Crime Is Down

How many times have we heard that in the past few months?  Apart from the fact that Crime and Policing seemed to play no part in any party’s manifesto for the 2015 General Election the mantra coming out of the Home Office doors and windows is that Crime Is Down.

Repeat after me, Crime Is Down, Crime Is Down, Crime Is Down.  Believing it yet?

The fact that crime is down has been very convenient for the Home Office’s intended policy to reduce the number of Police Officers on our streets. Not only is crime down, but under the Tory-led coalition government since 2010, Police Officers are down, Police Dogs are down, Police Horses are down, Police Helicopters are down, Police Vehicles are down and Police Stations are down. So, all in all it’s a damn good job that crime is down or it could be a bit #awkward for Theresa May.

But that isn’t actually true is it?

Crime has RISEN by 4% in Wales.

Whilst it’s not strictly speaking part of our problem, crime has RISEN by 2.3% in Northern Ireland.

That august, and respected body, the Offiice of National Statistics has published a bold headline story that Crime in England and Wales is down by 7%.  This would be the same ONS that declared above that crime had increased by 4% in Wales would it?  Crikey, people in England must be experiencing a fantastic reduction to juggle those two arguments then.  But then you find the much smaller story in their report that RECORDED CRIME for England and Wales is UP by 2%.  The Crime Survey figures for England and Wales do indeed show a reduction, but they also show crime at a MUCH HIGHER level than Recorded Crime, so take your pick.

Next, we have CrimeStatsUk.com who have released figures for the period ending end of March 2015 (see the 2 graphs below) and whether you  include Anti Social Behaviour or not, they show a sharp rise at the beginning of 2025 and still rising.

All Crime Including ASB

 

All Crime Without ASB

Finally, and most importantly, we have the cops on the ground.  I distinct impression from listening to serving Police Officers on Social Media that crime is rising.  They may not know the numbers but they do most definitely know how frequently they are called upon to report or investigate a crime.  They are perfectly well qualified to comment on whether they are generally busier or not.

To return to the ONS data, if I believe the Crime Survey data just for a moment, it does indeed show a reduction from 2013 to 2014, BUT the Crime Survey figures are more than twice the level of Recorded Crime, so to boldly claim that “crime is down 7%” may be technically accurate it completely ignores the fact that they believe that crime levels are more than twice the level we think they are.

Well spun ONS, I salute you.

You can find the ONS comparison of Crime Survey vs Reported Crime over the years here

Not only do #CutsHaveConsequences but it seems that they are partly based on a false premise.

Policing Under Theresa May – Some Undeniable Truths

While I sit and ponder my future I found myself thinking about a couple of ‘Improvements’ that Theresa May has made to Policing.  My experience and knowledge is really linked to the Met, so if I say something which does not extend to your Force please forgive me, unlike Ms Khan, any unfair generalisations are not intention.

Back in 2011 she promised to cut Red Tape, whilst at the same time blaming Police Chiefs for that very same Red Tape

Just two months ago, she stated in the House that she had “cut red tape and freed the Police from Central Government control”  Is that what she calls it?

But, getting down to the Nitty Gritty, one of the most profound statements that she has made on practical policing was in relation to Stop and Search.

Firstly, the changes restrict the controversial “no suspicion” powers, which allow officers to stop and search members of the public even when they do not suspect a crime has been committed. This refers to s60 Stops, which in my experience were seldom used, and then mainly at Public Disorder, or occasionally sporting events. I’m not sure that is going to make a huge difference, but does shine a light on to Imelda’s way of thinking.

In the second measure forces will have to record the outcome of searches in more detail. 

Officers who carry out a stop and search will have to make a note of the outcome– such as whether it led to an arrest, a caution or no further action. 

The Home Office has previously reduced the complexity of paperwork required by stop and search after criticisms that it was overly bureaucratic and officers were being tied up with red tape.

Alex Marshall, chief constable of the College of Policing, said: “Stop and search powers are necessary to help us tackle crime and keep people safe but it is clear that they are being misused too often. 

“Under this scheme search outcomes will be recorded in more detail so we have a greater understanding of how the powers are being used.

Well, in my humble opinion this is just the College and the rest of AVPO (or whatever they’re called today) rolling over to have their bellies rubbed.

There is no doubt that Stop and Search is Intrusive, no doubt whatsoever! but unless someone has rewritten PACE while I’ve been asleep it has always contained the following;

1 Power of constable to stop and search persons, vehicles etc.

(1) A constable may exercise any power conferred by this section—

(a) in any place to which at the time when he proposes to exercise the power the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission; or

(b)in any other place to which people have ready access at the time when he proposes to exercise the power but which is not a dwelling.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) to (5) below, a constable—

(a) may search—

(i) any person or vehicle;

(ii) anything which is in or on a vehicle,

for stolen or prohibited articles [F1, any article to which subsection (8A) below applies or any firework to which subsection (8B) below applies; and

(b) may detain a person or vehicle for the purpose of such a search.

