I try not to be too much of a Conspiracy Theorist, but sometimes it’s easy to fall into that mode. But sometimes things happen that just lend themselves to ‘Conspiracy’.
I have thought hard over whether I should even write this blog, but I’ve decided that I should, the truth (Conspiracy or not) is too important to be ignored. My mind is a jumble at the moment so if this blog seems a little more disjointed than normal, please forgive me and bear with it.
Nobody can deny that there is a crisis in the Met at the moment. Bernard Hogan-Who (Bernie the Ostrich) is under fire from all directions. So what is he doing about it? Well one thing he certainly isn’t doing about it is leading his Force out of this crisis with their heads held high. The vast majority of the Met have nothing to be ashamed of and he knows it.
Two of Bernie’s highest profile problems of the moment (I would suggest) both involve Constable James Patrick.
Firstly we have the travesty that was his Discipline Hearing, for a so-called offence of Gross Misconduct that had to be downgraded to Misconduct after a review by an external Force. As you will be aware this centred on James’ blogs that he later consolidated into a book and sold, 100% of the proceeds going to charity.
You will find James’ own full version of the hearing here, and his Notice of Appeal here.
It was alleged that James had failed to register a Business Interest.
Now that the proceedings are over I ask you Met Police, why is it necessary to register a Business Interest if 100% of the proceeds are donated to charity, and the publishing of the book is self-funded? You have found him Guilty. Simply, where is the Business?
The Met alleged that by publishing this book James had damaged Public Confidence in the Met. Where is the evidence for this? If James’ book was so damaging, why did you not instruct him to remove it from sale? You found him Guilty yet you permitted a continuance of the ‘offence’ by not instructing him to remove it from sale.
James was not served a full Disclosure pack because there were documents in existence that weakened the DPS case against him, so they were withheld. James found these documents, one of them clearly states that the Met doesn’t actually have a policy on its officers and staff writing books. I have read it, it exists, yet you still found him Guilty of Misconduct.
The Met claims it does not know the cost of these proceedings as it doesn’t record such information. I don’t believe you Met. Years ago enquiries/investigations/operations were routinely costed if for no other reason than Management Information. Have we taken a step backwards? I simply don’t believe you.
The evidence was reviewed by an external Force, except that external Force has been unable to identify any information regarding that review. Did it even happen, or did the Met just claim that in order to save face?
Then there were the ‘Welfare’ visits. Were they really for his welfare? I don’t know, but I’ve never heard of that happening in the Met, not for someone facing Discipline, phone call from Line Manager maybe, but not visits from an outside Force. The Met have the resources to go and visit themselves anyway if they really wanted to.
6,000 pages of evidence, 136 submissions by James and a Board in front of a Chief Inspector from an external Force that lasts 10 minutes max. Does that sound like a fair hearing, or does it sounds like a pre-ordained result.
There are other issues around James’ hearing which may or may not come out in the fullness of time, but suffice it to say he is angry and feeling very low and let down right now. He does not wish me to discuss them so I will respect that wish.
The second problem involving James is #CrimeStats. What on earth is Bernie playing at? I’m not suggesting that #CrimeStats warrants James receiving immunity from his pre-existing Discipline Issues, but all that has happened just makes it look like James is now being dumped on from an even greater height than before. Where is the protection that a Whistle-blower should enjoy? Bernie has admitted that James’ allegations contain a truth that should be heard, so why isn’t he hearing it? Why hasn’t he arranged for someone with loads of Scrambled Egg to sit down with James and take a proper debrief from him? Have an enquiry by all means but why not include the man that kicked it all off? Answers on a postcard please Bernie.
Now we have the TSG 6. I’m not going to dwell on that subject for very long, you can find the whole story here if you haven’t already read it. I defy anyone to read that transcript and not form the opinion that DPS have acted unethically and most probably unlawfully. Their sanctions? Almost none. What kind of a message does that send exactly? Where can the integrity of DPS investigations be found after that little sage?
There are others who Tweet regularly (and they will know who they are) who have told me how they have been stitched up by Professional(?) Standards. If this is true this must be a VERY worrying development.
Other officers, from other Forces to the Met have received similar, unacceptable treatments at the hands of the Professional(?) Standards Departments, although I fail to see how this could be a joined-up policy across the country.
Then we enter the world of shredding. Has all this vital information regarding corruption been shredded? I have no idea, but Bernie hasn’t exactly denied it. Personally I’m reasonably comfortable with the shredding, but I would be VERY uncomfortable if nothing could be found on the servers or the backups either. The Met ceased to rely on bits of paper years ago, but the servers get backed up regularly, as is best practice, so where is the information?
Several different Operation names have featured in the press recently, some of which are allegedly marked SECRET. Who would have access to these SECRET files in order to leak them? Why hasn’t the Met gone stratospheric in an attempt to identify those responsible? Just who DID leak them and why?
Finally, I want to know just how willing this government is to tackle the subject of corruption. I emailed a certain Mr Vaz recently after corruption became an issue in of the HASC sessions with Bernie. I proposed to him a viable method for Police Forces around the country to demonstrate to their public the estimated levels of corruption within their Force and what they proposed to do about it. SILENCE. I left it a few days and then I tweeted him to ask him if he had received my email. SILENCE. I know at least one other ex-police Tweeter has received the same SILENCE from Mr Vaz. It is simply not good enough, people are trying with the best intentions to solve problems and they’re not being listened to or taken seriously.
Whistle-blowers getting dumped on and corrupt officers going unhindered? Please tell me that this is not where the Met finds itself today. Please?
I’m sorry this has been a bit of a disconnected rant, I sincerely hope that there is NOT a Conspiracy out there, and these are just the ramblings of an old fool and nothing more serious, but I do think we all deserve some answers, and soon.