The Truth Has A Habit Of Emerging When Least Convenient

I was sitting in Angry Towers this morning mulling over recent events and it occurred to me that one of the biggest problems we have at the moment is TRUTH.

I most certainly don’t have a problem with truth at all, in fact I frequently urge that the truth be told, as in the ongoing #Crimestats disgrace.  The problem with the truth is that it refuses to be buried, it keeps on popping it’s head up shouting “I’m over here” at the most inconvenient times. If you’re really unlucky it will leap up and bite yer bum.

In the past few months and years we have had several instances of the truth getting in the way of a good story.

Crimestats – I won’t bore you too much with that, it’s still current, but even Bernie Hogan-Who admitted that there was a truth to James Patrick’s revelations and that it needed to be heard.  It needed to be heard so much that, instead of making James part of the Working Party studying and rectifying the problem, they forced him out of his chosen career. I for one want to hear the TRUE situation with Crime Figures, not a manipulated version to suit the bonus culture which seems to have crept in to some senior officers careers.

Interestingly I refound this:- Tom Winsor (NEVER a Police Officer), who  is leading an inquiry into crime statistics, told the HASC committee he was in no doubt it would uncover “some fiddling of the figures”.  Lord Stevens (previous Met Commissioner) said “fiddling of figures” has been going on since he joined the police. A slight difference there.

The Lawrence & Morgan enquiries– the truth that at least one corrupt officer may have compromised one or both of these murder investigations making it difficult or impossible to secure a just conviction.

The Blakelock Investigation – His murder was followed by three extraordinary police investigations. The first, headed by Det Chief Supt Graham Melvin, resulted in the prosecution of three youths, and three men. But the tactics were described in court as having more in “common with a witch-hunt of the 17th century than an orthodox attempt to solve a murder” after youths were questioned without legal representatives.

Without forensic evidence or CCTV pictures, it relied on confessions and witness statements. “You ain’t got enough evidence,” one of the accused and the alleged ringleader, Winston Silcott, was alleged to have told the senior officer during an interview. “Those kids will never go to court. You wait and see. No one else will talk to you. You can’t keep me away from them.”

Silcott, Mark Braithwaite and Engin Raghip were convicted of murder but scientific tests later revealed that the notes from the key interview with Mr Silcott – which were not routinely recorded – had been tampered with. Based on the findings, the so-called “Tottenham Three” were cleared in 1991, reigniting feelings of resentment and mistrust between the police and the black community.

A second innovative murder inquiry, headed by Commander Perry Nove from an outside force the following year, offered lifetime immunity to witnesses who were “kickers” in the attack rather than “stabbers” if they cooperated with police. But  the Nove inquiry did not lead to anyone being charged over the killing on the advice of a senior barrister. The inquiry ended when Det Chief Supt Melvin and another senior investigator, Det Insp Maxwell Dingle, were put on trial for allegedly tampering with a witness statement. They were cleared by a jury.

Hillsborough – an independent panel laid bare a cover-up which attempted to shift the blame for the tragedy onto its victims. It revealed operational failures as well as the fact that the victims were not exceptionally drunk, as was originally suggested, and around half could have survived.

The list goes on and on, I am not going to document them all here.  What screams out loud and clear is this;

There are laws and procedures for dealing with all investigations on every scale.  If they are followed, you may not get the result you are after, but the truth will not pop up and bite you in the arse when you are least expecting it.  Let truth be your friend, let it work FOR you, not AGAINST you.

integrity non negotiable

Dark Days For The Met

Yesterday was a bad day for the Met, worse than it’s been for a long, long time. More bad times are coming, no doubt.

A lot of venom has been thrown at the Met on Twitter and the like, some of it really confusing.

I have been accused by some of failing to condemn corruption.  That’s just ridiculous, anyone who actually KNOWS me will know what my view of corruption is.  A lot of people confuse corruption with wrong-doing, not that I condone that either.  A lot of people on my TL last night appear to think that just because an allegation is made that ‘so and so’ is corrupt, that is a fact, or because something can no longer be found, that it must have been destroyed in a corrupt act. It might have been, but it might not have been..  Those people seem quite happy to join with Liberty and dispense with everybody else’s Rights except their own.  There exists such a thing as Standard of Proof, and the Standard of Proof for a criminal charge and conviction for Corruption (or any other crime) is Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. I do wonder sometimes how these people would feel if they were charged with an offence purely because someone had said they’d done something, with no investigation whatsoever.  Now that would most definitely be wrong.

The Crown Prosecution Service have standards that must be met BEFORE an individual is charged with a criminal offence.  Those standards apply to ordinary members of the Public and Police Officers alike.  Is there a valid reason that this should not be so?

Purely because some individuals need convincing I will quite happily place on record that I abhor corruption.  I abhor corruption in the Police, in the Civil Service, in the NHS, in Local Councils and in Parliament.  I also abhor corruption in private individuals seeking to feather their own nests, but unlike some of the Hang ‘em High Brigade I’m happy to await the outcome of the (hopefully) competent investigations before I go spouting my mouth off that there is corruption round every corner.

Corruption – What is it? Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain, and I do NOT approve of it.

There is no international legal definition of corruption.

In its narrowest sense, corruption is interpreted as referring to bribery and extortion

In its wider sense, corruption includes one or more of bribery, extortion, fraud, deception, collusion, cartels, abuse of power, embezzlement, trading in influence and money laundering. These activities will normally constitute criminal offences.

A lot has been made last night regarding a certain DS John Donaldson and his allegedly corrupt links with a certain family.  Personally I have no idea whether these claims are true.  I will say this however;   It is absolutely unforgiveable if the corrupt actions of one individual have plunged the Met into such a deep crisis, but this most definitely does NOT mean that every cop you meet on the streets is corrupt.

Much, if not all, of the evidence/intelligence against John Donaldson appears to originate from a fellow officer who was charged, convicted and imprisoned for his own corrupt activities, so who says the Police don’t like charging their own with corruption?  This officer would hardly have made a reliable witness of truth in the absence of any corroboration. Corroboration – a concept seemingly quite alien to some our Twitterati.

Much has been made last night of the activities of the Undercover Officer known as N81 and his infiltration of the Lawrence family.  Again let me make it quite clear that, if true, such infiltration/surveillance of the family of a murdered teenager is wholly unacceptable and inappropriate. However Mick Creedon, Chief Constable of Derbyshire Constabulary, stated on National TV last night that his investigations indicated that N81 had been nowhere near the Lawrence family.  I don’t know which is the true version, but there is most certainly doubt.

So there you have it. If you didn’t know before I hope my views on corruption are now quite clear. I just find it a little sad that some short-sighted people made it necessary for me to explain myself.  They sit behind their anonymous Twitter accounts and spout any old rubbish, corroborating none of it.

If I said that a certain politician was corrupt it wouldn’t mean that he/she was. It would need investigation to PROVE IT.

I hope I have been clear enough for the doubters.  I will not be entering into any further debate with you on this particular subject.  Do not judge today’s officers by the actions of those from a generation or more ago.  Today’s Police Service is a much different animal to that of the 60s, 70s and maybe the 80s

If you really don’t like this blog just unfollow me, I really won’t mind.

Finally let me reassure you all that 99.99% of all the cops you see out there feel exactly the same way. There is absolutely no reason why you should not trust the vast majority of them.