Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Hats of to Cleveland CC Sean Price


In 2004 a 2 year old boy, Kyle Fisher, tragically died in Hartlepoole 2 days after being taken to hospital from the care of a babysitter, Suzanne Holdsworth. Kyle's short life was not the happiest one. Neighbours stated that his mother was a regular drinker and sometimes left Kyle alone at their home which was in a filthy state. He had an injury to his eye socket, allegedly caused when he fell out of his buggy, while in his mothers care months before. He was due to have an operation to rectify this.

An autopsy report stated that Kyle had fresh bruising to his head and that he had died of a bleed on the brain caused by a significant trauma or blows to the head. Holdsworth was arrested and lied in interview. There was evidence, for example, to show that she had gone shopping while babysitting but she had denied this.

On the basis of the medical evidence that Kyle had died of blows to the head while in Holdsworth's care and that Holdsworth was a liar, the Crown Prosecution Service decided that there was sufficient evidence to charge her and she went to trial and was convicted by a jury.

Holdsworth spent 3 years in custody before being granted a re-trial. This was granted on the basis that there was further expert medical evidence to show that Kyles death could have been brought about by a seizure following a blow to the head earlier, probably within the last 24 hours. Holdsworth claimed that Kyle already had bruising to the head when she went to look after him that night. At the re-trial in 2008, the jury were basically told that either Kyles mother or the babysitter caused the blow that brought on the seizure and Holdsworth claimed it wasn't her. The jury acquitted her, although this hardly confirms her innocence.

Following her acquittal, Holdsworth's partner made 27 complaints against the police. After all, if his girlfriend was 'innocent' it must be the fault of the police that she was tried and convicted. The IPCC carried out the investigation and have dismissed all the complaints but recommended that the police apologise to Holdsworth. No significant faults were found in the investigation that resulted in Holdsworth's conviction. The medical evidence, her lies and those of other witnesses were the main contributors. Chief Constable Sean Price has basically told the IPCC to get stuffed. There will be no apology. Quite right too. You can read his far more eloquent comment on the case here. Hats off to Sean Price!

Yes, this is the same Sean Price who is under investigation for using undue influence in appointing a member of staff. Hence the caption! But lets give credit where it is due.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Police Target Criminals! - Is this news?

This story caught my eye. The Met have announced that they are cracking down on crime, targeting criminals, executing search warrants and arresting offenders. To help get some publicity for this amazing fact they even took along the mayor, Boris Johnson.

I get really fed up with these publicity operations. My team are tackling crime all the time. We arrest people, we execute search warrants and seize stolen property every day of the week. Then someone with scrambled egg on their hat has the big idea to carry out an operation. We give it a fancy name, Operation Vanquish or something daft. Dates are set for a week or two week campaign. We have lots of meetings about it. We defer arresting people or executing search warrants until the operation dates.

The publicity machine is put into action. The press, members of the Police Authority, Councillors etc. are invited to come out on some raids. For a week or two the cells are filled, stress all round, much back slapping and the press swallow it hook line and sinker tell the public what a marvellous job we are doing. The statistics show that in the two weeks before the operation we hardly arrested anyone and in the two weeks during we arrested dozens. (I wonder why?) It just shows you that you only have to give something a fancy name and focus your efforts and we can really be effective when most of the time we must be sat around doing nothing. Perhaps we should be arresting people and executing search warrants all the time? We do? Oh!

The officer with scrambled egg who was in charge of this Operation will have something to put on his next promotion or transfer application to show that with his/her dynamic leadership crime was cut for two weeks and dozens of criminals were arrested. It seems to escape the notice of even the very senior management in the Force that a week later things are back to normal and we are working away in the sound knowledge that the Operation has had no long term effect whatsoever.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Innocent Until Proven Guilty! Unless it's the Police

I have read some bigoted shite in the Grauniad but this one probably takes the biscuit.

Babar Ahmad is a terrorism suspect who has been in custody since 2004 and is fighting extradition to the US. He is fighting it as they have a justice system there that sometimes punishes offenders if they are convicted.

When he was first arrested in 2003 Ahmad alleged that the arresting officers assaulted him. An IPCC supervised investigation took place and there was found to be insufficient evidence to charge the officers but direction that one officer should be disciplined.

