Tag Archives: gate

Police: ‘To protect and serve’ their own interests?

Unfit to wear the helmet: How deep does corruption run within our police? Do most officers still uphold the law without prejudice? Or do they use the uniform to pursue their own personal vendettas against innocent members of the public?

Unfit to wear the helmet: How deep does corruption run within our police? Do most officers still uphold the law without prejudice? Or do they use the uniform to pursue their own personal vendettas against innocent members of the public?

When did you lose faith in the British police?

Was it after Plebgate, the subject of a considerable controversy that has resurfaced this week? Was it after Hillsborough? Do you have a personal bad experience with officers whose interpretation of their duty could best be described as “twisted”, if not totally bent?

The Independent Police Complaints Commission says that the row involving whether former Conservative Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell used offensive language against a policeman who stopped him from riding a bicycle through the gates of Downing Street should have led to disciplinary action for the officer involved, along with others who supported his story.

IPCC deputy chairwoman Deborah Glass questioned the “honesty and integrity” of the officers involved and said that West Mercia Police, who investigated the affair, were wrong to say there was no case of misconduct for them to answer.

Now, there is plenty of evidence that this police complaints commission is anything but independent, and that it provides verdicts as required by its superiors – either within the force or politically. But the weight of the evidence that we have seen so far suggests that, in this instance, the conclusion is correct.

The Plebgate affair began less than a month after serious failings were identified in the police handling of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. It was revealed – after a 23-year wait – that serious mistakes had been made in the policing of the infamous FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, during which events took place that killed 96 people and injured a further 766.

In addition, post-mortem reports on the deceased were falsified and the police tried to blame Liverpool fans for the disaster.

These were both events that received national news coverage – but what about the local incidents that take place all around the country?

Sir Hugh Orde, chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers said, “130,000 police officers are delivering a good service” – but are they really?

This blog has already mentioned the experiences of several people here in Mid Wales who have had unsatisfactory experiences with the police, including victims of serious physical, psychological and sexual abuse who were told to go back and suffer more of this personal hell by policemen and women who either couldn’t care less or were complicit in the crimes. Years later, attempts to get justice fell on the equally deaf ears of officers who didn’t want to know.

And this week the front paper of my local newspaper (the one I used to edit) carried the headline ‘Hello, hello, what’s going on here then?’ over a story about two local police officers who, while on duty, seemed more interested in having sex than upholding the law.

One was an inspector; the other a (married) constable. The inspector, prior to her promotion, had been instrumental in sending a friend of mine to prison on a particularly unsavoury child sex charge. There was no concrete evidence and the case hinged on the opinion of a doctor that was hotly disputed by other expert testimony. But my friend’s path had crossed this policewoman’s before and she had failed to gain a conviction on the previous occasion. It seems clear that she had not forgotten him.

I have always believed that the jury convicted my friend because its members were worried that he might be guilty – despite the lack of evidence – simply because he had been accused. “There’s no smoke without fire,” as the saying goes. It seems likely now that this conviction reflects the policewoman’s preoccupations with sex, rather than any criminal activity on the part of my friend.

It also seems to be proof of the fear raised by Andrew Neil on the BBC’s This Week – that police have been sending innocent people to jail and letting the guilty go free.

My friend is still inside, by the way. He has maintained his innocence throughout the affair but, having been released on parole and then dragged back to jail for a breach that was more the fault of the authorities for failing to give adequate warning against it, he is now determined to serve his full sentence rather than face the heartbreak of having his freedom stolen with another excuse.

Who can blame him?

Osborne’s ‘Disabled’ parking disgrace

osbornedisabledparking

How low can this man go?

He uses taxpayers’ money to make £1 million for himself by buying a farmhouse and associated land in Cheshire, using public funds to pay the mortgage interest, then selling it for around twice the original price and pocketing the cash.

He buys a standard train ticket, then is caught travelling in First Class.

