And so it seems that the Daily Bog Roll Mail story, as predicted, was a pre-cursor for another kick in the teeth and here it is.
The Country’s Cops look set to take another financial hit with news that the Home Office wants pension contribution rises to 13.5 and 11.5% from 1 April 2013. The Majority of English and Welsh officers – on the 30 year pension scheme (PPS) – face a 1.25% rise to their monthly contributions – up to 13.5%. If Police officers are on the newer 35 year scheme (NPPS), they face a 1% increase to a monthly contribution rate of 11.5%. In July 2011, the Home Secretary Theresa May consulted the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) on her proposals to increase the amount paid by police officers into the police pension scheme (PPS) and new police pension scheme (NPPS) by an average of 3.2 % over a three year-period beginning in April 2012.
Two Faced Politicians
Following representations by the Police Federation of England and Wales and Staff Side, the Home Secretary decided only to implement the proposed increase for the year 2012-13, with contribution rates for most officers rising by 1.25% for those in the PPS and by 1% for those in the NPPS. In making this decision, the Home Secretary did state that the Government was still committed to increasing police officers’ pension contributions in the following two years, but that she would consult the PNB on any further increases.
On Thursday (24 January) Police Minister Damian Green wrote to the Independent Chair of the PNB asking the Board to consider an increase in contribution rates for 2013-14, which would take effect from 1 April 2013.
The consultation on these increases will close on 20 February. The Police Federation of England and Wales stated it “will work with Staff Side colleagues to formulate a response to these proposals.”
A missive from a new candidate for the Talking Bollocks Trophy is the Staffordshire Police Chief Constable Mike Cunningham. His emanation has been reported most prominently in the Daily Bog Roll Mail and outlines his belief that there will be an increase in officers taking steroids which they purchase from criminals when they go to the gym. Just in case you did not know what Mike Cunningham looks like here is his picture.
This top cop is the lead on Police professional standards and was addressing other Association of Chief Police Officer wallers in respect of risks and threats for the future in respect of corruption. As I have outlined consistently on this blog the main issue is, as always, curbing the amorous advances of the male officer. Any officer who should meet someone on duty, arrange to meet them after work and then have any subsequent form of relationship with them is, by ACPO definition, corrupt. Despite this, remember there was a Chief Constable of a major force who subsequently committed suicide, when it became common knowledge he was just as much a shagger when a Chief Constable as he was when he was an Assistant Commissioner (and throughout his service and ranks) he was not corrupt. Wasn’t he just a bit of a lad?
You are only corrupt if you have sex with someone when you are below the rank of Chief Inspector if you have told them you are a cop to impress them. Unfortunately ACPO are obsessed with this subject.
Getting back to the drug riddled steroidal officers coursing through our forces. Perhaps Mr Cunningham could outline why there has not been a consequential upsurge in the number of drug test failures of officers despite there being random drug testing for well over four years now. In fact, there is also a “with cause drugs test” which his officers and other buffoonery ranks could impose on any officer they wish, the parameters of which are so wide that anybody is open to a “with cause” test. What we actually have is a non-problem invented by ACPO as a precursor to something else which they need to impose on our police.
As a sport loving person, I regularly trained and visited gyms and other sporting establishments and drugs flowed freely in the form of Bitter, Lager and Guinness. Yet I was still able to achieve Adonis stature through hard graft and exercise. Cunningham does look a bit of a lardy so maybe he and his ACPO colleagues are just jealous of the honed officer. ACPO were convinced when they brought in drug testing that they would be able to reduce their workforces considerably in these times of lower budgets and reductions in funding. Perhaps, they could sack officers now for looking like they train in a gym
I once worked with someone called Cunningham but he was a bit of a prat. I wonder if they are related.
A little birdy has told yours truly of an outrageous costly exercise of sycophancy by none other than our old favourite Sir Peter Fahy, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and ACPO mouthpiece. As most police officers know and, now soon many members of the public, the current ACPO fad of having visions in the workplace is the “in thing” whereby the Chief can outline his latest, often hare-brained scheme to rid the world of crime. Gone are the days where officers were required to protect life and property, prevent and detect crime in that order (Minute 1 of hour 1 of day 1 at the Police Training centre), a missive so ingrained in police officers that it is something they never forget.
Years ago, people who had visions were sent to the loony bin or just generally besmirched in society but not our great British Police leaders. The cost of this pointless exercise could be justified if it was a video to be watched on the internal computerised system or even an email to all officers followed by a poster campaign. I tell you now, if you put important posters on the back of bog doors they would be read and digested over and over again. However, Sir Pete has decided to go one costly step further.
