A long time ago, the police believed they were a prosecuting service. To an extent we still are. However, the focus of attention for the police has now shifted away from prosecuting offenders towards an investigation of the circumstances and allowing other, supposedly qualified, professionals the opportunity to decide whether there is enough evidence to prosecute or not. It is, therefore, a shame when they uPSD’s of this country fail to realise that this is the way they should apply their own efforts.
Take PC Consterdine (not his real name) who was involved in the arrest of an offender. He uses force on the offender which he declares it to his sergeant who does nothing more than absolve all responsibility for it and report it to the uPSD. There is an in car video of the events. This is because the Sgt was a “career boy” and couldn’t make a decision in his life and stick to it. As it happened, PC Consterdine was a referred officer. In my force that is an officer who has more than the average number of complaints. Simply, they get the fact that they have complaints brought to their attention and they are told to change their ways. In reality PC Consterdine was a dog man so the uPSD should actually have told this to his dog who was the real culprit in respect of the complaints. He would insist on biting people very hard and very often.
I suppose that should give you a clue. A dog man with a dog that bites very often??? You guessed it, this was a pro-active police officer who was prepared to put himself out to help others but, in reality, who cared. Certainly not the brainless sergeant who grassed him up because of his weak willed nature nor the uPSD who now had the prime opportunity and aim to get PC Consterdine sacked. This was an officer with numerous letters of appreciation and awards from St John’s Ambulance and other organisations for saving the lives of a stabbing victim and a man who tried to hang himself.
It is simple to get someone sacked in this country, you just make it up as you go along. That is why the uPSD started off with an investigation into PC Consterdine for a common assault. They requested information and advice from the local CPS and eventually submitted a request for the case to be reviewed. How shocked they were when their case plummeted around their ears after a CPS official declared that there was insufficient evidence to convict on the basis of the evidence provided so far.
So what does a uPSD do now? He certainly doesn’t tell the Fed Rep or the Solicitor for the officer. Instead they decide to get a statement from the person who has been struck and, joy upon joy for them, the baddie evidences in his statement that the strike by PC Consterdine broke his arm. The fact that the statement bore no reality to the truth of the situation in any other respect was not lost on the investigators who did not care because they could now reinvestigate the common assault as a grievous bodily harm.
Just hang on a minute!! In the referral to the IPCC did the uPSD declare that they believed the broken arm was caused by a car crash which the offender was involved in? Did the uPSD write to the offenders casualty doctor for evidence of the injury and he wrote back declaring that the injury was caused by the car crash described as a “Chauffeur’s Injury” and could not have been caused by the strike from PC Consterdine. “No worries” said the uPSD, “we will just not tell the Solicitor, the Fed Rep or PC Consterdine. We will pretend that we have the evidence of him committing GBH and get him interviewed. That way, when we get to misconduct tribunal, we can use it against him and get him sacked.”
To summarise, PC Consterdine struck a violent and aggressive offender, declared it to his Sgt, the uPSD could not prove a Common Assault so fabricated a GBH in order to get him into interview, without which any subsequent Misconduct Tribunal would have had no evidence and no opportunity for the prosecuting barrister to get his teeth into. This was done in the full knowledge of senior officers in the uPSD and at least one ACPO officer.
PC Consterdine was required to resign and failed to get his job back at the Police Appeal’s Tribunal. He cannot sue for unfair dismissal and so has to try for a Judicial Review of the decision. We may well be out of time but a Judge will decide that issue. A complaint has been made to the relevant force, they have denied it and refuse to investigate the allegations. Unfortunately for them, they sent papers with the PAT file which, perhaps, they did not intend to send.
My MP is interested, PC Consterdine’s MP is interested. Both are being ignored by the force. Perhaps, this matter may need to be debated in the press!!