(3) This section does not give a constable power to search a person or vehicle or anything in or on a vehicle unless he has reasonable grounds for suspecting that he will find stolen or prohibited articles [F2, any article to which subsection (8A) below applies or any firework to which subsection (8B) below applies

2   Provisions relating to search under section 1 and other powers.

(1) A constable who detains a person or vehicle in the exercise—

(a) of the power conferred by section 1 above; or

(b) of any other power—

(i) to search a person without first arresting him; or

(ii) to search a vehicle without making an arrest,

need not conduct a search if it appears to him subsequently

(i) that no search is required; or

(ii) that a search is impracticable.

3  Duty to make records concerning searches.

(1) Where a constable has carried out a search in the exercise of any such power as is mentioned in section 2(1) above, other than a search—

(a) under section 6 below; or

(b)under section 27(2) of the M1Aviation Security Act 1982, he shall make a record of it in writing unless it is not practicable to do so.

(2) If—

(a) a constable is required by subsection (1) above to make a record of a search; but

(b )it is not practicable to make the record on the spot,

he shall make it as soon as practicable after the completion of the search.

(3) The record of a search of a person shall include a note of his name, if the constable knows it, but a constable may not detain a person to find out his name.

(4) If a constable does not know the name of a person whom he has searched, the record of the search shall include a note otherwise describing that person.

(5) The record of a search of a vehicle shall include a note describing the vehicle.

(6) The record of a search of a person or a vehicle—

(a) shall state—

(i) the object of the search;

(ii) the grounds for making it;

(iii) the date and time when it was made;

(iv) the place where it was made;

(v) whether anything, and if so what, was found;

(vi) whether any, and if so what, injury to a person or damage to property appears to the constable to have resulted from the search; and

(b) shall identify the constable making it.

(7) If a constable who conducted a search of a person made a record of it, the person who was searched shall be entitled to a copy of the record if he asks for one before the end of the period specified in subsection (9) below.

(8) If—

(a) the owner of a vehicle which has been searched or the person who was in charge of the vehicle at the time when it was searched asked for a copy of the record of the search before the end of the period specified in subsection (9) below; and

(b) the constable who conducted the search made a record of it,

the person who made the request shall be entitled to a copy.

There’s a whole load more to PACE than that, but in my submission, that is our first Undeniable Truth, Stop and Search under s1 PACE is already regulated sufficiently by statute and if the perception is that this power is being abused then this is surely a Supervision or Training issue, not something for Politicians to meddle in.

My second concern, to the best of my knowledge, only concerns the Met, but if the same practice has happened in the County Forces please let me know, as we would all need t know.

When I last worked on a Borough, I worked in an Intelligence Unit, and it was an important part of my job to produce briefings 5 days out of 7 for the 3 main shifts, Early, Lates and Nights.  These briefings would contain details of recent crimes of note, any Crime Patterns that had been identified by the Analyst, names and/or descriptions of any suspects for those crimes including photos if applicable, and recommendations for where any ‘spare’ officers could be posted to Prevent or Detect Crime (I know there aren’t any Spare officers any more).  It was on the basis of these briefings that many s1 Stop and Searches may have been conducted in ‘Hotspot’ areas.

Word has now reached my ears that these Intelligence Units at Divisional and Borough level have gone, been Winsor’d, labelled as Back Office functions and dissolved.  There is a Service Intelligence Unit staffed by some faceless warriors in Central London, but how effective can they be at preparing meaningful and timely briefings for troops in Croydon, or Barnet?

Time spent chatting with the old ‘Collator’ was seldom wasted for a good Thief-Taker, chats in a cosy over office over a brew were often productive, and, within limits, to be encouraged.  Even the next generation following on from Collators had crowds of enthusiastic young bucks picking brains in the quest for their next ‘body’. I don’t see anything wrong with that, as long as the privilege isn’t abused, but again, Post May/Winsor there probably isn’t the time left for such luxuries.

So, in the era of Smaller, Smarter Policing, how exactly are we supposed to function more Smartly when May and Winsor have taken away our Intelligence Units.  If this is not true PLEASE let me know, it’s important to me to know.

Intelligence-Led Policing With No Intelligence Unit – that would work every time.  Bloody good job Crime Is Down is all I can say.

Our Second Undeniable Truth?  The absence of Intelligence Units at a local level adversely impacts upon our ability to fight crime in an efficient and timely manner?

Lastly, I need to go back to Stop and Search again.  I often hear rumours that Sergeants and Inspectors in the Met (not necessarily only the Met) set their troops numerical targets as a Performance Indicator for their Appraisals.  How can this be right?

As we have seen above before a Stop/Search be conducted there has to be Suspicion and Grounds. I’ve scoured PACE thoroughly but I can’t find performance Indicators listed as suitable grounds to conduct a Stop/Search.

