Blast It!

Blast it home

Broken home

 

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The Vanishing Blue Line

The Private Policeman

Crime Commissioners

Social Control

August Riots 2011

Common Purpose

The Plebgate thing

Tiberius, Zloty, Othona.... What?

Cover up at Leveson

Deaths in Police Custody

The death of Ian Tomlinson

Freddy Patel

The Shooting of Mark Duggan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blast it home

Broken home

 

 


Policing



In the 1840s the ideal Metropolitan Policeman was described:

‘Perfect command of temper is indispensable.’ Police training should transform a ‘wild young fellow’ into ‘a machine, moving, thinking and speaking only as his instruction book directs… Stiff, calm and inexorable, an institution rather than a man’ (see Policing Victorian London, by Phillip Thurmond Smith).

Surrey Police Force is one of the only two in the country that employs more civilian staff than police officers, otherwise known as policing on the cheap. Police figures reveal that Surrey has fewer police officers than support staff, 1,785 to 1,938. The trend across the nation appears to be heading towards a 50:50 split.

The situation in Surrey presents a new model whereby a professional policeman has a team 'purpose built' to support his crime busting activities. The latter appears to be central to the core business of the Surrey Force. According to the recently published three year development plan for the County Force, "catching criminals is central to the forces purpose" - takes your breath away.

Quite how you catch more villains with less policeman remains a mystery that only Chief Constable Mark Rowley understands. Strange man Rowley, he says that the work of Surrey Police is not 'target driven'. The mystery deepens, how does a plan that has no targets achieve its aims, sorry, apart from catching criminals?

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The Private Policeman

Chief Constable Rowley moved on to Scotland Yard and we can now answer the question at the end of the last paragraph. New Chief Constable, Lynne Owens, is intending to outsource frontline police functions to private contractors. In March (2011), the West Midlands and Surrey forces invited bids for £1.5bn worth of services from private firms. Companies attending a bidders' conference in London were told work that could be contracted out included guarding crime scenes, patrolling neighbourhoods and collecting CCTV footage.

Interesting to note that Lynne Owens and other chief officers around the country are being pestered daily by ex-colleagues, now working for private security companies, touting for business. (reported in the Independent, August 2014)

G4S has signed a deal, thought to be the first of its kind, with Lincolnshire Police Authority in a move which could save the force £28 million. The firm has signed a contract to build, design and help run a police station.

From April 1, 2012, and for at least the next 10 years, G4S Policing Support Services will also provide Lincolnshire Police with administrative and operational services including human resources, IT, fleet management, custody services and firearms licensing.

All very interesting but the private sector have often made big promises about what it will save the tax payer but the supposed saving rarely materialise without the service declining substantially.

G4S have also been supporting investigations on Operation Yewtree, the Jimmy Savile investigation. And advertisements placed in the Sunday Times (April 2013) by the company show that they have been chosen to hire investigators to assist with murder and serious crime, leading a team of officers conducting interviews, door-to-door inquiries and tests.
It appears that the police have a manpower problem but there's a big question mark over G4S's ability to supply people with the right qualities. The status of these individuals is also a subject of debate, currently they do have to answer to the IPPC - mind you, the police are not renowned for assisting the IPPC - e.g the Duggan shooting.

In 2010 there were 144,353 police officers in England and Wales, 28,000 could disappear over the next few years. In response to the cuts the force is seeking improved efficiencies, mainly through greater cooperation between police forces and the involvement of the private sector.

Charging Powers

The Labour government removed charging powers from the police in 2003. Home Secretary, Theresa May, told the Police Federation's annual conference (2011) that she will take away the right of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to decide on whether to proceed in every criminal case. The CPS will retain rights over charging on more serious offences which are automatically heard in the crown court. In 2012, Ms May told the Police Federation's annual conference she knew they would be with her over public spending cuts - they laughed.
An FBI type agency to be set up

The government has set up an FBI type agency? They argue that the 43 regional forces have no answer to serious organised crime. The new National Crime Agency has replaced the Serious Organised Crime Agency and incorporated the National Policing Improvement Agency and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.

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Crime Commissioners

They also decided to replace "invisible" police authorities with directly elected police and crime commissioners". The idea is to make the police service more accountable to local people by replacing police authorities with directly elected police and crime commissioners, introduced from May 2012. However, at the rate the police are disappearing from local communities, the idea of greater local accountability may mean that the new commissioners are underemployed. Having not much to do is a bit of a joke, when you consider – these posts have a salary of between £65,000 and £100,000 – at a time when the police service faces cuts to staffing because of the Government's austerity drive. The major problem with the election of commissioners is that the hoped for well-known non-political figures did not materialise and the elections were fought out between unremarkable party stalwarts, including former ministers and MPs. This meant that party finances were put behind these political candidates, making it difficult for independents to compete.

Moral order of the crown and the state

So a policeman is supposed to be more institution than man. Where do PCSOs fit into this framework? They are not policeman, so they can’t be an institution; they have uniforms and any authority resides in the uniform – designed to mask their lack of power.

PCSOs are nearly-police and now we have 16,000 wandering the town centres of the nation, in their hi-viz masks. Their training is basic, their aptitude questionable – watching a small boy drown because they hadn’t received training for such an emergency. Their integrity is also questionable, responsible for half of all cases of gross misconduct across the police workforce.
Beyond nearly-police to not police at all.

Beyond PCSOs there are between 8000 and 9000 Street Wardens issuing on-the-spot fines for anti-social behaviour offences. In addition, a 2009 audit found that there are 1,667 ‘accredited individuals’, including private security guards, railway employees and park rangers. Chief constables do the ‘accrediting’, and now it’s common to see private security firms ‘policing’ shopping malls. These private police are not under the control of the police but rather their bosses, the owners of shopping malls or the council.