Now this. After spending three years pummelling the sick and disabled people of the United Kingdom, this arrogant little brat steals one of their parking spaces.

Does this man have no shame at all?

Gideon was famously a member of Oxford University’s restaurant-smashing Bullingdon Club. He got into Oxford on a ‘demyship’ – a special kind of scholarship for “poor scholars of good morals and dispositions, fully equipped for study”.

Poor? He’s the millionaire son of Sir Peter Osborne, 17th Baronet, who co-founded the firm of fabric and wallpapers designers Osborne & Little.

His morals speak for themselves.

Good luck with the IPCC cover-up brigade, Mr Mitchell! If YOU were a ‘pleb’, you’d need it…

Andrew Mitchell: Either you believe him when he says the police log of 'Gate-gate' (or 'Plebgate') was false, or you believe him when he admitted abusing a policeman and apologised "profusely" for it. I prefer not to believe a word he says.

Andrew Mitchell: Either you believe him when he says the police log of ‘Gate-gate’ (or ‘Plebgate’) was false, or you believe him when he admitted abusing a policeman and apologised “profusely” for it. I prefer not to believe a word he says.

The announcement that former Coalition chief whip Andrew Mitchell has made a formal complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission about the so-called ‘plebgate’ row almost made me smile. Almost.

Having had experience of this organisation and it’s amazing cover-up tactics, supporting police officers who deny the existence of any laws that conflict with what they’ve done, I view the affair with scepticism.

If the outcome goes badly for him, it will confirm the IPCC’s position as principle rubber-stamping organisation for police behaviour – no matter whether they have behaved rightly or wrongly.

If it comes out in his favour, for me, it will confirm that the system works only for privileged members of society such as Mr Mitchell – those in influential positions – and not for ordinary citizens like the rest of us.

The facts of the case are completely unimportant to the outcome. Inconsequential.

For the record, it relates to an incident on September 19 last year, when it was alleged that the then-Chief Whip swore at police, calling them “plebs” (of all things) when they refused to open the Downing Street gates for him to cycle through on his pushbike.

Mitchell resigned his position but CCTV coverage later cast doubt on the accepted version of events and four people, including three police officers, have since been arrested.

Now, in a letter to the IPCC, Mr Mitchell has accused the police of a “dishonest and illicit attempt to blacken my name and destroy my career”.

Personal experience tells me he’d better have a mountain of evidence to back up that claim.

My own experience, as outlined in previous Vox articles, related to an incident in which somebody illegally published information identifying an alleged crime victim, in an attempt to blacken a suspect’s name, prior to a trial. I reported this, quoting the relevant law down to the section and paragraph, to the police – who flatly refused to investigate, claiming that the law had not been broken by ignoring the references I had given and referring to a different section of the same legislation – a section that was totally irrelevant to the nature of the crime.

You see, prosecuting this individual would have been inconvenient as it would have weakened the case against the suspect they had lined up for trial. Easier to flout the law, apparently. One law for us… another law for them.

I made a full, detailed complaint to the IPCC, quoting the relevant legislation with a printout of it from the government’s own website, pointing out where the officer involved had gone wrong, and explaining why I believed the error was intentional.   All I got for my efforts was another flat refusal to acknowledge the facts. The investigator spoke with the officer and decided that his interpretation of the law was correct – despite having it quoted to them, in black and white, by me!   For me, the only way forward from that point would have been to hire a lawyer and get a judicial review, but that costs money and I simply don’t have enough. Again, it’s one law for us… another law for them.

Mr Mitchell, on the other hand, does have money. But since he is, by definition, a member of “them”, any success he may enjoy will not affect the fact that is the theme of this article, which is (one last time):

It’s one law for us… another law for them.

Actually, now that I have a police commissioner, I might take the case to him and see what he makes of it. At least, that way, he’ll have something to do. The outcome will show whether his appointment – and that of all the others – really was the waste of time and money that the vast majority of Britons believe it to have been.