Stop/Search is clearly a very emotive subject and if there are abuses of the powers then these need to be addressed, but NOT by watering down the powers, of course Turkeys are not going to vote for Christmas but I truly believe that if Mr or Mrs Average is subjected to a Stop/Search by an officer who was polite, explained their actions and complied with the provisions above, then they would neither Complain nor Need to Complain.  Do we need to pay undue heed to the Turkeys complaining that Christmas is coming and they don’t want to be slaughtered?

My 3rd and last Undeniable Truth is that Numerical targets have no place in Stop/Search in particular, and quite possibly Front Line Policing in general, it breeds bad habits.  Any Stop/Search conducted in pursuit of such Targets is, at best, Unethical, and at most, arguably Unlawful.

The Dishonest Politician’s Guide To The Police

Nope, nothing to do me this one.   This catchy little title is the brainchild of Professor Tim Hope, Professor of Criminology at the University of Salford, which is a place near Manchester if I’m not mistaken.

Following on from TMIC’s (sic) report on #CrimeStats Prof Tim has written a little blogette with the above title, and I must say it is absolutely SPOT ON, I’ll highlight the best bits for you, but for the full effect you can read it here.  It’s not too long and quite an easy read, give it a go.

Having read Uncle Tom’s latest tome Professor Hope has published a five point plan for governments on how to improve their ratings by destroying the legitimacy of the Police;

1. Give the impression that you know how to reduce crime (but don’t be too specific)
2. Pretend that police recorded crime statistics are a true measure of crime and of victims’ needs (but don’t believe this yourself; use your own surveys)
3. Pretend that the police don’t belong to you any more.
4. Start waving a big stick.
5. Don’t bother to upgrade the skills of the rank and file police officer

Once you have achieved 1-5 just sit back and see what happens.

Once you’re confident that crime is going down long-term, start wondering out loud why we still need all those police officers.

Sit back and wait for the police to start fiddling the figures to make themselves look better, knowing that they have always done this, ever since there were figures to fiddle.

Talk about how the police must also share the pain of austerity cuts, look for efficiencies, etc. like everyone else. Actually abolish all those performance targets and red tape because what police officers really want is to be out there on the front line fighting crime (instead of sheltering from the elements inside a warm, comfortable police station with their workmates).

Selectively shine a torchlight into the affairs of a few police forces in areas where your voters (honest taxpayers) are concentrated; let a few scandals come to light, a few brave whistle-blowers sacrificed (knowing how nastily they treat ‘traitors’, you can then further dramatise the Chiefs’ iniquity at the same time as you leave the whistle-blowers hanging out to dry)

Finally, you’ve left the police without a leg to stand on, so that you can then blame them for their own failings.

Meanwhile, let the real victims of society rot; the inner city poor (who don’t vote) can be left to their own devices; do nothing about the hatred and violence festering away; do not exempt the safeguarding services from the cuts; make it difficult for the police to protect the vulnerable or prosecute those who harm them; and then blame the police for dimming the Blue Lamp in the face of the futility of it all.

Either way, it isn’t YOUR fault, and that’s all that matters….

His very last sentence is one I suspect we would all agree with. Thank you Professor Hope, and thank you also from hundreds if not thousands of my former colleagues for these, your final words on the subject;


For Heaven’s Sake, give us a Royal Commission to sort out this mess

BIO

Tim Hope was appointed to the newly created Chair in Criminology in September 2010. Previously, he worked at the Home Office Research and Planning Unit (latterly as Principal Research Officer), where he also earned a Ph.D. in Sociology through part-time study; and as Senior Consultant, CACI Ltd; Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Missouri-St. Louis, USA; Senior Research Fellow, University of Manchester; and Reader (1994) and Professor of Criminology (1997), Keele University, serving as Head of the Department of Criminology and director of the Keele Community Safety Group.

He has been Director of the ESRC Crime and Social Order Research Programme (1993-1998); honorary research fellow of the Quantitative Criminology Group, Centre for Census and Survey Research, University of Manchester; Visiting Professor, Vauxhall Centre for Criminology, University of Bedfordshire; and Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, University of Edinburgh (2007-2009).

He is Scientific Advisor to the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime, and Editorial Advisor for Safer CommunitiesCriminal Justice Matters and the European Journal of Policing Studies. He has also been an expert consultant to the UK Statistics Commission, the Audit Commission, the National Reassurance and the Neighbourhood Policing programmes, the European Forum for Urban Safety, the Regional Government of Emilia-Romagna (Italy), the Czech Republic, the European Commission evaluation of the European Crime Prevention Network, and given evidence to the parliamentary Science and Technology Committee. He coordinated the Work-package ‘Local public policies of crime prevention’ of the CRIMPREV Co-ordination Action of the European Union Sixth Framework Programme.

He has authored over 100 research publications, (some works appearing in translation) both in the UK and also in the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Poland, and Portugal.