There are an estimated 150,000 private security guards in the UK, some security companies are patrolling neighbourhoods for as little as 39p a day. The latest nutty scheme from the ConDem government is to beef up its crime fighting efforts by encouraging ‘community crime fighters’, who will go on patrol with the police. And even nuttier, a primary school swore in pupils as their own ‘Junior Police Community Support Officers’, to deal with the issue of ‘irresponsible parking’ around the school.

The demise of the Special

Special Constables, the volunteer reserve force has fallen from 67,000 in the 1950s, to 60,000 in the 1960s to some 15,000 today. The key word here is ‘volunteer’, people who give of their time freely; it seems there’s a decline in citizens’ willingness to work for nothing. The ConDem government are set to reverse this decline and have big plans to encourage a citizens’ police force. These plans are set out in their consultation document, Policing in the 21st Century. At least they've got the right century. Policing minister Nick Herbert said the government aimed to see levels of volunteers return to those of the 1950s and 1960s. "We want to see the police family extended," he explained.

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New forms of social control

When Gordon Brown was Prime Minister he said: "Every community now has a visible, contactable, and accountable policing team, working with local people to keep their neighbourhood safe. "I'm determined that every person has access to the same level of support and service when it comes to policing." Mr Brown was clearly an ambitious man but his determination on this issue amounted to not a lot.

The PCSOs and their assorted patrollers set up by New Labour represented a shift of the police into a new role: a shift from traditional policing (protection of property, person, and public order), to behaviour policing (those violations of public order that include dropped chewing gum, drinking in the park, dogs without collars etc, etc.)

PCSOs are not police but behaviour police. They cannot arrest somebody or investigate a crime: they wander around telling people off for doing whatever it is they are doing, and deliver state-issued tellings off in the form of on the spot fines.

The police have become embarrassingly inept at dealing with public order situations – witness impotent officers standing by while a handful of students took their time to smash Millbank Tower. They have also apparently lost the ability to perform armed sieges, either shooting the gunman outright (Mark Saunders) or sitting by and letting him get on with it (the Hackney siege, which was resolved after the gunman set fire to himself and the hostage escaped).

Yet officers become surprisingly agitated when they encounter situations such as one 10-year-old child calling another child ‘paki’ in the playground, a man clipping his neighbour’s honeysuckle, a Christian handing out leaflets criticising homosexuality, a drunk student asking an officer if his horse was gay… or any other of the myriad trivial everyday incidents that have been sternly brought to justice by our boys in blue.

New ways of thinking about and dealing with crime

Bright yellow police signs appealing for witnesses to serious offences are no longer such a feature of grim city streets - in London at least. In an attempt to reduce 'fear of crime', the Metropolitan Police has effectively banned the use of the distinctive signs in all but exceptional circumstances. So London police have given up on fighting crime, preferring instead to combat the fear of crime. We feel safer already. Except that the 2013 ONS Crime Survey tells us that the capital is the most dangerous place to live in the country. Norman Baker, crime prevention minister, tells us, it's all the fault of television crime series, making everyone think that crime is rampant. Across the nation crime is down significantly but this is largely due to advances in technology, not policing, the average PC makes a significant arrest once every seven years (another ONS statistic).

Three significant moments during 2011

Britain appears to be on a stealth-like creep towards a police state, under the guise of safeguarding law and order, and the fight against terrorism. Students and others protesting in London were subject to what can only be described as a moving corral. Four thousand police offices were deployed to encircle the 5000 protesters. Letters were sent out to activists arrested on previous marches, warning of the consequences of attending. Leaflets were issued telling marchers how they were expected to behave. And crucially, prior to the march, protesters were informed that police would use plastic bullets if necessary. Plain clothes officers were grabbing protestors, using a section 60 order empowering officers to force the removal of masks (on pain of arrest).

Protesters were also informed, via Twitter and megaphone, after the march started that the gathering at London Wall, the end of the march, would be limited to two hours. Anyone over staying would fall foul of the Public Order Act. In the event, a breakaway group, attempting to set up tents in Trafalgar Square were arrested under that Act. All of this represents Met Chief Hogan-Howe's idea of 'total policing'. Except that currently it's a bit less than total. However, Theresa May will soon re-introduce powers under the Riot Act to police, at Superintendent level, in order to remove the public from a specific location.

Moment two....

Home Secretary, Theresa May outlawed Muslims Against Crusades (MAC) for the 'glorification of terrorism', under the 2000 Terrorism Act. MAC were set to disrupt the Armistice Day ceremonies, with a lot of shouting and burning of poppies. The MAC is the fifth incarnation of Anjem Choudary's sharia fantasy, the others are Al Ghurabaa, The Saved Sect, Al-Muhajiroun and Islam4UK.

Choudary told the media, "I think it is an abject failure of democracy and it is a victory for sharia Muslims. The truth is something the government would rather silence." Here, Choudary seems to misunderstand his own creed, sharia and democracy are mutually exclusive.

Moment three....

So thanks to May's ban on Muslims Against Crusades, Hogan-Howe was left free to devote all his attention to the English Defence League.
For reasons best known to the EDL they were in the vicinity of the Armistice Day ceremonies. Perhaps, the EDL thought that Muslims Against Crusades might turn up for some fisticuffs, despite their ban. In the event the police turned up and arrested them all. For effect, let's repeat that, every EDL follower was corralled, processed and arrested. What were these EDL members doing that inspired the thin blue line to swing into action? Nothing! Apparently, they were arrested by virtue of the fact that they were there. The police, we are being told, were responding to an "imminent" breach of the peace. Apparently, the EDL was set to launch an attack on the St Paul's Occupy LSX Camp. Oddly, the EDL had decided that St Paul's was 'their' church and they would not tolerate a bunch of hippies making it look untidy.

