Something Is Rotten In The State Of Britain

Nicked from Facebook, it is definitely not mine, but the ramifications of Craig Mackey’s actions, or lack of, just rumble on and on, and the smell is not very palatable.

Like many, I made a formal complaint against the behaviour of Craig Mackey. The Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. This individual locked himself in his car as Pc Keith Palmer was stabbed to death by the animal Masood at the gates of the Palace of Westminster. Like many I have just received a reply to that complaint. It has left me slightly uncomfortable.

Apparently according to the Police Reform Act 2002, I do not have standing to make a formal complaint about this matter and therefore they are not recording my correspondence as a complaint about the Acting Commissioner.

The Act specifies who can make a complaint and in what circumstances. Section 12(1) provides that a complaint may be made by the following people:

a. A member of the public who claims the conduct took place in relation to him/her;

b. A member of the public who claims to have been adversely affected by the conduct, even though it did not take place in relation to him/her;

c. A member of the public who claims to have witnessed the conduct;

d. A person acting on behalf of someone who falls within any of the three categories above.

In my opinion my complaint was justified under b and d above.

b. I have been adversely affected by the conduct of Mr Mackey. Also

d. The complaint was lodged on behalf of Pc Keith Palmer

I am also told:

Section 12(5) further provides that:

…a person shall be taken to have witnessed conduct, if, and only if–

(a) He/she acquired their knowledge of that conduct in a manner which would make them a competent witness capable of giving admissible evidence of that conduct in criminal proceedings; or

(b) He/she has in their possession or under their control anything, which would in any such proceedings constitute admissible evidence of that conduct.

In my case I based the reason for my complaint on the evidence, given on oath, by Mr Mackey to the Westminster Inquest. I can only assume that Mr Mackey was telling the truth during these proceedings. Therefore, in my opinion section (a) above is relevant to my complaint.

The truth is, whilst making the complaint, I fully expected it to be kicked into touch. Not because it was not warranted. But because it does not suit either the hierarchy of the Metropolitan Police or the Mayor of London’s Office. Imagine if you would, that instead of Keith it had been some member of some ‘special interest’ group who was chased and murdered whilst a police officer remained locked in his car………..

But the thing that really surprised me is the inclusion of the following:

‘Well, members of the jury, it’s clear from the evidence of Sir Craig that there was, as I say, nothing that he could have done to have stopped Masood. PC Palmer was under attack practically as soon as Sir Craig saw the attacker. What Sir Craig did was sensible and proper and was intended to protect others in the car with him. None of them, as I have said, had any means of protecting themselves or of resisting an attack, and even if he had got out of the car, it is clear from the CCTV evidence that he would not have reached PC Palmer before Masood had inflicted the fatal wound. Indeed, it’s very likely that Masood would have been past the car even if Sir Craig had got out of it. It’s also clear that after Masood had been shot, Sir Craig did not flee the scene: his first instinct was to get out in New Palace Yard, as we saw on the footage when he opened the car door. However, he was told by an officer to leave, and for good reason’.

This statement is the comment made by the Coroner during his summing up at the Inquest. At the time a great many people queried why the Coroner made such an overt defence of Mackey.

It should be remembered that the purpose of an inquest is to answer four questions:

1 Identity of the deceased

2.Place of death

3.Time of death

4. How the deceased came by his/her death

Evidence must be solely for the purpose of answering these questions and no other evidence is admitted. It is not for the inquest to ascertain “how the deceased died” or “in what broad circumstances”, but “how the deceased came by his death”, a more limited question.

The Coroner’s defence of Mackey had no place in the Inquest. There was never any doubt as to who caused it. The complaint against Mackey was in relation to his behaviour, or lack of behaviour, as a police officer at the time. The complaint was very much along the lines of that made in 2015, against several police officers who failed to get out of their patrol car to assist a Tesco security guard with a violent shoplifter. A complaint which led to the justified sacking of one police officer. I can see absolutely no difference between that incident and the issue around Mr Mackey’s behaviour.

But as out of place as the comment was at the Inquest, it is it’s regular appearance in the official responses from the likes of Cressida Dick (Commissioner of Police) and the Mayors Office for Policing and Crime that worries me. It appears that this statement was a deliberately structured ‘key’ designed to aid in the release of Mackey from his predicament. Prepared and pre-empted, in my opinion, even before the end of the Inquest.

