I passed comment to a colleague about a Superintendent being a “Butterfly Policeman” and he then looked at me like I had grown a second head. The reason for the colleague speaking to me was the fact that he was in a department which was a specialist unit, one which I had served in only to be kicked out by the same Superintendent for refusing to work outside of police regulations. The subsequent Employment Tribunal was a foregone conclusion and sufficient to finance a two week holiday to a sunny climate. It was the Superintendent’s second attachment to the unit. The term, so I thought, adequately describes the type of boss who only stays on post long enough to feed his face before flitting of to a newer pasture. It was a common term a few years ago. This senior officer is a classic example. Let me explain.
The Specialist Unit is one in the police that has two ways of doing the job. It requires many weeks of study to gain the qualification which allows you to do the job and therefore as I passed the appropriate examinations in the high 90′s%, combined with over 5 years experience during which I continued to continuously develop my knowledge in the field, I considered myself to be an expert. The two ways of doing the job are position A and position B. Along came Supt Dipstick. He held a meeting with us and took a few notes, spoke about aspirations and equipment and concluded the meeting with the consideration in his own head that he was now an expert. More dangerously, he was an expert with a mission.
That mission was the promotion trail. In order to tick the box of “openness to change” he first had to change something and realising that we were currently working to the parameters of position A he decided to change us to position B. Feeling slightly miffed but with the adage “If you can’t take a joke you shouldn’t have joined the job” firmly ringing in my ears I accepted it. In fact, during my 5 years in the department I had been the butt of this joke at least 3 times, yo-yo-ing between position A and position B as the promotion hopefuls came and went. However, Supt’s master plan was defeated when I won my ET and he was banished to the outer reaches of paper clip counting. Since then there have been two more Superintendents and two more jokes that the officers in the department have enjoyed enormously.
Supt’s has now returned with the office at position B. Clearly he has been forgiven the error of his ways because he has come back to get that tick in the box. There was an office meeting, aspirations and equipment and he now believes that the best way of working is position A using the same arguments that he used to justify the change to position B.
One of my uPSD is a liar. You know who you are.
A very quick update on the Perjury or not Perjury, That is the Question post. Today I have received the result of the incivility investigation into my conduct. Although I knew the report had gone in, I wasn’t served with any Reg 15 papers so I was a bit unsure what was going on. However, I found out that an investigation had been carried out to see if an investigation was required, if you understand my meaning. I was always pretty confident that there was nothing in it because the buffoon in the uPSD who instigated the report forgot that there was a high ranking and well respected solicitor in the room listening to what I said and he thought that I was perfectly entitled to make the comment. Not only that, he believed that I did so professionally. I have been prevented from seeing the full report against me at the moment but I expected that. After all, if I wasn’t uncivil then someone must be lying!!
As police officers how often are we accused of lying in our work? I wonder whether members of the public actually realise just how often it happens to us and the consequences of such an allegation. It is not uncommon for such an allegation to take 1 to 2 years to come to completion and very often they don’t end up having any merit. It is just a tactic we know that we face in order for some highly paid professional to make a quick buck.
What happens when the shoe is on the other foot and the member of the public is the liar? Practically nothing, in fact, simply nothing! So it may come as no surprise that the Daily Mail has had to issue an apology to two of our colleagues in the Metropolitan Police over the blatantly untrue story that they have made use of song titles during the inquest of Mark Saunders. I found the original story interesting in that the actual report itself contained inadvertent song references in the body of the story. Somehow they managed to come up with a totally fictitious story which has been completly dismissed by an investigation by the IPCC. Didn’t we know that all along and could have saved the taxpayer several thousands of pounds? However, it would not have been a story then would it Daily Mail?
What a shame they can simply make amends by issuing an apology totalling 4 lines and that makes it all better. Because you will have missed it I have copied the link on to this page or click……..here. It is a good job that the two firearms officers were only referred to using their call signs otherwise the damage would have been done. So, I thank the Daily Mail for confirming in my mind that the identity of a firearms officer should remain secret in circumstances like this. I hope you get the arse sued off you!
Big Brother. Only when you are a cop
A matter of concern is being put upon us by that well known business namely ACPO involving the use of cctv images in evidence. Their belief, via their chief policy writer in this field (who, incidentally, is not even a cop any more), is that officers must write out their witness statements without any recourse to the cctv that refers to the same incident. They say that this gives a true reflection of the incident through the officer’s eyes and means that the officers are less prone to criticism or challenge at court. What an utter load of bolleaux! What it does is give ammunition to a defence solicitor or counsel who boldly pronounces that every police officer is a liar because the cctv says so. The only crime 99.9% of officers are guilty of is making an honest mistake!