One assumes he knows what he’s talking about then.

HMIC No Crime The Whistleblowers’ Allegations

Yesterday saw the publication of the HMIC report into allegations that Police Forces across England and Wales have been systematically under-recording crimes.

They conclude that Police Forces have failed to record about 800,000 crimes a year, including 25% of Sex Crimes. An astounding figure, no wonder Crime is down across the UK.

The chief inspector of HMIC, nice Mr Winsor, said that a national crime recording rate of 81% was inexcusably poor: “This is not about numbers and dry statistics – it is about victims and the protection of the public.”

The investigation was based on reviewing 10,267 reports of crime by the public and 3,240 “no-crime” decisions as well as surveying the views of 17,000 police officers and staff.

The report rejects claims that the practice of under-recording is due to “fiddled figures” or dishonest manipulation, saying that although the staff survey and interviews with whistleblowers produced many such allegations, no one came forward with firm evidence.

The report says “that the police must record an incident as a crime when a victim reports circumstances that amount to an offence as defined by the law and there is no credible evidence to the contrary.”

Is this paragraph not at odds with the previous one? Despite surveying 17,000 officers and staff there was no “evidence” so it didn’t happen.

Apparently every allegation of Crime should be ‘Crime’d’. Surely every allegation should be recorded and No Crime’d if that is appropriate after investigation. Maybe Uncle Tom is showing his lack of relevant experience, I don’t believe that he could be that naive. Or maybe we’re simply taking a step back into the past and there will no initial investigation at the scene, just Crime Reporting with a follow-on investigation by the suits?

The inspectors say that a number of police forces accepted that “undue performance pressures had adversely affected crime recording in the past, and the culture of chasing targets as ends in themselves had distorted crime-recording decisions”.

If an allegation of Attempted Burglary is classified as Criminal Damage but contains a Point of Entry within the body of the Crime Report, this has probably been fiddled.

If an allegation of Grievous Bodily Harm has been recorded as Actual Bodily Harm or Common Assault but contains the fact that injuries were “Serious” then this has probably/possibly been fiddled. Need I go on?

I have mentioned this before, but when I last worked on Division (1999) the Met routinely ran an Ethical Audit (a small programme designed to hunt down anomalies such as these) on the CRIS database and bring the results to the attention of the relevant DCI. Does this no longer happen?

There are numerous people who could have told Uncle Tom what was happening and how it is done, but he seems to have chosen not to hear their voices.

Are we to assume then that there are 800,000 genuine “mistakes” across the country, every year, when crimes are recorded? 25% of Sexual Offence crimes contain genuine errors resulting in them being incorrectly recorded.

Or have HMIC just, ironically, classified the Whistleblowers’ allegations as No Crime in contradiction to their own guidelines?

So Just When Will Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe Resign?

I’m sure you don’t need reminding that Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe is the ‘top cop’ in the land, the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, Big Cheese, Top Johnny. He is in charge.

Under his stewardship we have seen one of the biggest scandals to rock the Met for decades, (but by no means the only one, where do I start?).  The recording of Crime Statistics for Metropolitan Police District.

It has been known by almost everyone within the Met that Crime Figures have been fiddled, it has been going on for decades and quite probably since the very first year that numerical targets were first introduced.

The then Police Constable James Patrick (amongst others) gave evidence to the Public Administration Select Committee and they eventually reported back that crime figures were being manipulated.

Tom Winsor of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary admitted that the manipulation of crime figures was taking place. The UK Statistics Authority withdrew the Met’s gold standard national statistics status. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, was forced to admit the numbers were being fiddled and said the issue was a cause for concern.

FOUR eminent authorities all admitting that Crime Stats were being fiddled.

So what happened next? Was it put right?  Is all OK now?

Personally I have no idea whether I can yet trust the Met’s Crime Stats.

What happened next is that Police Constable James Patrick was hounded out of his job for daring to speak up.

Bernard Jenkin, the chair of the parliamentary committee that investigated the manipulation of crime stats, said: “The most depressing part of our inquiry is the way in which the Metropolitan police have treated my constituent, PC James Patrick, who was our key witness.”

The Grauniad went so far as to report this;

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) made repeated attempts to silence a whistleblower who exposed the widespread manipulation of crime statistics, it has emerged.

Documents seen by the Guardian show that senior officers made three separate attempts to stop PC James Patrick speaking out over the course of less than five months.”

Not a very honourable course of conduct in my opinion.

We also have the sorry tale of the TSG6, also on Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe’s watch.  If you missed that story previously you can read the transcript here.

In the last few months two senior people have resigned from Tesco due to ‘an accounting error’.  First we had the Finance Director falling on his sword, and just this week the Chairman.

So isn’t it about time that someone from the Met fell on their ceremonial sword and resigned as a point of honour over the most dishonourable things that appear to have happened, not to mention ‘an accounting error’ i.e. the Crime Stats?