He has ordered every officer in GMP to attend a seminar where His Vision will be passed on. Then the officers will face workshops to ensure that they understand the Vision. It appears that swathes of officers are being bussed around the force to central locations for this process which is a 3 hour session plus the travel time. The conservative estimate for the cost of this debacle must be in the region of £1/2 million. Any rumours that, to offset the cost, there are deific offerings of Sir Pete available or lifelike Toby Jugs with a reminder of the Vision on are purely speculation. Surely in these austere days, stunts like this one should be consigned to the bin in favour of spending the money on real policing.
I mean, isn’t he famous enough? Why does he need to have these Visions and then send his apostles out to spread the word like some latter day messiah? Could he have rigged up one the paintings at his brand new HQ to start weeping or alternatively have a loyal Chief Superintendent cut into an orange and find an image of Sir Pete inside? That way they could display it and have all come and pay homage to something tangible and realistic! Perhaps, he has finally succumbed to the jolly-boys roistering that takes place when he meets his immediate underlings when they gather to laud over him – or at least I think that’s what they do!!
Perhaps the honour Sir Pete got was the wrong honour and it should have been a sainthood.
I love to watch how high ranking officials in any organisation round upon each other at a moment’s notice in their attempts to deflect blame elsewhere particularly when it is their rank that should be blamed. The already well documented scandal involving Jimmy Savile is exactly like many scenes witnessed within the hierarchy of some of our major police forces in recent years. The only voices louder than those complaining about the tawdry behaviour are those in the highest authority denying knowledge of actions they appeared to dismiss many years ago.
The difference nowadays is that many senior officers and officials in senior positions don’t possess the wherewithal to handle the pressure nor can they actually understand that the truth is often the best form of attack. However, truth and many senior police officers of ACPO rank don’t go hand in hand.
The blame game is seen as the way to deal with scandal by many in high authority. In reality I am not sure why people are asking questions of George Entwhistle, I mean, would you really expect a Chief Constable to know what his uPSD are doing? Of course they don’t otherwise a significant number of the unProfessional Standards Staff would get locked up for criminal offences.
Well, it appears that the worm may be turning. I know I have been quiet for a few weeks but it has been because of a recent court case which had to be seen to be believed. As it now happens keep your eyes looking north as a little birdie has told me of a storm of hurricane proportions coming the way of a north west force. This force has only recently concluded a Crown Court Trial in which an officer accused of corruption with an investigation costing hundreds of thousands of pounds has been told by a Judge that his case should never have come before a court and, at worst, is a minor disciplinary matter. The case should have been dealt with in-house. The corruption investigation carried out by the force’s “elite” anti-corruption unit was riddled with lies and inconsistencies that the judge paraded the uPSD Chief Inspector in charge of the investigation in the witness box and had him give evidence about the methods of evidence gathering and obtaining of Authorities. Other than a minor breach of the Data Protection Act for which the accused officer received a conditional discharge, there was simply no evidence of corruption other than the evidence fabricated by the uPSD. A request for costs by the force was dismissed with contempt by the Judge.
Who has been a naughty Police Force then?
The upshot is that the Anti-Corruption unit of this force is going to be investigated by another force for……..well corruption! No longer can these uPSD officers hide behind their Noble Cause Corruption mask as we know they are coming unstuck. They will now attempt to shift blame sideways, downwards, in fact anywhere but their own backs. Already I have heard that senior officers in this force are distancing themselves from even the remotest connection to this matter. A far cry from the postulating and self-righteousness when they actually manage to get one of these evidential cock-ups through the courts when they queue up to lambast the poor unfortunate on the receiving end of their criminality.
They should face the same consequences that a number of officers in the same force have faced only the evidence against them will come form resolute and unbiased investigation by real investigators not some arbitrary decision at first report and then a biased presentation of the evidence. I only feel sorry that it has taken this long to come out into the open.
So another Chief Constable bites the dust. Chief Constable Sean Price, sorry Mr Price, has been found guilty of the misconduct offences relating to honesty and integrity. In a remarkable turn of events, he was sacked rather than being allowed to retire or just brush the allegation under the carpet and fade away. Apparently, he is still under investigation for another matter so I had better wind my neck in about that. This comes on the back of Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison, soon to be just Sir Norman who also has a size 11 in his gob after his diatribe about Hillsborough.
