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.