Anyone want to run a book on when this will happen?

Is The End Game Finally In Sight?

For months and even years now, ex PC James Patrick fought the law, and the law won.  Whistleblower Extraordinaire, he exposed an undeniable truth, that CrimeStats were being routinely fiddled by a variety of people within the Met, and for a variety of different reasons, no doubt.  Undeniable because 100s and thousands of us KNEW that he was telling the truth because we have lived through it, it was the ‘norm’.

At the end of the day it cost him his livelihood, it cost him his tranquillity, it cost him (in a manner of speaking) his reputation, because he now has a Disciplinary Finding of Guilt, which won’t exactly act as a reference if he ever decided that he wanted to rejoin the Police Service.  In all the ways that matter, though, it has enhanced his personal and professional reputation immensely.

So, after a while Parliament conducted and enquiry/investigation into #CrimeStatsGate which culminated in yesterday’s news headline criticising the Met for its treatment of James.  Bernard Jenkin MP told parliament ex-Met PC James Patrick was the victim of “monstrous injustice” and was “hounded” from his job..  Quite strong words really, don’t you think?  Just because they are uttered with the benefit of Parliamentary Privilege doesn’t make them any less true.

“Mr Patrick had said crime figures had been manipulated and sexual offences were under-reported by 22-25%.”    Errrrmm and how much have reports of Sexual Offences gone up by now?  Surely there can’t be a connection?  Can there?

 

To illustrate the enormity of James’ actions I will reproduce a selection of verbatim quotes from the transcript of PASC’s meeting yesterday;

Mrs Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham) (Con): Although I am now a proud member of the Public Administration Committee, I was not a member when the report was done. Does my hon. Friend agree that PC James Patrick’s actions were both courageous and in the public interest, and that he has done a great service to this country in ensuring that this matter is highlighted, as the Committee has done?

Mr Jenkin: My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. It is worth emphasising that under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, PC Patrick should have been afforded some protection. I will come to the position of whistleblowers later in my remarks………………………………….We found strong evidence that the police have under-recorded crime, particularly sexual crime such as rape, in many police areas. There remain wide disparities in no-crime rates—that is, where police decide that a crime did not take place—following reports of rape, for example. In January 2014, Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary, on behalf of the Rape Monitoring Group, released a compendium of statistics on recorded rapes in each force over the previous five years. I invite right hon. and hon. Friends and colleagues to look at the table showing how wide the variation is among different forces across England and Wales in their no-criming of rape. According to the figures, in Lincolnshire, for example, 26% of all reported rapes were no crimed in 2012-13; by contrast, in Merseyside, only 4% were. The national average was 11.9%…………………………….The main reason for misrecording was the continued prevalence of numerical targets………………

Our official police witnesses, most notably the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, were somewhat defensive and seemed unready to acknowledge that their statistics were inherently flawed. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe told us that the accuracy of data on rape and sexual offences was

“a lot better than it was, if we took it back five to 10 years.”  [Well that’s alright then]……………..

even the Metropolitan Police Commissioner agrees that

“there is clearly something that PC Patrick raises that we need to get to the bottom of.”

Despite that, I can only describe the treatment of my constituent James Patrick as shameful. By doing his duty and raising the issues, he showed the highest commitment to the core policing values, but as a result he became the victim of the most monstrous injustice. He was in effect hounded out of his job, following a long period of harassment by the Metropolitan police command chain, which, I dare say, used and abused the disciplinary process to get rid of him. It does the police no credit that a whistleblower should be treated in such a way. He was, for example, accused of a conflict of interest for publishing a book about the misuse of police recorded crime statistics, even though the proceeds were paid to a police charity. In an LBC radio programme in December last year, Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said that he would meet PC Patrick. He never did so.

There is much, much more in the PASC document, but I think the above will suffice.  I had never encountered Bernard Jenkin before James’ problems, but in the limited contact I have had with him he strikes me as being one of a rare breed, a decent and honourable politician.  I just hope that I am not proved wrong.

So, Dear Reader, if you’re still with me at this point, just how despicable was James’ treatment at the hands of the Met?  You decide.

This should make you smile James:-  A new entry in Oxford English Dictionary perhaps; INTEGRITY – James Patrick, The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles:

Just a thought

 

Image Or Loyalty? Who Would Be A Whistleblower?

Who Would be a Whistleblower?  Not many, it takes a particular type of person.

Who would be a Whistleblower in the Met?  Not very many at all, and after the recent shenanigans I would be entirely surprised if anybody at all within the Met thought it it was worth the risk and aggravation.

After James Patrick’s stirling efforts in exposing the sham that is called Crime Statistics (amongst other things) the end result was that he felt that he had no other alternatives, so he resigned.  Baroness Jenny Jones asked Boris and The Met questions about their Whitsleblowing policies, all of which were met with wishy washy (if any) answers.  Requests to the Met under the Freedom of Information Act were either refused or responded to with confusing and contradictory answers.