The real cancer that is killing the police service resides in the top floors of the Yard and other Police HQs around the land. Yes, there are many Chief Constables and senior officers who still hold true to the traditional values of policing. But they are growing fewer in number. Seeing how the system has rallied around to protect one of its own, many genuinely good senior officers must be tempted to avail themselves of such patronage.

There is corruption in the police. It stinks of politics…….

That is all

Who Gives A Toss About #KnifeCrime?

Well, I do, but I’m not sure that our politicians really do care.

It will come as no surprise to most of you that I care about it, and my chosen vehicle for heightening awareness is the Knife Angel. I ‘dug’ into it, found out what it was all about, went to see it (stunning) and met the ‘owner’ and creator of the Knife Angel. I spoke to both of them at length over many cups of coffee, and their passion and belief in the project is absolutely blindingly clear.

Clive Knowles, the ‘owner’ has invested thousands (probably 10s of thousands, I was too polite to ask him) of pounds in creating the Angel. He has fabricated secure Knife Bins, more than enough for each Force to conduct a Knife Amnesty and securely store the knives surrendered. He has footed the bill for delivering the Knife Banks and collecting them when full and transportation back to his business premises.

Nobody can say that Clive is not fully committed to tackling the epidemic of Knife Crime across the country. Once the Angel was made he started a campaign to get the Knife Angel installed on the 4th Plinth of Trafalgar Square. He has even named the Knife Angel the National Monument Against Violence And Aggression.

Clive Knowles is the gent on the right.

I have also spent some time with Alfie Bradley, the brilliant young sculptor who created the Knife Angel. In order to do this he had to take 100,000 knives, and other bladed instruments, blunt each and every one of them and then form them into the Knife Angel. Some of the blades even have personal messages engraved on them from victims of Knife Crime or their families. His passion and commitment are blindingly apparent, but he is possibly better known for making a huge gorilla out of spoons for Uri Geller, but that’s another story.

Alfie is the chap on the ladder.

Then we come to our politicians. At various times, in an assortment of ways, the following politicians have proclaimed their abhorrence of the current flood of Knife Crimes and their desire to do something about it.

Theresa May

Amber Rudd

Sajid Javid

Louise Haigh

Jeremy Corbyn

Holly Lynch

Nick Hurd

Sadiq Khan.

There may be others that I have overlooked, if that is the case please forgive me.

I have tweeted to Theresa May and Amber Rudd, and emailed both of them personally. No response from either except for an ‘Out of Office’ response from Amber Rudd that if I was not a constituent of hers I would not get a reply, and I didn’t.

Sajid Javid has only recently joined the Home Office but he has still failed to respond in any way to tweets to him about Knife Crime and the #KnifeAngel.

Louise Haigh, Holly Lynch and Jeremy Corbyn have not once responded in any way to numerous tweets addressed to them on the matter.

Nick Hurd has failed to respond to tweets or emails.

Finally, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. I have tweeted him dozens of times, to both his official and personal accounts. I have sent him emails. No reply to anything. Sadiq Khan is also responsible for deciding what exactly is shown on top of the 4th Plinth in Trafalgar Square. I have emailed the 4th Plinth Commissioning Group. No reply, but I have seen a photo of Sadiq Khan posing in front of the latest piece of art atop the 4th Plinth.

A big ‘Thumbs Up’. London is in the grip of an immense wave of Knife Crime and a ‘Thumbs Up’ is more appropriate than the Knife Angel.

I also emailed the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, but all I got back from them was a bland rejection by ‘James’ her Staff Officer, whoever ‘James’ may be.

So, sadly, the answer seems to be that I give a toss, Clive Knowles and Alfie Bradley give a toss. Not one of the above-mentioned politicians has demonstrated any positive action towards the Knife Angel campaign. However, I do believe that Sadiq Khan has contacted Clive Knowles direct and informed him why the Knife Angel is not a suitable exhibit for the 4th plinth. In my opinion he offered a pathetic, jobsworth, reason, but that is entirely his affair, I have the right to reject it.

