she loves going to (as a safe place) thinks she is a thief and she has been humilliated in front of them. Contact from various staff and call-mates tried to convince her that NOBODY thought it was her, but 'logic' does not come into play when 'feelings' are as high as they are. (Those with long-term female partners will understand!) This morning we heard that the gym owner set his own sting, and caught the thief red-handed. That news alone has lifted her spirits. However that doesn't undo any of the damage she has felt at the hands of the police. I know enforcing the law isn't easy, and I know I'm not up to doing the job. It's not so much WHAT was done, but THE WAY things are handled that make the difference between letting normal citizens feel they've done their part to help the authorities and having them leave feeling they have been abused. The whole thing, from the meeting on the street to getting back to her friend at the cafe (in a terrible state) took about 45minutes by my calculation. It seems (from one particular guy's attitude) that sticking within the rules is all that matters (and I'm not sure he did that) - what affect his treatment has on the people he deals with is of no concern and it's up to family and friends to deal with the aftermath. I am an easy-going guy. I know I can get a lot more out of people by discussion, negotiation, and reasonable behaviour.... That being said, I am as peeeeed off as I have ever been Any comments by those in the know (or thoughts by the 'girls' in the gang) would be appreciated.