Then Jenny Jones asked Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey if he could provide ONE single example of a Whistleblower in the Met feeling that it had been a ‘positive experience’.  Not one single person who exposed wrongdoing  does not feel their career was negatively impacted or that they were treated fairly despite 1,121 reports being made through its internal reporting system ‘Rightline’ in the last four years.  NOT ONE out of over 1,100 cases.

That is a damning indictment of the Met and its Management.

The Metropolitan Police is quite clearly more concerned about its image than it is with being loyal to its officers and staff, particularly those 1,121 people who put their heads above the parapet.

Craig Mackey, told the Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee that rewarding whistleblowers “is to effectively inculcate them and to provide some support around them in terms of the process around it.”  Well that all sounds a bit pink and fluffy to me.  Thick old me didn’t have a clue what ‘inculcate’ meant so I went away and looked it up.  The Oxford Dictionary defines it thus ;”Instil (an idea, attitude, or habit) by persistent instruction:“, so there you have it.

So, I ask you again, “Who would want to be a Whistleblower in the Met?”

Come to think of it, can anyone provide me with a single example where anyone in the Police Service ANYWHERE has had a ‘positive experience’ whistleblowing?

Can anyone provide me with a single experience of anybody in the Public Sector (NHS, Local Govt etc etc) that has had a ‘positive experience?

I’m here all week to take our replies, I thank you.

image
PLEASE FORM AN ORDERLY QUEUE

Reasons Not To Knock The Met

Or

Tell Us The Truth Please Boris/Bernie

I now have a new hobby – Data Miner, and sometimes you unearth real gold.

I have ‘stolen’ a dataset from Boris’s Vaults in Bojo Towers, and what it reveals is something you really ought to know.

I have been, and remain, a vocal critic of some facets of the Metropolitan Police Farce, mainly its SMT and Professional(?) Standards, the boys and girls on the front line do an excellent job under almost impossible conditions and restrictions, and nobody ever seems to go into bat for them.

So I will.

Reproduced below are some TRUTHS, No Spin, No Manipulations, No Falsehoods (at least not by me).  They represent the statistics that Mayor Boris is sitting on, doesn’t seem to want us to know.

For ease of reference I will not go back beyond June 2012 but comparable figures exist for most categories back as far as 2008 if you really want to check.

So, here goes, buckle yourself in, the Stats, the Whole Stats and nothing but the Stats

ASB (Anti Social Behaviour calls received by CCC (Central Command Complex

June 2012 – 35,676             May 2014 – 24,468

Total Notifiable Offences

June 2012 – 66,647             May 2014 – 57,562

Violent Crime

June 2012 – 5,311                May 2014 – 5,776

Robbery

June 2012 – 3,087                 May 2014 – 1,836

Theft from Person

June 2012 – 4,129                 May 2014 – 2,496

Burglary

June 2012 – 7,532                  May 2014 – 5,837

Theft of Motor Vehicle

June 2012 – 1,980                   May 2014 – 1,811

Theft From Motor Vehicle

June 2012 – 5,865                    May 2014 – 4,521

Criminal Damage

June 2012 – 5,519                     May 2014 – 4,972

Rape

June 2012 – 247                         May 2014 – 380

Sexual Offences

June 2012 – 840                         May 2014 = 1,081

Murder

June 2012 – 8                              May 2014 – 10

Gun Crime

June 2012 – 182                         May 2014 – 133

Homophobic Hate Victims

June 2012 – 109                          May 2014 – 116

Racist & Religious Hate Victims

June 2012 – 826                          May 2014 – 943 

Stop and Searches Conducted

June 2012 – 28,851                      May 2014 – 16,581

Stop and Search Arrest Rate

June 2012 – 11.56%                    May 2014 – 19.23%

Total Number of Regular Police Officers

June 2012 – 31,798                     May 2014 – 30,945

% Total victims ease of contacting police

June 2012 – 91%                          May 2014 – 94%

% Total victims satisfied with action taken

June 2012 – 69%                           May 2014 – 76%

% Total victims feel well informed

June 2012 – 65%                            May 2014 – 72%

% Total victims feel treated fairly by police

June 2012 – 86%                            May 2014 – 91%

% Total victim satisfaction

June 2012 – 74%                            May 2014 – 80%

Confidence in the Police

June 2012 – 65%                            May 2014 – 68%

So, there you have it.  Not all GREEN, but not many REDs.

The boys and girls on the Front Line are clearly doing an admirable job.  Why aren’t we told that Public Confidence in the Metropolitan Police is steadily INCREASING in all areas of their business?

Why aren’t we told that Stop and Search has actually DECREASED drastically since 2012 but the Arrest Rate has INCREASED?

Why are the Met (and they are not alone in this) being constantly pilloried by our politicians when Boris is sitting on Stats that seem to show them off in a very good light?

