THE family of a man who died in a Hogmanay taxi rank punch up have criticised police for failing to release how many officers were on patrol in Dundee the night he was fatally injured.
Police attended 11 emergencies between 11pm and 1am on the night Brian Fox died – taking an average of 15 minutes to respond to each one.
Paramedics arrived on the scene 20 minutes afer he hit the ground last New Year – and it is thought officers only responded immediately after being summoned by the ambulance crew.
Mr Fox was fatally injured following a New Year taxi rank punch-up and his family have slammed police for failing to disclose how many officers they had on patrol the night he died.
Police have refused to publish details of the number of officers it had on patrol in Dundee City Centre in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2019.
Mr Fox was punched to the ground by 20-year-old Wes Reid, who hit the “gentle giant” after a fight over a taxi spilled out into the road at the Nethergate.
He was cleared of culpable homicide on the grounds of self-defence in November.
Police claim disclosing the number of officers on patrol would affect “the prevention or detection of crime”.
It did, however, acknowledge that disclosing the figures would have “informed the public debate on the issue of policing and contributed to the accuracy of that debate.”
The service added: “If we disclosed the number of officers on duty (especially where lower
numbers are involved) then this could have a serious consequence when large groups are
involved in disorder, as they will be aware of the number of resources available to deal
with the incident.”
The service has, however, revealed the average response time for incidents around the time the incident unfolded.
Cops attended at 11 emergencies between 11pm and 2am on Hogmanay and New Year’s Day, taking an average of 15 minutes to respond to each one.
They responded to a “category one” call – believed to be a request from paramedics tending to Brian – within three minutes. However, paramedics only arrived on the scene 20 minutes after the 62-year-old welder hit the ground.
Brian’s brother David, along with sister Isobel and sister-in-law Aileen, have claimed there was “not a police officer or a police car to be seen” in Dundee City Centre on the night of the incident, having seen CCTV footage during Reid’s trial.
Today, almost a year on from his brother’s death, David has accused the police of ‘glossing over the details’ by withholding the figures – and remains convinced there were not enough police in the city to cope with the incident.
He believes calls were made at the start of the punch-up, before Brian suffered his fatal injury, and estimates that police took around half an hour to respond to the incident after ultimately being summoned by paramedics.
David said: “The CCTV footage of the entire incident reveals that there were no uniform officers in the centre of Dundee at that time, the early hours of the New Year, which traditionally requires a large visible police presence to deter trouble makers.
“As for their claim it is in the public interest not to disclose certain information I would say it is also in the public interest for the police to guard, watch and patrol to protect life and property – which they have obviously failed to do on this occasion.
“A decision has been made at Police Scotland which resulted in no police being present in the centre of Dundee at that time.
“Whoever made that decision should not be allowed to make similar decisions in the future.”
Chief Superintendent Andrew Todd said: “As we have previously stated, our sympathies remain with the family of Brian Fox and all those affected by his death.
“I reiterate that within Dundee, undertake considerable planning and analysis of resources to ensure we have officers in place within the city centre during busy times of the year. This includes key areas close to licensed premises and taxi ranks.”