The Truth About IPP Sentences

Police incompetence may prevent questioning of Brooks and Murdochs

UK police - corrupt and now incompetent

UK police - many believe they are now both corrupt and incompetent

The blundering incompetence of the police which was demonstrated on Sunday with the arrest of Rebekah Brooks is almost impossible to believe. The timing of Mrs Brooks’ arrest has led some conspiracy theorists to suggest that the arrest was made in order to protect the police themselves.

This however is unlikely and what we are witnessing is indeed probably incompetence rather than conspiracy. Nevertheless, Mrs Brooks should have been arrested after the Select Committee hearings tomorrow, not before.

Whether you support the conspiracy theorists or simply have no confidence left in the ability of the police to act impartially or honestly, there is no doubt that by arresting Brooks on Sunday, the police may very well have wrecked any chance that the various select committees would have had in obtaining the truth from Mrs Brooks and Rupert and James Murdoch.

Apart from the fact that all parties concerned will now likely turn up to the committee hearings with an army of lawyers by their side, it is also very easy to believe that difficult questions will be avoided with the excuse “I am sorry, I cannot answer that question as it may affect an ongoing investigation.”

Whilst avoiding the questions may not be a very sensible tactic or strategy, it is nevertheless a mechanism that, thanks to the foolishness of the Metropolitan Police is now open to those under scrutiny and one which is likely to be used again and again.

The fact that the police have proved themselves to be incompetent at the highest level of management, particularly now that Paul Stephenson has resigned, reveals a problem that is far more serious than just having a few hapless officers in the country’s largest police force.

What we are actually seeing – as well as incompetence – is an abuse of power that simply could not happen in any other European country.

Whenever there is a problem with the police, the first thing that happens is that the police investigate themselves. The second thing that happens is that the Independent Police Complaints Commission comes on board with a total lack of transparency and always with one eye on the political implications of any decision that may be made.

Investigations of police corruption in other countries are either carried out by ‘ special prosecutor’s’ or, certainly in most European countries, by a judge. It is precisely because the police themselves cannot be trusted either to investigate themselves or others without fear or favour that this independent model of investigation has evolved in other countries. It is now time that the UK realised that having the local bobby investigate another policeman is not a good idea.

Looking back over the last 30 years – and beyond that if one has the patience to do so – there are numerous cases of police corruption that have resulted in innocent men and women going to jail, families being wrecked and children’s lives being ruined.

We are not just talking about cases like the Birmingham Six either. Police corruption together with police incompetence affect hundreds of cases every day, often cases that are never reported and are therefore never able to expose the abuses of power by police officers and the ongoing politically driven dishonesty of other agencies connected with them.

For example, the Crown Prosecution Service are supposed to be independent of the police and make an objective decision as to whether or not someone should be charged with an offence. In fact there is no objectivity whatever as what the police want is usually what they get.

Again, there is always a political reaction to any decision made by the police and the CPS which is one reason so many child sex offences are prosecuted with little or no evidence and consequently fail with no conviction being achieved. Not to prosecute every alleged child sex offence is regarded as politically unacceptable and is also likely to encourage citicism from the media.

TheOpinionSite.org has watched in despair as for decade after decade successive governments have given the British police more and more power and therefore more are more and more opportunity to abuse that power. Indeed, it has been said that the only difference between police officers and the people that they arrest is the fact that police officers carry warrant cards and criminals do not. Otherwise there often appears to be very little difference between them.

It is now becoming increasingly obvious to everyone that some criminals do in fact carry a warrant card after all.

As each day passes and more and more revelations relating to the current phone hacking scandal are revealed, particularly in regard to the police, public confidence in law enforcement officers has ebbed away to such an extent that it is almost now non-existent.

Speaking to people over the weekend, it was clear that whether one is talking about the Metropolitan Police or any local police force, very few people now have any confidence at all in the honesty, integrity or ability of the police in Britain.

Whilst it is true that many of us, including TheOpinionSite.org have been telling people for years that the police in Britain are corrupt, most members of the public have subscribed to the late Lord Denning’s idea and philosophy that such a thought would be unthinkable. We now know however that police corruption in Britain is not only alive and well today but has in fact been flourishing for many years.

Furthermore, the resignation or the sacking of a few police officers here and there is unlikely to solve the problem.