Boys and Girls, Ladies and Gents, Hold The Line.  You are doing a fantastic job in very difficult times and it will only get worse.  But when you go home to your loved ones tonight, do so with your heads held high.  We are constantly told that the figures do not lie (unless the SMT have fudged them), and they tell me what a wonderful job you are doing at the grass roots.

Please keep it up.

All this from a Workforce that mainly don’t live in London.  For the benefit of any of you who think that this is proof that ‘more can be done with less’ I would invite you to consider the consequences.  The stats above are, in my opinion, mighty impressive in most areas. The flip side of that coin is that too many officers are either ‘cracking up’ or leaving, because More isn’t being done ‘with less’ it is being done by ‘stopping the less from taking their Annual Leave and other rostered rest Days

Please feel free to share this blogpost with as many journos as you think fit, and let’s see how many will refer to it over the next few days.  I have no fear of the figures I have quoted, they are Boris’s figures, it’s up to him to justify them. I have neither changed nor spun them.

An Open Letter to Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and Mr Tom Winsor

You are both well aware of the total furore that has erupted in past months about the alleged ‘fiddling’ of crime figures.

I am aware Mr Winsor that your HMIC recently published an interim report on the matter and I am in the process of digesting it.  To help you with the rest of your report, and to better inform Sir Bernard on how it’s done I thought I’d put together a little montage of genuine ways in which crimes have been ‘distorted’ or ‘misrepresented’ over a large number of years.

It will also help the public to better understand what all the fuss has been about but because the majority of it has been about Rape allegations, but it exists in so many other areas as well.

In no particular order

Criminal Damage (Value under £20) for many years that would have been No Crime’d  by Force Policy since the early 70s, but a crime had still been committed (allegedly).

House/Shop/Car window smashed – No Crime, window broken by stone thrown up from passing lorry/bus/car wheel.

Attempted Burglary classified as Criminal Damage.  Arguments will rage forever over this one, but we all know it happened.

Post Sentence Visits to convicted felons in prison to ‘Clear Up’ some outstanding crimes. A dubious practice designed solely to influence the Clear Up Rate, I doubt that any outstanding stolen property was ever recovered and restored to the victim.

Bringing prisoners out of prison to the police station cells and driving them round so that they could point out the houses they had burgled.  See my previous comments above.

A local prolific burglar for example dies, suddenly he seems to have been credited with a large proportion of the unsolved crimes, shown as Cleared Up. Dubious to say the least.

Theft Person being classified as No Crime, property lost in the street.  The nature of ‘Dipping’ is that the victim is frequently unaware of the offence at the time of commission, that is no reason to record it as Property Lost, if there is some credible evidence that it has been stolen then the appropriate classification should be used. However, there are tales such as this “Known Dipping.. CID sent out a memo. We Had to ask the question. If it ‘could’ have have fallen out, the bag was open. report it as Loss in the street!  Even though it was at the bottom of a bag”

Now this one’s rapidly becoming a favourite of mine.  Theft of a large bird from garden premises, classified as No Crime – bird flew away. It was made of concrete.

Fraud was never properly investigated for years because it was no-one’s priority crime.

I have heard recently of one Attempted Burglary being classified as No Crime because “a trapped, enraged bumblebee caused the damage to the window?”

Assaults with counter allegations were frequently classified as No Crime instead of two or more assaults, even one would have been better.

Assaults where the victim refused to substantiate the allegation even where there was corroborating evidence in the form of CCTV footage. Shouldn’t be No Crime’d. It;’s still a crime, it’s just the victim doesn’t want to go to Court.

Burglaries in bedsits, hotels or offices with multiple victims that all went down as one burglary.

Offences of Criminal Damage by Graffiti were frequently classified No Crime if they could be cleaned off.

A whole road of cars damaged – one Criminal Damage with 24 victims. 24 Crimes same venue?

“Another favourite was number plates stolen…..no they fell off. Both front and back. No crime”

“Kited cheques with obvious intent – No crime, victim referred to bank. And… obvious frauds using cloned cards etc – victim referred to bank.”

“A certain concert venue somewhere in South London where people were never dipped, they just danced so hard that their phones fell out of their pockets/handbags and were lost. No crime”

“I tried reporting Crim Damage. Occupants in lounge, saw group walking past , making a noise and saw one throw a brick to someone on opposite footpath. Over threw and it smashed glass in door. I put it in as crim damage but got memo saying it was an attempt burglary. I tried to argue my corner but crime desk wouldn’t have it. Strange decision.”

