Tag Archives: constabulary

Durham police may face inquiry into handling of Cummings case; is this the reason?

It seems Boris Johnson isn’t the only one who can’t put Dominic Cummings’s Durham trip behind him.

The local constabulary has fallen foul of the general public:

Durham police is facing a possible inquiry into its handling of the Dominic Cummings saga after complaints were passed to its internal investigation team.

The force has received a number of complaints from members of the public angry at the way it dealt with Boris Johnson’s aide over his travels during lockdown.

Durham police said it believed the special adviser probably did break lockdown rules by embarking on a 52-mile round trip to the town of Barnard Castle with his wife and son on her birthday.

Officers might have intervened to send him home had they caught him on the trip on 12 April, or fined him if he refused, the report said.

Its investigation also concluded that Cummings did not break health protection regulations by making the 260-mile trip to Durham with his son and wife, who had coronavirus symptoms, though it made no finding in relation to the “stay at home” government guidance.

The force’s findings have been met with anger in some quarters, prompting several emailed complaints which were then passed on to its professional standards department as is protocol.

The nature of the complaints is not known.

Is it possible that the force has been accused of favouritism – of according Cummings a privilege not provided to others?

I mention this merely because of the following:

Durham police issued fines to two people – from different households – who travelled together from London to County Durham during lockdown.

The two individuals fined by the force travelled to nearby Peterlee.

The BBC is seeking further details from Durham Constabulary about the two individuals who were fined for travelling from London to Peterlee, about 13 miles east of Durham, on 8 April, a week after Mr Cummings made his trip.

So, they fined these two people for travelling a similar distance up from London, after Cummings made his journey – but they decided not to fine Cummings or take any other action against him?

The question is simple: Why?

I fear we know the answer.

Source: Durham police facing possible inquiry into handling of Cummings case | Politics | The Guardian

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Cummings’ Barnard Castle trip ‘minor’ breach of social distancing rules. What about dangerous driving?

Dominic Cummings: he and his buddy Boris Johnson probably think they got away with it again.

Durham Police have confirmed the adage that the UK has one rule for the elite and another for the masses, by refusing to fine Dominic Cummings for breaking social distancing rules in his controversial trip to Barnard Castle.

What about the breach of lockdown represented by his trip to Durham, where he breached social distancing rules by handing his son, who had been exposed to two people who had Covid-19, over to his elderly parents – vulnerable people who were now potentially exposed?

What about the implication of dangerous driving – a criminal offence – in the fact that Cummings himself said he drove to Barnard Castle because he believed Covid-19 had affected his eyesight and he wanted to check whether he could see well enough to drive back to London?

All we get is that Durham Police “did not consider an offence had been committed”.

To the rest of us, this simply suggests that Durham Police are not fit for purpose; this service cannot enforce the law with equality towards rich and poor alike.

PM aide Dominic Cummings’ trip to Barnard Castle “might have been a minor breach” of lockdown rules, Durham Police has said.

But the force said no retrospective action would be taken against the PM’s chief adviser.

In a statement, Durham Police said they view Mr Cummings’ 50-mile round trip to Barnard Castle with his wife and son as “minor” because there was no apparent breach of social distancing rules during their visit.

The force said it had “no intention to take retrospective action in respect of the Barnard Castle incident”, since this would amount to “treating Mr Cummings differently from other members of the public.”

Other members of the public who have been fined for travelling may take a different view. Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski recently made a fuss about being denied access to Welsh beaches for fear of being fined, for example. Was he mistaken? Would he – and others – have been permitted to make the trip, if Cummings’s 60-mile round trip was not worthy of a fine?

On the issue of whether it was an offence for Mr Cummings to drive himself and his family from London to Durham to isolate on his family’s farm, Durham Police said it did “not consider an offence was committed”.

Source: Dominic Cummings ‘might have broken lockdown rules’ – police – BBC News

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Crimewave threat as police austerity means the innocent will suffer

Repression: Scenes like this could become commonplace in the UK as austerity forces police to stop investigating crime and people who try to protest are put down.