Are the general public beginning to see through the ACPO facade which designates the two rules of the police service:
ACPO are never wrong
When ACPO are found to be lying, cheating and conniving, close ranks and refer to rule 1
Of course, there are many good ACPO officers working hard to get the job done efficiently and properly without treading all over the backs of honest, hard working officers who risk their lives on a daily basis. If only we could get back to the times where the support of the front line officer from those on high was a genuine sentiment rather than a passing fad. The Chief officer commanding his force and ensuring proper discipline rather than looking for people to blame and persecute when things go wrong. Apparently, subject to any appeal process, Mr Price is a liar. The simple truth is he probably got sacked because he couldn’t find anyone else to blame.
In a remarkable display of no support to the ordinary rank and file officer, ACPO decided to release a press statement in respect of the current disquiet about changes to Police pensions. I produce it below in full or it can be read here:
ACPO lead for reward and recognition responds to the Government’s announcement on long-term reform of police pensions
ACPO lead for reward and recognition Chief Constable Simon Ash said:
“The changes to the Police Pension Regulations by the Home Office are broadly supported by ACPO, who have worked constructively with other stakeholders since March to ensure that the best possible balance is achieved for longer term reform whilst providing sufficient transitional arrangements. We will continue to support the process going forward, and continue to highlight key areas for the service.”
Work longer for less
For any officer who does not know what Simon Ash looks like I suggest you take a long look at him. This is an officer who is a classic example of what the public should fear about senior officer.
ACPO lay their cards firmly on the table. They do not give a toss about the officer on the front line. In fact they want those officers to work longer for less and they disguise it in the name of “reform.” We all know that ACPO is not about improvement, it is about profit. The true colours of the ACPO rank have been laid bare over the Hillsborough tragedy and should now alert people to the real meaning of an unelected and unaccountable organisation who change the way your local police deal with your complaint and there is nothing you can do about it.
All cops know that ACPO and the senior officer rank is not to be trusted. A story in the Sun newspaper (for what it is worth) outlines an officer who is now retired and was present at Hillsborough and who has found out that his witness statement has been changed and submitted as evidence without his knowledge. I suspect there will be a number of other officers in a similar position. I reported a similar incident on this very site in March 2011 by my very own uPSD. Take a look here. This is the mentality of ACPO who see the front line as simple “cannon fodder” by serving a purpose and then to be thrown to the wolves. The ordinary copper is a honourable person. I wish I could say the same about senior officers, without morals altering reality to save their own skin and sod anyone who gets in the way.
On a congratulatory note, one of the reasons I got into this was because I read the Inspector Gadget Blog. He pretty well sums up the problems faced by most cops but would never be told to the public by senior ranks. In fact, he tells it as it is. My congratulations go to him though because he has just passed the 11 million hits barrier whereas I am just below the 100,000 mark. I will keep trying to emulate my hero!!
Glad to be back. Duty called and I had to respond.
Unfortunately it does not amaze me when I read the story of Hillsborough and the blatant attempts by a Police Force and the Senior management to change statements and evidence to alter where the true blame lies. They take out evidence which criticises their own force and then pass off the resulting statement as the truth. I do not know what the full story of Hillsborough is. I was influenced to an extent at the time by certain rags or newspapers which apportioned blame where it should not have done. I was also suspicious of the inquest verdict based on the, now, flawed evidence obviously put before it but in essence I had a little doubt. Not of those who died but of others present at the scene and I now admit that it is to my shame that I know I was wrong.
Why do so many of you who email me not believe that any corruption which may exist in the police in this country only does so in the higher echelons of the service at the most senior ranks? Yet it is the rank and file officer who faces the brunt of the public attack and anxiety. From my extensive experience, the cops on the front line, do so for a reason. They do so to make things better. They make mistakes and often those mistakes lead to sackings and even loss of liberty but I can assure you that they do not go on duty with the intention of finishing it with a potential criminal conviction and loss of livelihood.
Some senior officers, however, adopt a wild west attitude to their domain. They are judge, jury and hangman in their decision making process and they are inconsistent and even corrupt in their application of the regulations that they should adhere to. They pull the wool over the eyes of the general public who do not believe they can be wrong or corrupt or choose not to consider the possibility. This has been going on for years and years yet we hear the complaints and ignore them. Perhaps the issue stems from the inability of the IPCC to accept complaints from serving officers due to the Police Reform Act. Instead they refer the complaint back to the same officers from the same force that the complaint is being made about leaving people like me with nowhere else to go except blogging about it.
There has to be a change. If we have to have an IPCC then that organisation should be compelled to treat allegations from serving officers about a police force with the same gusto that they treat a complaint from the public. I know of many officers who have been shafted from a great height. They would welcome the opportunity to provide evidence of the shortcomings in their own matters and I know they will be watching to see if the subsequent treatment of the senior ranks mirrors their own experiences. Don’t say that you have not been told.