“I retired 2 years ago having spent my last 4 years in the Met heading up the XXXX Crime Management Unit. All crime classification change requests came through my team. I have seen all manner of stupidity. The range is incredible. From a DS who became an internet expert on the thermo-dynamics of sealed double glazing units and how a sudden drop in overnight temperature can cause them to shatter! He wanted an attempted burglary no crimed. Unfortunately, the dets already explained how the victim actually disturbed the suspect walking down the shingle path below the window, and found the brick used to smash the window too…..! The other extreme being the self appointed “hate crime champion” for one borough who liked to remove Racial flags (on undetected crimes of course..) on the basis the Mr Ahmed (sic) must have been mistaken in his belief that the only reason he felt he was the victim of race crime was because none of his white neighbours had dog shit continually posted through his front door. Sadly, I have too many stories like these, as well as more about those who were too spineless to respond to official reports of such corrupt practices. Believe me PC Patrick is very brave, but his story merely scratches the surface.”

“I remember a smash and grab at a pet shop where an expensive Macaw parrot was stolen there were no witnesses no CCTV. The D/S on the crime desk wrote it off as No Crime putting it down to the parrot making a successful escape from captivity after the shop front window was broken by, as mentioned earlier on this post a stone thrown up by a passing vehicle!”

Sir Bernard, PC Patrick has given the more analytical version and I have given you actual examples from current or former officers. May be you could explain to the public exactly why you didn’t invite PC Patrick to become part of the solution, and continued to oppress him, eventually instigating further disciplinary matters during his period of Notice?

Mr Winsor, your team have completed the first part of their study, maybe they would like to look for examples such as these when they do the next part.

Mind you Mr Winsor I’m disappointed that you didn’t mention on Radio 4 the other morning that you have already met with Constable Patrick.  Gives people the wrong impression.

Maybe, Sir Bernard, you or Mr Winsor would like to contribute to the James Patrick Fighting Fund, if you have a Paypal Account it’s easy;

From within your opening screen (after logging in to your account) choose Send Money

Send it to the following email address

justice4pcpatrickAToutlookDOTcom (see what I did there?) (substitute an “@” and a “.” as appropriate)

Enter the amount in GBP you wish to send

Click on “I’m sending money to family or friends” This option should be free of charges unless you pay by Credit Card and the money ends up in exactly the same account as if you had pressed the Donate Button.

A little more complicated and it only works for Paypal account holders but every fee that we can reduce is more for the Fighting Fund

For more info please see

http://www.wikihow.com/Send-Money-via-PayPal

I thank you

Please do it for James. #Justice4PCPatrick

THIS FUND IS NOW CLOSED

Thank You

Open Letter To All Serving Police Officers

At the very least all Constables.

You will doubtless be aware that Constable James Patrick of the Metropolitan Police Service is less than one week away from his resignation date, having ‘blown the whistle’ on the way Crime Figures have been manipulated, certainly within the Met.

He has been hounded out of a job he loved, and I do mean loved, he was passionate about it, because he told the truth and showed the Met up, exposing their crooked practices.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe can say what the hell he pleases, but James was right and I, together with thousands of other retired Met officers, knows he was right.  I joined in 1972 and it was common-place then.  I can’t speak for your Force, I only have experience of the Met, but trust me everything James said to the Public Administration Select Committee and elsewhere was correct.

To validate James I will be giving examples shortly of the sort of practices went on that Hogan-Who and his senior management claim they know nothing about, even though Lord Stevens no less, acknowledges it.

The purpose of this letter is this.  I am fully aware that as serving Police Officers you may well feel that you cannot comment on this case.  I understand that.

You probably feel that you cannot openly express any support for James. I understand that too.

I’m not even going to ask you to agree that fiddling the figures goes on your Force.

I’m asking you for 25 PENCE.

James has told me roughly how much his legal fees will be for his Employment Tribunal, about the same as a House of Commons Barrista earns I believe.

But if every serving Constable in England could give at least 25 pence that will cover it.  All donations are anonymous.  We obviously see the details of who has sent it but those details remain confidential to us.  There are only 2 of us involved in raising funds James, I’m retired and the other man has never been a Police Officer, or civvie, so they’ll need a warrant to get anything at all out of us.

You don’t have to make a comment, you don’t have to go public, just quietly click on the link below and donate.

If you check back through my previous blogs you will see that 3 Peers of the Realm have publicly come out in support of James, and Baroness Jenny Jones is even skirmishing with Mayor Boris in an attempt to resolve the latest nonsense.

BREAKING NEWS – I have largely solved the problem of Paypal fees reducing the donations. For people who already have a Paypal Account, are willing to create one, the solution is this.

From within your opening screen (after logging in to your account) choose Send Money

Send it to the following email address

justice4pcpatrickAToutlookDOTcom (see what I did there?)

Enter the amount in GBP you wish to send

Click on “I’m sending money to family or friends” This option should be free of charges unless you pay by Credit Card and the money ends up in exactly the same account as if you had pressed the Donate Button.

A little more complicated and it only works for Paypal account holders but every fee that we can reduce is more for the Fighting Fund

I thank you

Please do it for James. #Justice4PCPatrick

THIS FUND IS NOW CLOSED

 

Thank you