In the foregoing instances the forces of law and order have not introduced much, if anything, that's new. What is new is the use of existing tactics and powers that in the past it was not deemed necessary to employ.

The strident pronouncements of politicians and police have set the tone for future developments. Extreme views, no matter what the source, will not be tolerated. Protest will be conducted according to rules stipulated by Hogan-Howe.

Three cheers for democracy

Many, who think of themselves as democrats and liberals, may well have applauded State actions. Is there really that much to cheer. In 2010, the student demo in London had a turn out of some 50,000. Has the rage over the loss of ESA and the staggering increases in student fees evaporated so soon. Or could it be that many decent kids were frightened away by Hogan-Howe's boys with their plastic bullets.

Theresa May's populist ban on Muslims Against Crusades was an exercise in futility. We need to hear the voices of people like Anjem Choudary. Choudary's is the voice of Islam as a political ideology. So-called moderate muslims may not buy into it but can they pick and choose which bits they want to subscribe to, it's not a Sky TV package; are they not automatically signed up to the Large package. Moderate British politicians and citizens who want to silence Choudary are no less in denial: if you genuinely want democracy, then you take the whole package.
The arrest of the 170 members of the EDL, who decided to have a few beers at the Red Lion, before moving on to St. Paul's is really a lesson in tactical error. However, the EDL also has a voice that needs to be heard because they believe that they represent a common sense, working class, right-minded, flag of St. George approach to things. The EDL have not been banned yet but arresting them for turning up is a bit rich. Are we likely to see this idea of "imminent" breach of the peace being applied generally. Today the EDL, tomorrow, the arrest of the radical wing of the Save Our Public Toilets Campaign, as they exit Green Park tube station, heading for their advertised 'let's piss in the park' gathering.

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The August Riots 2011

Call Me Dave had to return from his holiday early as London smouldered and he was in no mood to start "hugging a hoodie". Dave did not want to end his holiday early, he was sunning himself with Baron Luca Sanjust among the vines of Chianti. The people under the stairs at No. 10 phoned him several times, pointing out that he was heading for a Hurricane Katrina Moment, i.e., like silly George Bush who failed to visit New Orleans in the aftermath of the flooding.

Back in No. 10, he rolled up his sleeves, ready for action. He spoke like a biblical prophet about a plague of sick rodents infesting the land, he presaged the great revenge of the law, followed by a period of understanding.

Following the shooting by police of innocent family man Mark Duggan (and all round nice gangsta), a group started protesting about the lack of information surrounding the death outside Tottenham police station. A teenage girl decided the proceedings were a trifle dull and started throwing stones at the police lines. For some unaccountable reason the police found this behaviour unacceptable and they piled in. Unbelievably, members of the crowd took exception to the police behaviour... the rest is tabloid fish paper; arson, looting, and violence - otherwise known as a riot. Although the authorities were careful not to utter the word riot, preferring instead to refer to unrest and disturbances - riots mean culpability and compensation.

The rioting spread across London on subsequent nights and as far north as Manchester over four nights. Commentators believe that these subsequent events were unconnected to the Mark Duggan affair (oh, really?) - who we learnt never fired his gun at police, in fact, he was no where near a gun when he was shot.

The police stood by and watched as the looters and arsonists went about their business, they stood by and watched as Tottenham High Street was destroyed. Dave was not happy with the police, he decided to hire an American super cop to advise him - having already decided the criminality was all down to gangs.

In the aftermath of the riots the police were not idle, some three thousands suspects were arrested, many received stiff sentences from the courts. There's now much talk of arming the police with rubber bullets and water cannons and - STOP PRESS - shooting rioters with real bullets next time. Excuse us, the next time? Can you just imagine all those chief police officers' seminars going on around shiny tables, next time there's civil unrest, whatever the source, aggrieved relatives, striking public sector workers, students, pensioners - the forces of law and order will be ready - they wont be made to look stupid again. Talking of stupid, Bonkers Boris, Mayor of London, bought three second-hand water cannon in May 2014 from Germany to support the fight against protesting insurgents

Conclusion

By the 1820s it became clear that the locally maintained system of volunteer constables and "watchmen" was ineffective, both in detecting and preventing crime. Hence, the introduction of the Peelers and the beginnings of a modern police force for London.

And yet here we are, in the 21st century, going back to a reliance on volunteers and private security watchman. What next, Bow Street Runners and thief takers? Meanwhile, senior officers welcomed the latest roll-out of tasers and called for them to be available to ALL frontline officers. By the end of 2012, all police cars had a taser on board. In October 2012, the taser was used to good effect..... Colin Farmer, 61, a blind stroke victim, out for a stroll was tasered by police, who mistook his white stick for a Samurai sword. Once on the ground, Mr Farmer was pounced on and handcuffed. This incident calls into question the state of the police officer's eyesight, the officer must have been short sighted, given that the range of the X25 taser is a mere 21 yards.

One thing seems clear, when the police are found wanting you can expect over-reaction as the response next time; or else someone will need to explain what the point of all that Common Purpose earthquake training was?

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Common Purpose

In criminal law, the doctrine of common purpose or joint enterprise refers to the situation where two or more people embark on a project that results in the commission of a crime. And judging by some of the prosecutions brought using this law, defendants do not even have to know they are taking part in a joint enterprise to be convicted. In what follows the jury is still out as to whether a crime has been committed.