Repression: Scenes like this could become commonplace in the UK as austerity forces police to stop investigating crime and people who try to protest are put down.

How free do you feel today?

Whatever your answer, enjoy it while you can because new evidence has shown that funding cuts for the police are likely to result in public repression on a massive scale.

A report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary has revealed that austerity is crippling the police service across England and Wales, meaning crime victims are being told to do their own detective work.

According to the BBC, “criminal damage and car crime were ‘on the verge of being decriminalised’ because forces had ‘almost given up'”.

Roger Baker, the inspector who led the review, tried to justify the failure by saying: “It’s not the fault of the individual staff; it’s a mindset thing that’s crept in to policing to say ‘We’ve almost given up’.”

In fairness, the report does say: “HMIC finds this expectation by these forces that the victim should investigate his own crime both surprising and a matter of material concern.

“The police have been given powers and resources to investigate crime by the public, and there should be no expectation on the part of the police that an inversion of that responsibility is acceptable.”

The report also found:

  • People received a different response from the police for the same kind of incident, depending on where they lived – so policing is now a postcode lottery.
  • Attendance rates at crime scenes varied from 39% in Warwickshire to 100% in Cleveland – postcode lottery again.
  • About a third of forces were failing to identify vulnerable and repeat victims – a gift to criminals.
  • There was “inadequate” use of technology by the police.
  • Some forces were losing track of named suspects because they did not have effective systems in place.

Enter ACPO, the sinister Home Office-funded Association of Chief Police Officers, to justify the withdrawal of law and order under the Coalition government’s austerity programme.

“The reality of austerity in policing means that forces must ensure that their officers’ time is put to best use and this means prioritising calls,” said Sir Hugh Orde, ACPO’s president.

ACPO has already anticipated that the effects of austerity may give rise to widespread public protest – which is why it lobbied the government for permission to use water cannons on the streets of the UK.

Vox Political stated in January: “This would be of no use at all in quelling violent criminal activities like the riots in 2011 – the police chiefs have already admitted that water cannons would have been ineffective in halting the “fast, agile disorder” and “dynamic looting” that took place during August 2011.

“ACPO is an organisation that has tried to put ‘agent provocateurs’ into legitimate protest groups and promoted ‘kettling’ to stop peaceful protests (as used in the student protests early in the current Parliament), among many other reprehensible activities.

“Considering its track record, it seems clear that ACPO wants to use water cannons against legitimate political protests, on the assumption that the increasing imposition of ideologically-imposed austerity on the country by the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives will lead to more political protests, as people across the UK finally realise that the Tories and their corporate lobbyist friends are actually working against the wider population.

“ACPO’s report on water cannons makes it clear that “it would be fair to assume that the ongoing and potential future austerity measures are likely to lead to continued protest” and “the mere presence of water cannon can have a deterrent effect”.

“The Home Office response? ‘We are keen to ensure forces have the tools and powers they need to maintain order on our streets. We are currently providing advice to the police on the authorisation process as they build the case for the use of water cannon.’”

What we are seeing is – as mentioned in another VP article published today – when austerity is imposed on a service provided for everybody, that service degenerates.

In the case of policing, this means crimes go unpunished as our political leaders force constabularies to focus increasingly on keeping us under control.

We have already seen police officers checking bus tickets rather than investigating crime. Note that the VP article on this subject provoked a flurry of justificatory comments on our Facebook page, from readers who exhibited a concern that we should not let the evidence convince us that anything was amiss.

ACPO has stated that austerity – such as that which is preventing the police from investigating crime – is likely to stir up public protest.

And ACPO – which, let us remind ourselves, is Home Office-funded – has, in a clear conflict of interest, advised the Home Office to allow the use of water cannon on British streets to put down any such protests, whether they are justified or not. Has it been paid by the Home Office to tell the Home Office what the Home Office wants to hear?

Innocent people exercising their right to protest against injustice will be arrested – while criminals will remain free to vandalise their property and steal from their cars, possibly at the same time.

That’s Tory-run Britain for you: The criminals run amok while the innocent are imprisoned.

Now how free do you feel?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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