Saturday, 24 July 2010

Are These Senior Officers Corrupt?

Two Surrey Police senior officers have stood trial recently for misconduct in public office. The trials were held separately at Winchester Crown Court and there was a ban on reporting. Both officers have been found not guilty and so there has been very little subsequent press coverage. A little bit here.

Superintendent Johnny Johncox was caught by a speed camera and put a report in suggesting that he was attending an important meeting at HQ. His line manager, Chief Superintendent Adrian Harper, exempted him from any fine and points. It turns out, he was actually going to see his girlfriend.

Chief Superintendent Adrian Harper was also caught going through a speed camera. He claimed he was attending an important meeting at Epsom and was late. The person he was supposedly meeting at Epsom had no record of any such meeting and the meeting was put in Mr Harper's electronic diary after the date. Assistant Chief Constable Ian Dyson exempted Mr Harper from any fine and points on the basis that he was attending this important meeting.

A Court has decided that these officers have not committed any criminal offences. They remain suspended from duty and will undoubtedly face internal discipline proceedings. They are likely to be sacked.

Dismissal is a severe punishment, but I find it very intriguing that if we assumed their original excuses for speeding were correct, why were they ever given exemptions? I can assure you that junior officers would not be given an exemption for attending a meeting. It appears that the rules are different when you reach the dizzy heights of the senior officer's dining club. Next time you get done for speeding tell the police you were attending an important meeting. I am sure they will let you off too.

21 comments:

  1. As an American reporter, Britain's court rules that sometimes can be very restrictive send a bit of a chill up my spine.

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  2. I blame the old Nulabor Government.
    For thirteen years ACPO were toeing the Nulabor line and telling lies about crime, detections and any other matter that the old Govt wanted to spin.
    These two made the mistake of being corrupt for personal gain.

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  3. I cannot understand why a police meeting, at whatever level, is more important than meetings attended by people in other occupations, where clearly no reasonable person would accept such an excuse. In the past, police have prosecuted Doctors for speeding to patients and recently, a husband driving his about-to-give-birth wife to hospital when the ambulance didn't arrive. Both, I would consider, are far more valid excuses than any police meeting.
    And more to the point, why on earth did the senior officers support the claims and even THINK that meetings are important. Do they live in the same world as the rest of us? No-one would have been hurt or at risk if they were late, but the public were possibly endangered by their speeding.
    And another question - Why on earth was their a ban on reporting?

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  4. Being anal, the name of the entry should be "Are These Senior Officers Corrupt?".

    Apart from that, I'm obviously annoyed at this.

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  5. Thanks Oscar, you are absolutely correct. Poor English on my part, now corrected.

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  6. Pour encourage les outre - or however you spell that frog stuff.

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  7. There weren't any meetings. Harper fabricated his diary and invented 'important' phantom meetings. That's the disgrace of all this. What the judge was playing at God only knows. For justice to be done, these men must be sacked and they must forfeit their pensions. How can the public have any faith in the police when senior officers are embroiled in corruption such as this. They must be sacked for the good of the future of the police service. What else has Harper fabricated throughout his career??????????

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  8. Too many corrupt police officers rightly cause the cautious citizen to suspect every one.

    MTG

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  9. I've had enough of this. Law-abiding people are criminalised in petty ways while offenders get off and we wonder why.

    Did you read the article about the family & friends of two missing six-yr-olds who tracked them down to a paedophile's home and took matters into their own hands?

    This post just adds more grist to the vigilantes' mill and I doubt the coalition will do anything truly constructive to correct the mess we're in.

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  10. I am a Community First Responder. That means that I attend, within my local area and as a volunteer, Category A ambulance calls (the most serious)in addition to the ambulance, as I may be able to get there sooner.

    I do not have blue lights or sirens, and am expected to obey speed limits. If I get caught for speeding I not only pay the fine, but could be stood down as being unsafe.

    I go to cardiac arrests and other serious conditions. My latest call was to an adolescent female who had been stung many times by wasps, and was feeling very unwell as a result.

    You will therefore excuse me if I have little sympathy with fairly senior police officers who get nicked for speeding when there is no need for it.

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  11. "Are these senior officers corrupt?"

    Um... well no because they were acquitted. But, where I'm from yes they are.

    Mind you there must be something more to this because otherwise I'd have thought the jury would have convicted them.

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  12. Well the judge in Harper's case ordered the jury to find him not guilty. He'd falsified his diary entries and said he'd made mistakes. So what's the point of a jury????? This whole thing smells.

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  13. If the judge directed a not guilty then he must have done so because of a mistake or decision by the prosecution that at a guess led to a half time submission of no case to answer (I reckon that's the most like way it might have happened although there's some others).

    I've been involved in cases before where the Crown had instructed Counsel at the last minute they haven't had time (or the will) to prepare properly and they have lost badly because a key element of the offence was not proved - once had a note from the jury after the Crown's closing speech which read "When are we going to hear any evidence of this woman's guilt?" Or words to that effect.

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  14. Well I must say it was interesting to note that one of the Superintendents falsified an entry into his diary to provide cover for him. Given that Maxine Carr, Lord Archer and Jonathan Aitkin were sent to prison for this sort of thing (and I recall seeing on the Magistrates Blog) about a case of a driver in Luton who was imprisoned for giving fictitious names of drivers to avoid speeding tickets. This sort of case undermines confidence in the police.

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  15. Superintendent Harper has got away with corruption. And this does indeed undermine confidence in the police. For that reason I hope these men are sacked - I don't say this lightly, it's the very LEAST they deserve. After all, they deserved to be sent to prison. Dismissal might go some way to restoring public confidence in the police and restoring the confidence of honest hard-working police officers who are sick to death of this sort of thing happening.
    BJM

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  16. I have been reading your post regularly. They are highly informative and helpful.
    bba

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  17. There are plenty of police officers who would not hesitate to nick senior oafs who pull these stunts. I knew of one in my old outfit. Stood his ground and arrested the head of a division. Nominated for a commendation which he turned down (rightly so). What a bloody shower. The power of `the lodge` maybe?

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  18. I think that senior officers just have a different view of police work. I have been in this field less than five years and I have to admit, my view of police work has changed since the first day I started.

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  19. I agree with English Pensioner, and cannot understand why the excuses were accepted by the Chief Supers in the first place. Had the speeding taken place when responding to an emergency call, or to provide back up for other officers, that would have been reasonable, but if you are late for a meeting you either phone ahead and say so, or you turn up late and apologise when you get theere, or if you aredaft enough to speed and get causght to live with the consequences.

    I trust that the officers who exempted them will also be disciplined.

    Anon - I agree these officers behaved disgracefully but I have never understood why a police officer who is sacked should lose his or her pension (at least those parts of it built up before their misconduct) it seems to me that in most cases the effect is to impose a disproportionate punishment of a kind not faced by people in most other klines of work.

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  20. '' Who will protect the public, when the police violate the law?''

    Thousands of pounds are spent on training the Police! The higher up they go the more protection they get. Unfortunately your average Joe Bloggs will be done ten times over while certain Police Officers will get away with a lot.

    Fact...it really is not worth trying to bring a Police Officer to justice for anything because nine times out of ten you will lose.

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  21. Having recently been set up by Surrey police,despite being innocent and not having any previous and eventually not being charged,this doesnt surprise me at all,there seems to be some corruption in this force and why all the secrecy,they obviously ahev something to hide.

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