From odd to suspicious to conspiracy theory

Introduction: September 2010, police officers from four forces took part in earthquake training. This training cost £1 million. The last major earthquake in Britain took place in the 10th Century, 11 people died. In recent times, a sizeable quake occurred in 1931, a women died of heart attack. There is no evidence that a major earthquake is imminent.

Such behaviour, leaving the cost to one side, does appear a trifle odd. This has led some people to question its real purpose. The suggestion is that it's a part of some kind of contingency planning to deal with civil unrest. After all, training to deal with large scale rioting is hardly likely to be billed as such.

Add in some curious information relating to the Ministry of Defence buying up large quantities of tear gas, riot shields and other riot equipment. Factor in other rumours that army personnel transfers to home regiments are being selected on the basis of a willingness to open fire on UK citizens. Now, to a fertile mind, all of this isn't just fishy, its right-wing sinister.

Could it be, at a time of impending disaster, i.e. the massive proposed cuts in public services for 2010 and beyond, that the common purpose is to add the final preparations for dealing with civil unrest. Be in no doubt the laws for dealing with unrest are already in place, in the shape of the Civil Contingencies Act, a set of laws to allow the State to do whatever it likes without a court of appeal. The earthquake training and a whole series of other 'training' has taken place over the past few years. The conspiracy theorists believe that central to this contingency planning is a training organisation called Common Purpose.

What is Common Purpose?

Common Purpose is a registered charity and limited company, whose purpose is to deliver/provide leadership training courses. Key customers of Common Purpose are government departments and local authorities. The Common Purpose website says it was set up in 1989, the conspiracy theorists say it was initiated by Ted Heath in 1970.

Now, the interesting thing about Common Purpose is that it just appeared, fully formed and ready to deliver expensive training courses. And even more intriguing, Common Purpose has received a fair degree of special treatment, like rent free office space at the Department for Children, Schools and Families in Sheffield, and has enjoyed its use since 1997. New Labour's David Blunkett took over as Education Secretary in 1997 and claims not to know who sanctioned rent free office space for Common Purpose.

The Department for Work and Pensions spent £238,000 between 2002/03 and 2006/07 on leadership courses run by Common Purpose. A string of local authorities have also used the organisation at the rate payers' expense. They have also run courses at No. 10 and for some of the nation's largest PLCs. Common Purpose has a very privileged position in the world of training.

One thing is clear, Common Purpose do not like people asking questions. The organisation compiled a list of names of 90 people who applied for information on the organisations activities under the Freedom of Information Act. They then sent this list to local authorities by way of a warning not to supply these individuals with information. This was of course a breach of data protection rules but the Commissioner just ticked off Common Purpose and they said they wouldn't do it again. The jury may still be out as far as Common Purpose is concerned but when it comes to trust in the police, the jury’s packed up and gone home.

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The Plebgate thing

Gosh, egads, Dave is talking to the Downing Street cat again, as he does when the black clouds of silliness cast a gloomy shadow over his Poundland of Opportunity.

How did it come to this Mr Cat, we have spent £230,000 investigating this Plebgate incident. The whole charade has taken over two years and thirty of Hogan-Howe's finest, toiling night and day, to uncover the truth of a 45 second incident. Dave reflects on the sloth of his Total Policeman, Hogan-Howe is not good at old fashioned police work - he may have to go. Theresa May is wondering why the Total Policeman will not be arresting the guilty 'stitch-up' boys.
Dave's brow is now beaded with uncharacteristic sweat, he's having an ash and sackcloth moment. Dave knows how easily he let Mitchell go, why didn't he stand by his man - that, he tells Mr Cat, is what the biographers will want to know. Bad advice again, he reflects... Yes, that's it, didn't he ask his Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood to sort things out and didn't he make a mess of things? Come on, Sir Jeremy told the Public Administration Committee that he was suspicious about the circumstances of the incident but decided not to act. I mean, let's remind ourselves what he told those MPs on the Committee:

"We accepted there were unanswered questions including the possibility of a gigantic conspiracy, or a small conspiracy, but we decided on balance to leave things as they were."
Now, you tell me, why didn't any of those MPs ask him who the 'we' were. Why don't these people pay attention? And why didn't anyone notice that he was reading from the same script as that clueless twerp George Entwistle, the disappeared past Director General of the BBC.

And now it's come to this, the protection officers at the gate colluded, the Police Federation colluded, three separate police forces colluded, Hogan-Howe and Boris Johnson watched like rabbits caught in the headlights, the Cabinet Office made a mess of things - can it get any worse. Well, yes, the IPCC had an attack of honesty. Keith Vaz was taking a hand - could this be the beginning of the long goodnight for Dave? Would Dave be doing something to address public concern over police behaviour?

Dave addressed a Police Federation gathering thus:

"Britain has the bravest and best force anywhere in the world."

Would that be the same police force that some quarters are telling us we need a Royal Commission to investigate. Investigate things like "the fabrication and destruction of evidence, deaths in police custody, framing of suspects, abuse of databases for personal reasons, punitive attitudes to innocent members of the public, abuse of the Taser stun gun, contempt for legitimate protest, examples of racism and use of excessive force and restraint ..." (Henry Porter, The Observer, Sunday 20 October 2013) And for Dave's information, we do not have a 'police force', we have a 'police service'. That is, the police are servants of the court, nothing more than warranted bailiffs.

