Anyone For A Class Action?

I saw a very welcome headline yesterday;

Police force threatens to sue Theresa May over funding plans

“What a fantastic idea” I thought.

The article, if true, gives an intriguing insight into the inequality of Cuts and Funding by Central Government. The Met seems set to suffer an unbelievable level of cuts (up to 43%) while some rural Forces seem set to receive an increase in funding. If the Met were truly to suffer a 43% cutback in funding next year I really can’t work out in what shape it might survive, if at all.

Following on from the theme of yesterday’s post, what a fantastic opportunity.  If all of the other Police a Forces in England and Wales joined together with West Midlands Pilice and launched a Class Action against the Home Secretary she would be forced to justify her policy in the Courts. Who knows, she might even pick up a second conviction for Contempt of Court, two would definitely be a first and put her in a class of her own.

Sadly, I can’t realistically expect the Tory PCCs to support the idea, but it’s certainly one that appeals to me.

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Roll Up, Roll Up, Enjoy The Show

Well Twatter was awash with condemnation yesterday, and I have to say I’m hardly surprised.  It’s been a while since I saw such a ridiculous management decision, at least a week.

The Twattersphere was rent asunder by this headline in the Birmingham Mail

We hope you enjoy the show! Outrage as events company offers ticket to police misconduct hearing.

 

A West Midlands PC had fallen foul of his management and was due to appear on a Discipline Board for an offence of Gross Misconduct.  He deserved to be there, of that there is no doubt, and ultimately he was found Guilty and summarily sacked, no problem with that.

What attracted the ire of the Twitterati was the fact that West Midlands Police has taken the decision to ‘sell’ tickets for the ‘event’.  Actually they were free, but how can allocating tickets through a 3rd party Events Company ever be right for a Disciplinary Hearing??

Chief Inspector Darren Walsh, from the force’s Public Protection Department, said:

 

“Eventbrite is a free event hosting website that is used by many organisations, including West Midlands Police.

“The site provides members of the public with a self-service facility to manage attendance at meetings and other events. As such the site incorporates standard text which is designed to fit numerous world-wide events.

“While we recognise that the text in the email confirmations may not always be appropriate in cases such as disciplinary hearings, the alternative could involve creating a new hosting website at the taxpayers’ expense.”

And what was that email confirmation that Chief Inspector Walsh was referring to?

“We hope you enjoy West Midlands Misconduct hearing.”

 

events1

 

Events2

I know that Cruella has decreed that Discipline Hearings must be held in public to ensure openness and transparency, although that does not seem to apply to certain senior officers who still enjoyed the privileges of as closed hearing, but nobody ever said that it should be a ticketed event.

Whoever was operating West Midlands Police Twitter Account yesterday had clearly lost the plot and tweeted

  Clearly missing the point that allocating, I believe 20, tickets for a disciplinary hearing is insensitive, demeaning and undignified.,  Whatever the officer is alleged to have done he is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect, not hauled in front of a 3 Ring Circus.

3 ring circus

 

To his credit DCC Dave Tnompson later got involved and tweeted the following;

So I think it’s fair to say that the message has been received by West Midlands Police, a minor triumph for Social Media and Policing, but whoever thought that dishing out tickets was a good idea has obviously got their knitting out and reserved a front row seat in front of Madame Guillotine.  The result of the disciplinary has been completed overshadowed by the surrounding furore. PSDs everywhere please take note, that despite what you may thing even Police Officers have rights. At the heart of human rights is the belief that everybody should be treated equally and with dignity – no matter what their circumstances. This means that nobody should be tortured or treated in an inhuman or degrading way.

Hopefully West Midlands Police and PSDs everywhere have now got that message and we won’t be seeing such an awful treatment of a Police Officer ever again.

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