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.
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.
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