And the saga ticked on... the Former Chief Whip was facing a large bill for a libel action, April 2014, brought by PC Toby Rowland. Mitchell told friends the bill could force him to sell his £1million London home. Whatever happened to legal aid Andrew? In the legal joust between Rowland and Mitchell, the judge decided in favour of Rowland, the poor man had been called a pleb by Mitchell. This farce will cost Mitchell £1.5 million, Rowland’s tab was picked up by the Police Federation. Dave breathed a sigh of relief: “On the issue of Andrew Mitchell, I mean, let me be clear, it is never right to be abusive or rude to a police officer. I think that is extremely important. But, look, we’ve had a court case now. That’s how we do things in this country. The judge has made very clear his verdict and I think everyone should accept that verdict and move on.”

Dave must be the only person in the nation who thinks the judge was “very clear”. The judge in this case seemed a little hazy in his conclusions, meaning he was not categorical but spoke in terms of “the balance of probability” - thereby leaving a little bit of doubt in the public mind about Mitchell’s use of language. However, he was crystal clear about how he viewed PC Rowland, saying: “The policeman didn’t have the wit or invention to make it up.” I think I would rather be called a pleb!
Clearly, the Police Federation had an anti-government agenda of their own in the Mitchell affair. Home Secretary Theresa May decided to get her own back and told them that the government would cease giving the Federation £180,000 a year, having discovered that they had several millions sloshing around in their bank accounts. We can only wonder why government would be giving gift aid to the enemy within.

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The Duggan Thing

Two years after the riots following the shooting of Mark Duggan, the inquest into his death opened and key witness evidence did not make sense. The police marksman who shot Duggan said he had to take the shot because Duggan definitely had a gun, that he was about to use. Then, we are told, the gun mysteriously vanished. A gun was subsequently found, ten to fifteen yards away, inside a sock?
However, in January 2014, the inquest concluded that Duggan was lawfully killed. This case and the Mitchell case leaves Dave with two significant issues that he seems incapable of dealing with; the IPCC are not fit for purpose. The police are increasingly behaving like a rogue agency, for whom the normal sanctions of the law do not apply. He can't keep pretending that he's a mere spectator to events but he will.

Bernard Hogan-Howe knows nothing

Can Dave trust Met Commissioner, Hogan-Howe? The Total Policeman appeared before the Home Affairs Committee to answer questions over the shredding of documents relevant to the Met’s anti-corruption investigations. He came across like a stunned simpleton. He didn't know why the shredding had taken place, he didn't know if it was for malicious reasons. He hadn't talked to the predecessors in his job, yet. He didn't know if that would be necessary? He had a witness to the shredding but he didn't want the witness "intimidated". Intimidated by who, no one on the Committee had the wit to ask "Intimidated by who?" If the shredding was not an innocent act of data protection, why would the witness feel threatened? A few too many questions for a man who looks like he's having a nervous breakdown to contemplate.

 

We know that the Met has spent almost £45m on a number of inquiries related to malpractice, including the phone-hacking, bribery and computer-hacking probes, detectives trafficking drugs, fabricating evidence and leaking sensitive intelligence to organised crime gangs. Inquiries with spooky names like Operation Zloty, Operation Othona, and Operation Tiberius, none of which have brought anyone to book because the evidence has been shredded; Lords Stevens and Blair were Commissioners at the Met when most of the shredding took place. In particular, material gathered during a four-year investigation, codenamed Operation Othona, was inexplicably destroyed in 2003. Information covering up to 17 investigations was gathered under the umbrella of Operation Zloty, all disappeared. Go to nail below....

According to the Independent:

"Crucially, Zloty included bombshell evidence from Othona about a “persistent network” of corrupt officers that could have been beneficial to a landmark review commissioned by the Home Secretary into how the Stephen Lawrence murder was handled by the Metropolitan Police."

Now, here's where things get spooky again, although the evidence of corruption has disappeared, Zloty may still exist but no one at the Met is prepared to confirm this - its secret.

Hogan-Howe knows nothing of all this.... he told the committee, on the shredded documents issue “I would expect to keep it". On calls for a wider inquiry into the Met “There’s no need, it’s absolute nonsense.” On speaking with former Met chiefs “I’d like to reassure you, if there’s a need to contact my predecessors we will; if I’m the right person to do it, I will.” On the memo summarising alleged wrong-doing “I can’t give you a list of who has seen it.” On the shredding “Did the shredding happen? It sounds like it did. The question is about the motivation to the shredding. There is an innocent one, it’s a normal process of… getting rid of documents. There is a malicious one. We have to establish which it was.”

The standing of the police service is at its lowest ebb ever, so-called 'hard stops' with shoot to kill outcomes haven't helped the image. However, when citizens learn that a report penned some dozen years ago and kept under wraps reveals massive corruption within the Met, the image is shot. Operation Tiberius reveals that criminals were given access to confidential databases; obtained live intelligence on criminal investigations; were provided with specialist knowledge of surveillance, technical deployment and undercover techniques to help evade prosecution. Tiberius identified 80 corrupt individuals with links to the police, including 42 then-serving officers and 19 former detectives.

This sort of publicity is not good for the party of law and order, especially when the press is also full of stories of police across the nation fiddling the crime statistics to make their crime fighting efforts seem more successful than they actually are. In the case of Tiberius we don't know how high up the food chain the corruption went but it's clear that massaging the crime statistics goes all the way to the top.

A corrupt and lying police service serves no one and Dave should be mightily concerned by the failure of his police service but he is oddly quiet on the matter. Which is all the more odd when we learn that even the very special SO6 Diplomatic Protection Group have three of their team arrested for sharing hardcore pornography on their mobile phones - degenerates. And wasn't it officers from the DPG who revealed the details of their notebook encounter with the arrogant Andrew Mitchell? Of course it was, the porno ring was uncovered by officers investigating the Plebgate scandal. Who can Dave trust if not the men and women charged with his very own wellbeing?