What is actually required is a root and branch reform of the way in which the police operate. Any reform would have to include operational procedures, methods of investigation, transparency of reporting etc. Far greater oversight of the conduct of every investigation is required at every level, not simply with high profile or media sensitive offences.

Most significantly of all, especially if public trust and confidence in the police is to have any chance of being restored, the police must lose a lot of the power that politicians have given them over the years; power that has been given for political reasons to make government’s less accountable for bad decisions and power that has also been given to the police as a result of pressure from what is now a possibly crumbling tabloid media.

As has been said many times by many people, “All power corrupts” and this has never been more true than when one considers the amount of power that even the lowliest police constable has at his disposal.

As more and more prominent politicians appear on television screens wringing their hands and telling us that it was ‘nothing to do with them’, the degree of corruption within police forces up and down the country continues to become more and more apparent.

If MPs are really to show that they are no longer afraid to act responsibly and honestly, they will have to accept the fact that as they were the ones that gave the police excessive power, they should be the ones to take that excessive power away.
TheOpinionSite.org is fed up with hearing Home Secretaries past and present and other ministers telling us how much oversight of the police there is, how effective the so-called ‘checks and balances’ are and how important it is for the police to have operational independence.

This is total, unambiguous and dishonest nonsense. Every police investigation, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant should be overseen by a judge or magistrate. It happens in other European countries and if we are ever to have an honest police force, it should happen here.

Arguments about cost, logistics or re-establishment are false and should be regarded as such. If other countries can have investigations overseen by independent arbiters, so can Britain. What is required is a change of culture, not a change of policy.

All the time we still have police authorities, allegedly independent complaints procedures which are anything but independent, parliamentarians who are too afraid or too lazy to say what has to be said and a media that makes a great deal of its money from often inaccurately reporting crime, we will never have an honest police force in Britain.

The policy of allowing police officers to make decisions that should be made in court should itself be disallowed. Relying on secret tribunals and unaccountable panels such as MAPPA where the individual affected is not even told what evidence is being used to make a particular decision, is a practice that should end.

Police officers should never be allowed to decide whether or not someone should be charged with an offence; such decisions should always be taken by someone who is entirely independent and that does not include the CPS as they will always give the police whatever they want.

Over the weeks and months to come we will no doubt hear about more corrupt policeman, more illicit contact between the police and the newspapers, more politicians in high places who have been colluding with or who are afraid of both editors of newspapers and senior policeman and so on.

There will be a great deal of hand wringing, head scratching and excuse making but in reality, nothing will change until the police lose a great deal of the power that they currently have and which has been given to them by politicians for purely political reasons.

Remember too that we are talking about every police force in the country. The fact that the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has said on several occasions that there will ‘always be corrupt police officers’, is another example of the incompetence and arrogance of the police who supposedly both protect us and enforce the law.

The truth is that there should never be any room for corrupt police officers in any force. If there are corrupt police officers – and that specifically includes those who abuse the already excessive power that the police have over the rest of us – then it is because other police officers are simply too incompetent to root them out.

Whether we like it or not, it now has to be admitted that the police as a body are thoroughly rotten from top to bottom.

Many of us have known this for years but those who could have made a difference, particularly those in parliament and those who sit on police authority panels and other bodies, have said and done nothing.

The sole aim of those in power seems to have been to protect the police from criticism and from close investigation of themselves. Britain is, to all intents and purposes, a ‘police state’ in the sense that no other European country has given its law enforcement officers the degree of power over its citizens that has been given to British police officers.

Politicians from all sides of the House of Commons must force weak and ineffective ministers to take away from the police much of the power they have been given and transfer that power to independent overseer’s such as judges and even magistrates.

Once every aspect of a police investigation is under the scrutiny of someone from outside of the police force, as happens in most other European countries, the police will be forced to act with more integrity, more efficiency and more honesty.

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5 Responses to Police incompetence may prevent questioning of Brooks and Murdochs

  1. clive pritchard
    July 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    In 1995 PC mark tuffy killed a friend of mine. I sat thro the coroners court to see what would happen, and I did not see justice. I also saw tuffy smirk as he walked past myself and his victims family. My friend was black, and several years later tuffy was prosecuted for racially agravated something or other. Since then I have been on a memorial march most years and met many many people mostly black, who have had family and friends murdered by the police, who know they are above the law. They can murder ith impunity. This is not acceptable and must change. The mainstream media apart from the Guardian have no interest, and maybe recent revelations explain why. This must change.