If the politicians want to convince us that they do actually give a toss then it’s time for them to adopt more than snappy soundbites. Get behind the Knife Angel. If not Trafalgar Square then suggest somewhere else that’s suitable. Make it happen. This is not about me. It isn’t even about Clive and Alfie. It’s about the thousands of people being stabbed and murdered on our streets every year, and Clive’s campaign to draw attention to it, and begin a reduction in Knife Crime. Don’t support me, #SupportTheKnifeAngel. Especially if you want people to vote for you next time round, whichever party you are. This is not about politics, it’s about young people dying on our streets.

PLEASE take the time to watch all three videos below, particularly the second one.  The Knife Angel suddenly becomes very real.

SAVE A LIFE – Surrender Your Knife

Knife Crime Vs Stop & Search, Some Numbers (London Edition)

In a few days time I should have a set of figures telling us exactly what the size of the Knife Crime problem is across England and Wales.  While I’m waiting for the last few miscreants to remember to send me some data, or protest that they don’t have a Knife Crime problem, I thought I would plunder the Mayor of London’s Data Store and draw some pretty pictures of the scale of weapons generally in our capital.

As the data goes back to 2008 I thought “why not nick it all?” look at the long term situation and how it might have changed.  The categories covered everything from Dog Bites to Murder but I just concentrated on my current hobby horse and guns while I was at it.

As we all know, Sir Bernie Hogan-Who ordered a reduction in Stop and Search in London after the 2011 riots in order to try to build trust between the police and London’s communities.  Did that work?  We shall see.

Knife and Gun Crime between 2008 and 2016 looks like this.Reasonably constant over 8-9 years, not a huge increase but certainly hasn’t gone down much.

Contrast this with Stop and Search over the same period.

That has MOST DEFINITELY gone down

Because we can, why don’t we have a look at staffing levels within the Met over that period.

Police Officers down a little bit, but noticeable drops in Specials, PCSOs and Police Staff.

Finally, total recorded crime, how much has that reduced?

A slight dip around 2012-2013 but most definitely on the way back up would you say?

Don’t have nightmares, do sleep well.

Back soon with England and Wales Knife Crime figures.  I bet you can hardly wait.

 

The Latest Furore – Spit Hoods

I don’t suppose he meant to but Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, sparked off a right shit storm on Twatter last night after reversing the Met’s decision to trial Spit Hoods.

Whilst not entirely ruling them out he said 

Any attack on officers carrying out their duties is completely unacceptable, and the use of protective equipment is sometimes necessary. 

The decision on whether to use intrusive tactics is a highly emotive one and should be informed by public engagement. 

There is nothing wrong with public engagement per se but surely the safety of our Police Officers (and public) is paramount.  Did we ask the public what their opinion was before using handcuffs to restrain violent prisoners? Should we have done?  Should we now revisit that?

Surely the decision to use Protective Equipment, which Spit Hoods are basically, is surely an operational matter for Chief Officers?  The Commissioner has a Duty of Care for the Elf and Safery of his officers.  Who is the Mayor to ride roughshod over that?

Some arguements on the Twattersphere last night really got quite heated. ‘Friends’ were falling out over it.  A surprising number of people were arguing against them. Why?

If Johnny feels it is a little bit degarding to have a Spit Hood put over his head, or has a panic attack or feels a tad claustrophobic, is that worse than the potential consequences for the officer being spat on.  It is most unpleasant to be spat on, vile, but the unpleasantness is not really the issue, it is the potential transmission of diseases, the extended wait for the results of tests, the course of sntiviral treatment. That in itself is unpleasant I believe.

If little Johnny insisted in struggling and punching the officer would we be having this discussion about restraining him and putting him in handcuffs?

Whr the rights of a spitting, hissing prisoner more important than the rights of the officer(s) trying to restrain him?  Do the families of the officers not feature in this arguement?  The fears and worries spitting must bring into the family home are real, should we simply ignore that?

Finally, the simplest option is LITTLE JOHNNY COULD SIMPLY STOP SPITTING.

I’m sure one of you will correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t believe that Spit Hoods are used on compliant, non-spitting prisoners.

Amnesty UK weighed into the arguement with their justification for opposing (partially) the use of Spit Hoods

But they went quiet when it was pointed out that their previous view was at odds with last night’s contribution.

Have trials by all means, compare brand versus brand, design versus design, but DO SOMETHING.

With the government’s culling of the Police Service it is more important than ever to protect this endangered species.  We certainly don’t need political interference in operational policing matters, but I fear we are going to get it.