It doesn’t help the cause when UK Statistics Authority boss Andrew Dilnot, says official police-recorded crime will rise once a full audit is carried out - because the figures were being kept low through dodgy recording practices. He commented after the police watchdog HMIC admitted figures were being fiddled by officers.

The allegations led the UK Statistics Authority to admit the figures could not be trusted. Sir Andrew also told MPs that his team would now check ALL government statistics in the wake of the crime-fiddling revelations.

The response of the Met police to the lack of trust has been underwhelming. May 2014 saw the introduction of body cameras to capture evidence at crime scenes and support prosecutions. The Total Policeman said: "Body-worn video will not only help us fight crime and support victims but help the Met to be more accountable.”

The cameras would not be routinely switched on. The intention is to retain camera footage for 31 days, if not required for evidence. At the end of each shift, footage will be uploaded to ‘the cloud’ and will be managed via a website - all very interesting.

Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill

November 2013

Just another new piece of legislation silently wending its way through the parliamentary process. Nothing for citizens to be concerned about.

Well, actually, apart from dumping the discredited ASBO system, this legislation is giving local authorities, the police, and private security firms new powers to prevent lawful protests, disperse, and direct protestors away from particular areas. So protests like the Occupy Movement's camp at St Paul's or the anti-war protest of Brian Haw at the Houses of Parliament will not be allowed.

Under the legislation, local authorities will be allowed to invoke public spaces protection orders (PSPOs), allowing it to prevent everything from skateboarding to public meetings. The space in question is undefined, or may be defined by the apparatchik making the order, in other words the order will be open-ended, and open to abuse. This Bill passed into law in 2014, so you need to be aware of the space you are in at all times.

ASBOs are being replaced by the Injunction to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance (IPNA). And the difference between the old and the new is subtle. ASBOs were designed to crack down on behaviour considered as causing “harassment, alarm or distress,” the IPNA replacement will target conduct “capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person.” So, don’t have nightmares.

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Tiberius, Zloty, Othona.... What?

How many inquiries does it take to nail a crooked copper?

We know that the Met has spent almost £45m on a number of inquiries related to malpractice, including the phone-hacking, bribery and computer-hacking probes, detectives trafficking drugs, fabricating evidence and leaking sensitive intelligence to organised crime gangs.

Inquiries with spooky names like Operation Zloty, Operation Othona, Operation Tiberius none which have brought anyone to brook because the evidence has been shredded Lords Stevens and Blair were Commissioners at the Met when most of the shredding took place. In particular, material gathered during a four-year investigation, codenamed Operation Othona, was inexplicably destroyed in 2003. Information covering up to 17 investigations was gathered under the umbrella of Operation Zloty, all disappeared.

According to the Independent:

"Crucially, Zloty included bombshell evidence from Othona about a “persistent network” of corrupt officers that could have been beneficial to a landmark review commissioned by the Home Secretary into how the Stephen Lawrence murder was handled by the Metropolitan Police."

Now, here's where things get spooky again, although the evidence of corruption has disappeared, Zloty may still exist but no one at the Met is prepared to confirm this - its secret.


Hogan-Howe knows nothing of all this.... he told the Home Affairs committee, on the shredded documents issue “I would expect to keep it". On calls for a wider inquiry into the Met “There’s no need, it’s absolute nonsense.” On speaking with former Met chiefs “I’d like to reassure you, if there’s a need to contact my predecessors we will; if I’m the right person to do it, I will.” On the memo summarising alleged wrong-doing “I can’t give you a list of who has seen it.” On the shredding “Did the shredding happen? It sounds like it did. The question is about the motivation to the shredding. There is an innocent one, it’s a normal process of… getting rid of documents. There is a malicious one. We have to establish which it was.”

The standing of the police service is at its lowest ebb ever, so-called 'hard stops' with shoot to kill outcomes haven't helped the image. However, when citizens learn that a report penned some dozen years ago and kept under wraps reveals massive corruption within the Met, the image is shot. Operation Tiberius reveals that criminals were given access to confidential databases; obtained live intelligence on criminal investigations; were provided with specialist knowledge of surveillance, technical deployment and undercover techniques to help evade prosecution. Tiberius identified 80 corrupt individuals with links to the police, including 42 then-serving officers and 19 former detectives.

This sort of publicity is not good for the party of law and order, especially when the press is also full of stories of police across the nation fiddling the crime statistics to make their crime fighting efforts seem more successful than they actually are. In the case of Tiberius we don't know how high up the food chain the corruption went but it's clear in the case of massaging the crime statistics goes all the way to the top.

A corrupt and lying police service serves no one and Dave should be mightily concerned by the failure of his police service but he is oddly quiet on the matter. Which is all the more odd when we learn that even the very special SO6 Diplomatic Protection Group have three of their team arrested for sharing hardcore pornography on their mobile phones - degenerates.

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Cover up at Leveson

Leveson was supposed to be looking into the dodgy links between the police and the press but those who couldn't be bothered to look at the evidence have been allowed to waltz off with their pensions without punishment.

Scotland Yard claimed "public interest immunity" in relation to an internal intelligence report, written in 2006, which meant that the details were kept from the Leverson inquiry. Senior police officers (among them, Lord Stevens, Lord Blair and Sir Paul Stephenson) gave evidence to the inquiry seven weeks before the inquiry had seen the report. This report shows that a senior officer was paid for information by the News of the World - we still don't know the officer's name.