  2. williamgarland
    July 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    The police have always been corrupt in this country, the reason why, is simple, they remain largely accountable to no one, they are still allowed today to investigate themselves, over any allegations of malpractice (similar to an organised crime syndicate, investigating itself). There are a few meaningless weak powered independent monitoring bodies, which are totally ineffective, rather similar to the Press Complaints Commission. Masonic influence is rife and a barrier towards any openess and accountaqbility. I bet in most countries in Europe, or even in America, policeman are not masons. Of course I would like to ask one who is, why are you?, whats it for?, but I would’nt get an honest answer and forget that old hoary excuse about raising money for charity, I can do charity work tomorrow, helping out at my local oxfam shop.

    Another great problem as regards the police in this country, is to be critical of them, risks being branded as some extreme left looney, who’s a threat to the state, they have played on this, for donkeys years, criticism of the Royal Family is rather similar. They of course over many years, had a wonderful public relations industry working for them, 80 per cent of the national press, and numerous politicians. Today, they also have all these TV programmes, such as Road Wars, Night Cops etc. These programmes are interesting, because they are about similar to what you would have found in the old Eastern Block countries, there is never any criticsm from the narrator, and they are cast as true shining heros. Yet what I see, ignoring the commentators fawning eulogy towards them (a certain Lee Boardman, hope not related to stan) is various officers, who can barely speak the Queen’s English, who yes, do some admirable work, in arresting villiams, but I also witness some questionable incidents, like the one occassion, they let a night club bouncer (not the sort of person you want on your side) help them restrain a drunk and arrest him, it was obvious to everyone in the film, that the bouncer was overdoing it, landing punches and kicks, but the officers thanked him and bundled the miscreant of to the station, where after a short time he was told by the arresting officer, who had a word with the custody sergeant, inside the station (out of camera shot of course) that he was being dearrested, (now that’s a new one to me) and free to go, I leave readers to ponder the reason why he was let go.

    I know this is one very small example, of how some officers behave, but the problem is with the whole mentality and culture that has exsisted in our police for years. This insular canteen culture, that is shown in countless police dramas on TV, an obsession with, “nicking people” rather than the notion, that a visible prescence on the streets, is often far more effective in fighting crime (yes the bobby on the beat). Again, an anecdotal example will suffice here, I used to work in my local tax office, and because civil service hours are not too demanding, employees were free to pursue various interests outside work, and I once overheard the converstation of two workmates, who just also happened to be special constables in the police, and the whole talk, was about how many nicks I’d got, and phrases such as “oh I’d nick him for that”, and so on and so on.

    Finally, let me say, best police force in the world, god save me from the worst one.

    • Brian Pocklington
      July 19, 2011 at 6:51 pm

      I completely agree. I have had cause to make complaints against the police in the last 5+ years.

      They prefer a “local resolution” to the complaint because that means they don’t actually have to do anything.

      Furthermore you do have the right of appeal to the IPCC which is totally meanlingless because their bland replies are breathtaking.

      So the police take no action.

  3. troy
    July 18, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    The police are corrupt, I was with a person who had a friend who has joined the police as a cadet. I was telling her how a police chief constable recently perverted the course of justice by instructing her staff to write rubbish and gibberish in the witness statement..yes she said I know that’s what the police told her friend to do on her induction course. A police officer does not want to know the truth, the freedom of information act 2000 is the biggest discriminating piece of legislation ever created, how can an MP select committee investigate when they stay they cannot prejudice the police.. bit of a chocolate teapot.

    I can prove even chief constables are corrupt when they are found out they quit that is after they pervert the course of justice to wrongly convict people…

  4. Ramon1940
    July 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I agree with the observations of the Opinion Site regarding corruption in the Police Force, and that it is spreading to every police force in this country.
    At one time my eldest Son was in the police force and did not always like what he saw, prompting him to say ” you would not like to know what goes on with some officers, some would ‘fit up’ their own grandmother if it meant getting a conviction”
    One thing that has also stuck in my mind is that when I was a child, some 60yrs ago the village policeman where I lived, was caught stealing chickens, he lost his job, pension and all respect from the villagers.
    I have no trust what so ever in the police now, too many liars/criminals in uniform!

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