Plebgate Scandal 'Same As Treatment Of Young People In London', Kids Company Says

The unravelling of the plebgate case against a government minister could be "the best thing that ever happened" for young people, a charity has said.

David van Eeghen, of the Kids Company charity, claimed young people had experienced injustice at the hands of the police for years, and said the high-profile case of Andrew Mitchell could trigger change.

The Tory former chief whip lost his job after being accused of calling police officers 'plebs' at the Downing Street gates.

But doubt has been cast on the account of the police officers, and three Police Federation representatives have been accused of giving misleading statements after a behind-closed-doors meeting with Mitchell after the event.

Mitchell has admitted swearing at the officers, but always denied using the word 'pleb' - the toxic term that probably lost him his job.

Youth campaigners have said the publicity should highlight the treatment of some young people by the police.

The case against Mitchell appears to be unravelling

Speaking on the Today programme on Friday morning, van Eeghen said: "The plebgate scandal was only a matter of time, because there have been so many young people who have experienced exactly this kind of behaviour at the hands of the police.

"For it to have actually happened to a public servant is probably the best thing that could have ever happened to our young people and hopefully they will see that change can happen."

Asked about the Mitchell episode, one young man, a former criminal called Kevin, told the BBC: "I feel for him, because he has become a victim of what we have victims of for the past how much years, but he's just got to deal with it how we have been dealing with it."

Responding, Irene Curtis, president of the Police Superintendents' Associtaion of England and Wales, agreed trust in the force was vital, but added: "We are talking about a very small number of officers."