Phone hacking hammer, Tom Watson said:

"It's very clear that an intelligence document exists that should be significant in showing the relationship between very senior officer at the Met and executives at News International and I think the home secretary and the commissioner should review the file. If they have nothing to hide they should release it."

That's the point about this cover up, part two of Leveson was/is supposed to tell us about the relationship between the police and the press. If the police are allowed to keep back evidence that damns them, what's the point?

Mr Cameron told the Commons that what the country needed was:

"to confront an episode that is frankly disgraceful, accusations of widespread law-breaking by parts of our press; alleged corruption by some police officers; a failure of our political system over many, many years to tackle a problem that's been getting worse".

When he said this, he didn't know there was a secret internal report that the police were keeping to themselves.

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Deaths in Police Custody

Between 1998 and 2009, according to the IPCC, there were 16 cases of restraint related deaths in police custody. This is all very interesting because in that same period there were 89 deaths in cases where citizens had been restrained by the police.

Note: if prisons are taken into account, the number of deaths-in-custody in 2012 alone, was 189.

The IPCC only counts citizens who die after they have been arrested or held under the Mental Health Act as having died "In Police Custody". All those accidental deaths are not counted, supposedly, it's a bit pointless arresting a dead person.

The Case of Sean Riggs

Sean died in 2008 at the hands of the police. Sean was arrested in Balham, after the police were called following reports that he had attacked a man and was now impersonating Bruce Lee in the middle of the road. Sean had schizophrenia , later police said that they had no knowledge of this even though he had been in trouble with the police before, they also claimed that they did not recognise Sean during the arrest, even though he had his passport with him - they thought it might be a forgery?

In August 2012, the Inquest into Sean's death was published saying that the manner of Sean's arrest contributed to his death.

During the arrest, Sean was held prone to the ground by several police officers for around 11 minutes, the police claimed it was only two minutes - the CCTV evidence says otherwise.

Sean was taken to Brixton police station, where he collasped and died. The IPCC had failed during its enquiry to properly examine CCTV evidence from the police station. It took the IPCC seven months to interview any of the police involved in the case. And they only carried out the interviews under pressure from the Rigg family. During the interviews, Police Federation Representatives were deliberately obstructive. Dame Anne Owens, boss of the IPCC complained in March 2013, "that we work with a very limited budget... often dealing with obstruction or reluctance on the part of the police".

In March, the IPCC arrested two serving and one retired police officers on suspicion of perverting the course of justice over evidence given at Rigg's inquest. Perverting the course of justice, as we saw in the Chris Huhne case is not a real crime, assuming these officers ever get prosecuted.

Cause of death

Within the time frame cited above (1998-2009), the most common cause of death in custody used by coroners has been 'excited delirium'.

Individuals in the throes of excited delirium are described as aggressive, agitated, displaying bizarre behaviour, insensitive to pain and with superhuman strength until they collapse and die. Yet, excited delirium is not a disease that the World Health Organisation recognises.

However, leading forensic pathologist, Dr Nat Cary tells us:

‘Excited delirium is a way of offering an excuse on behalf of the state for a death in custody. It is a psychiatric diagnosis – pathologists have no position making such a finding.’

Restraint

Using a medical diagnosis to explain deaths while being restrained by the police removes the attribution of a crime and shifts the focus away from restraint techniques, that may have led directly to a death.

The use of force was proportionate however described is sanctioned by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), no restraint techniques are prohibited. Commander Bob Broadhurst, who was ACPO’s lead on self-defence and restraint until September 2011, said:

‘Each situation and individual a police officer will encounter is different, and so we do not proscribe which particular techniques [an officer] should use, as common law allows officers to use proportionate force to defend themselves or effect an arrest.’

A technique which is sighted as a factor in so called ‘deaths in custody’ is what is known as ‘prone restraint’. It involves forcing a suspect face-down onto the floor, cuffing their hands behind their back and then putting pressure on their torso, shoulders and neck.

Note: in 1968 two police officers were sentenced to six weeks imprisonment, following a death in custody. Since then no police officer has been charged with causing a death in custody.

Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)

For a charge to be brought against a police officer for a death in custody, the IPCC would need to investigate to get to the bottom of the case. The IPCC is not good at investigating police actions, mainly because the IPCC is not "Independent", in fact it's very dependent, on the police to help out with investigating. The IPCC relies on the police to do most of its investigating and up to one third of its own staff are ex-police officers.

The IPCC showed just how callow and weak it is in connection with the death in custody of Seni Lewis.

Lewis was held down in prone restraint for up to 40 minutes by 11 police officers, none of these officers were interviewed by the IPCC. Why, because it was decided that they had not committed either a criminal or disciplinary offence. Many times the IPCC has failed to interview suspect officers.

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The death of Ian Tomlinson

Have you forgotten Ian? Perhaps you've forgotten police thug Simon Harwood who attacked Ian on the day he died. Have you ever wondered what happened to Harwood?

Two years after Ian Tomlinson died, following an attack by Simon Harwood, the Met Police sacked Harwood, it was judged that his actions against Tomlinson amounted to gross misconduct; he will keep his police pension. Although, Harwood's attack was filmed for the world to see, police officers who witnessed the assault first hand, backed up Harwood's version of events leading to the attack, insinuating provocation and a policeman in fear of his life. It took two years to reach this judgment on Harwood, police reports were fabricated, and evidence was destroyed by the pathetic Freddie Patel, now struck off the medical register. With Harwood's track record of violence, what was he doing at a G20 gathering, and why was the autopsy given to Patel, he too had a poor past record. Looking for answers to these questions will be unfruitful, unless one day someone involved has an attack of conscience.