In 2009 the Met agreed to pay Ahmad £60K rather than go to civil court. You can read another totally biased Grauniad article here as to the case for Ahmad, which doesn't even mention the police response to his allegations.

In 2010 a decision was made to prosecute four Metropolitan police officers for assaulting Ahmad. This went to trial and was concluded last week. The four officers were acquitted and the jury, who took less than an hour to reach their decision, asked if they could shake their hands. Evidence had come to light that MI5 had bugs in Ahmad's house. The recordings from these bugs revealed that specific allegations by Ahmad regarding comments and actions by the officers were not present on the recordings. You can read more here. For example, he stated that the arresting officers forced him into the Muslim prayer position and shouted at him. "Where is your God now!" This, of course drew out all the usual suspects shouting about racism and religious bigotry. It never happened. It is a lie and fortunately for the officers there was a recording to prove it.

So Ahmad has been exposed as a liar, who at the very least exaggerated the circumstances of his arrest, and possibly self inflicted bruising and made the whole lot up. But the fact that he is totally discredited is of no concern to the disgusting excuse for journalists at the Grauniad, who just insinuate that the officers have had other complaints so they must be guilty and that Ahmad, the terrorist suspect, is still a hero for taking on the the fascist police bullies.

I hope that now Ahmad has been exposed for what he is, that he is now relieved of his £60K ASAP and that the officers push for him to be charged with perverting the course of justice.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Concerning Statistics

There has been a plethora of statistics reported in the press recently. I do try and read behind these as we all know there are lies, damned lies and statistics and, like many organisations, the police are very good at manipulating them.

The first story that caught my eye related to rape offences in Oslo. In the last five years every single rapist charged has been a male born outside of Western Europe. I put this to the back of my mind and then a few days later similar statistics were released relating to the UK. Nationally, one in five rapes is now committed by a person born outside of the UK. In London it is almost one in three. Murder statistics are similar and in some forces more than half their murders have been committed by non UK born residents.

Inevitably there have been calls from the far right to halt immigration and repatriate everyone, especially those of a different hue. I have no time for these people and I do believe that, on balance, some immigration has been beneficial to our country. I do have serious concerns regarding the numbers that have come here in the last 15 years and the problems this is causing in areas such as housing, health, maternity and demands on other public services, including the police.

Another interesting statistic I saw recently is that in the last 15 years the number of households where no one has ever worked has almost doubled. We have an increasing number of British born families sat around at home on benefits while foreign workers have taken up the opportunity of  jobs. I for one am glad they have. Our service industry, health service and building industries, amongst others, would be in a mess if left to British born workers (or non workers.)

I am not sure there is a link between these two issues other than immigration. Regarding the rape and murder offences, my view is that we have somehow got to get a grip of the Human Rights Act which allows serious offenders to commit rape and murder but remain immune to repatriation for many bizarre reasons. Somehow we have got to get over the ridiculous HRA. Any immigrant should understand that if you commit a serious offence you will be punished and then sent back from whence you came, and I for one really don't care what happens to you when they get there. But more than that we need to understand more about who is coming here and the risks they may present. We also need to do more about some of the cultural issues that exist, such as where men from some countries come here and see western women as a legitimate target for rape and sexual abuse. That will need some balls Mr Cameron!

Regarding the households where no one works, this will take a generation to resolve. I firmly believe that the reduction that has taken place in acquisitive crime over the last 15 years is largely due to the huge increase in benefits. While the unemployed still make up a significant proportion of offenders that the police deal with for drugs, alcohol and acquisitive crime etc many have stopped offending as their benefits are so generous they neither feel the need to offend or work for that matter. Another interesting statistic for you; currently in Britain one in 10 of all adults of working age are in receipt of incapacity benefit. If the figure was one in 50 or one in 100 then I might think that was reasonable. The idea that one in 10 people of working age too sick to do any sort of paid work is ridiculous. Here is a good example of how that little scam works.

The Government are allegedly cracking down on benefit cheats and reducing some benefits. While I applaud this, I hope that they are prepared for the inevitable rise in crime that will result. We have got to get to grips with the culture that has developed in this country that if you cannot be bothered to work you can live rent free, council tax free and have a decent income and lifestyle on the back of the working taxpayer. The justice system though needs to do its part and have a strategy to deal with an increasing number of offenders who decide that crime pays better than work. I have little confidence in this happening.