Beware the ACPO CCTV Policy
The truth is that memories of an incident often do not match the real picture as painted by the cctv images captured. Whether this is due to stress, narrowing of vision or other field of psychology is not my concern. But what is my concern is the fact that there are police officers up and down the country facing honesty and integrity allegations simply because they failed at the “High Stakes Guessing Game” that ACPO wish them to undertake. It would not be so much of a travesty if the current author of ACPO policy was not protecting his own position. Being a tier 5 interview advisor, it is obvious he is bolstering his own empire within this field. (Tier 5 interview advisors, wash my mouth out, that’s another subject in itself!)
Why are officers not allowed to view the cctv before they put in a statement? After all, the cctv is the best evidence. Why don’t ACPO simply allow the officers to exhibit the cctv rather than trying to guess what order the incident took place and who did exactly what? Is it because ACPO simply don’t understand real policing and think that us front line workers are getting a one-upmanship on them? More sinisterly is the question over why ACPO immediately assume the officer is lying when the statement differs from what the cctv portrays. I’ll leave you all to answer that question.
Police by Consent courtesy of the Daily Mail
The Daily Mail in all its glory has once again managed to scoop a mountain out of a molehill and report with complete and unambiguous bias the story about the Daffodil Police. Having read the story and applying the brain power and common sense I have I wonder what the Daily Mail reporter, editor and owner believe the cops should have done in response to a report from a member of the public, let alone a councillor and public official for the area. Come on then, Mr Luke Salkeld, what would you have done?
I ask this question because this is a time where the police are being challenged over their pay deal and stories of this type are specifically designed to make gullible members of the public believe that we waste our time on trivia. The truth of this incident is that the re port to the police in Poole, Dorset was from a Conservative Councillor stating that bunches of flowers totalling 70 or 80 were being pulled up by the girls. Perhaps, the daily
fail mail would prefer the officers to ignore the call and face a misconduct investigation. Or perhaps we should consult with the offices the daily mail before we attend these jobs, maybe even, Mr Salkeld could answer these calls on our behalf and tell the complainantwhy we are not bothering to attend to their complaint.
Things must be really hard at the Mail and you must be very proud of your work, Mr Salkeld.
Roll Up, Roll Up
In a different article The Sun report that the Sentencing Council (who??) have indicated that they believe that we can now be spat upon, shoved and assaulted all for the bargain basement price of a fine. The article if you read it talks about the maximum fine being £5000 but we all know the real fine will be much less than that and hardly more than a round of drinks in a London pub. I wonder who the sentencing council are? It appears that to maintain their independence of the Judiciary they employ almost exclusively members of the Judiciary and clearly those that display a total lack of common sense in the real world. Why not offer a two-for-one knockdown price or better still a season ticket. Might get enough takers to pay for our pensions!
It always amazes me how they always seem to congregate into their own little niches. I often wonder why we ask Judges and Magistrates to uphold and apply the law but we then allow them to completely override this responsibility it when it comes to sentencing. What is the point of having a maximum sentence that you know will never be achievable. It is a mockery of justice.
What is it called when you ask someone to take a statement and you then add a line in? Is it perjury or is it subornation to commit perjury? Either way, it is not right. So how do the uPSD I deal with get away with it? I suppose you will have to take it from me that it is not an isolated incident in my force, unfortunately, and nor is the line “If you want a solicitor then I will have to arrest you.” It is scandalous.
The Law according to Professional Standards
About 18 months ago, a uPSD officer told a colleague that they should remove a line from their statement because it didn’t help the prosecution. The officer was not resilient enough to challenge the uPSD at that moment and so removed the line which assisted an accused officer. Afterwards, they had a pang of conscience and contacted their Federation Rep who immediately took steps to intercept the uPSD and the statement. What action did you expect the uPSD hierarchy to take? That’s right – none. For the record, the accused officer attended a crown court trial and the prosecution dropped the case before the start. It helped that the judge indicated privately to the Prosecuting Barrister that the matter was a crock of sh1t and he had better things to do.
What do we do now when another officer now adds a line into a statement without the authority of the officer making the statement? What we do is we blog it because the same decision makers are still in place and will refuse to accept anything other than their staff are beyond reproach.
Big Brother. Only when you are a cop
Another uPSD officer recently took a solicitor out of an interview room to tell him that the fact that his client was making no comment was not helping the enquiry and that the uPSD officer thought that the officer should be told he was getting poor legal advice. In this case, which was a fraud allegation, the accused officer had been given disclosure namely a copy of his day book. There was nothing provided concerning the offence and a refusal to show some cctv which was relevant. The advice from the solicitor was for him to wait to see the cctv before commenting and this had been indicated to uPSD before the start of the interview. So they decide to have 2 full tapes of no comment interview before they show the cctv. We then have 1 full tape where the officer fully accounts for the allegations.
I pointed out to the uPSD in a reasoned argument and without raising my voice that the Taylor reforms were about a search for the truth not to catch out police officers using tricks. It was done in the presence of the solicitor mentioned who also agreed with me. I am now subject of an incivility report. C’est la vie!
Coming soon: The CCTV debacle