Tomlinson: The details

1 April 2009, PC Simon Harwood, struck Mr Tomlinson with a baton and pushed him violently to the ground, during G20 protests in London. Mr Tomlinson was not a protester. The incident was caught on camera by an American tourist. The whole world has seen the footage of the assault numerous times. The assault and Harwood's role in it is beyond doubt. Sadly, after being shoved to the ground Mr Tomlinson died.

Outrage but did Harwood's assault lead to Tomlinson's death. Idiot pathologist, Freddy Patel, who threw away evidence from the autopsy, said no; having decided that heart failure was the cause of death. Subsequent medical examinations by more capable doctors suggested that internal bleeding was a more likely cause of death and which might have been precipitated by Harwood's attack.

20 June 2011, Harwood appeared in court, charged with manslaughter. Note the two year gap between the summons for Harwood to appear in court and the attack on Tomlinson. Testament to the lack of will on the part police and politicians to pursue justice, they just wanted the whole mess to go away.

July 2012, another year rolled by, the jury at Southwark crown court cleared PC Simon Harwood of manslaughter.

Sept....2012, the Met Police sacked Harwood, it was judged that his actions against Tomlinson amounted to gross misconduct; he will keep his police pension. Update: See below

PS. Freddy Patel has been 'struck off' the medical register; that's all right then?

Freddy Patel: pathological idiot

The pathologist who claimed Ian Tomlinson died of a heart attack was investigated by the General Medical Council after an inquest jury disputed his findings.

Quack, Freddy Patel's post-mortem examination differed with that of two experts who said Ian died of internal bleeding.

Patel was accused at Mr Tomlinson's inquest of making blunders which made it all but impossible to conclude with any certainty how Ian died on the fringes of the G20 protests in London on April 1 2009.

A GMC source confirmed investigations into Dr Patel's conduct were under way. This of course means bugger all, since the whole world knows how the GMC likes to look after its membership, however woeful.

An inquest jury concluded Mr Tomlinson died of the bleed as a result of Pc Simon Harwood's "excessive and unreasonable" force in shoving him to the ground. (Let's not forget that Harwood also struck Tomlinson with his baton before 'shoving' him to the ground).

Patel's notes were said to be ambiguous and he did not order tests on three liters of fluid found in Mr Tomlinson's abdomen to confirm whether it was pure blood or - as he maintained - largely made up of a substance called ascites produced by liver disease.

This question was crucial because fellow pathologists Dr Nat Cary and Dr Kenneth Shorrock disputed Dr Patel's findings that the cause of death was coronary artery disease, consistent with natural causes.

An inquest jury which delivered an unlawful killing verdict earlier this week agreed with the other experts' conclusions.

Where's Harwood Now?

Well, we were told he sailed off into the sunset with his pension. Not true. They shifted him to the Sussex force and then after the passage of time, he's been shifted back into the Met! You have been warned.

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The Shooting of Mark Duggan

Duggan was shot by police in August 2011 and it took the IPCC two years to conclude its investigation. Initially, the IPCC said it would take three months to produce its report.

An inquest judge ordered the IPCC to produce provisonal findings for a May inquest. Duggan's family's barrister, Michael Mansfield QC, told a hearing that the delay showed the "magnitude - not just of delay - but of incompetence".

What exactly happened the day Mark Duggan died is not known but it seems clear that the police involved have a lot of explaining to do. Like why didn't they arrest Duggan as soon as he took possession of a gun, why didn't they arrest the man (Kevin Hutchinson-Foster) in possession of the gun before it was passed to Duggan, why follow him across London and shoot him. And if Duggan had a gun in his hand, aimed at police, (the reason we are told he was shot), why was the gun, over a fence, six yards away, inside a sock and none of Duggan's DNA was found on the gun or the sock. Had the gun been fired? We don't know but its about time someone told us what happen the day Mark Duggan died.

IPCC: incompetence and sloth

When the IPCC finally announced its findings in the Duggan case, they said the police killing of Duggan was lawful and the police have no case to answer.

However, we now know that the 11 police officers involved were not interviewed by the IPCC because they refused to give verbal evidence. Instead they were allowed to provide written evidence of the day Duggan was shot. We also know that these officers were allowed to spend three hours in a room together compiling their reports for the IPCC. Even the officer who fired the fatal shot was allowed not to give a verbal statement to the IPCC.

September 2013: The Duggan Inquest finally begins

There's something rotten going on here and we do not expect this inquest to supply answers to the questions posed above.

 

Update: October 2013

A police marksman, known only as B53, says that after he shot Duggan, Duggan's gun just vanished? The judge sent for Fox Mulder and Dana Scully!

The IPCC finally announced its findings in the Duggan case, they said the police killing of Duggan was lawful and the police have no case to answer.

Duggan Update

10/01/14

Now we know, Mark Duggan was "lawfully killed" by a police marksman who thought he had a gun in his hand. Is that it then, is there nothing more to know? Will we discover why the taxi was removed from the scene and then returned? Will we discover how the gun ended up in a sock fifteen feet away, that Duggan was said to be brandishing at police? Why did the IPCC brief the press that Duggan had fired on police? Why didn't the IPCC directly question the police invovled in the incident? Why did the police talk to the press but not to the family for over a month after the killing? Why were police so concerned to put out a constant stream of negative reports about Duggan and his life-style? Why were all the policeman involved on the day allowed to sit down in the same room and write their reports?

We now need another inquest, this time into the miserable conduct of the police and the IPCC in this case.

 

 

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