Police and Corporate Corruption Off the Gatsby or Max Keiser Scale

Those who enjoyed Gadget and the brilliant Night Jack could take a look at this site - http://www.upsd.co.uk/

Here, you will find a microcosm of the Swamp, Reservation and Everglades in a single West Yorkshire police station – Killingbeck.  I’d say, on language analysis, the site is run by former cops and journalists.  Pedophiles, a voracious female officer, thieves, Jimmy Saville‘s driver, senior cops who regularly lose case files and so on make up the story of this nick.  I’d apologize to any decent officers working out of this hole, and will when I see any giving evidence against the goings on.  I suspect one already tried and they fit him up for an assault.

Evidence is very tough to establish even when one has the relevant authority and resources.  The story in West Yorkshire is of – er – West Yorkshire getting to investigate – er – West Yorkshire.  The Incompetent Poodles of Constabulary Corruption (IPCC) don’t seem to have got in and done anything, though they barely report what they do these days and leak rubbish to the press as in inspiring national riots.  UPSD post the new police commissioner as a big part of the problem.  I can only say their blog rings true and I suspect most forces are as bad.

To understand these matters better we need to widen our view.  Our cops are unlikely to be worse than our general society – on work experience I still trust cops ahead of academics.  The C/Super caught shagging the C/inspector was taken out by the sergeant who lived with her, the C/inspector by the super’s former cop wife – all very ‘Swamp’, very incestual – except there were no arrests.  The shagging was newspaper fodder.  The important stuff is that we have lost (or never had) any sensible ways to prevent corruption in all our organisations (I work for myself and it’s still tough!)

Our regulatory bodies are designed not to regulate, not to weed out crooks and incompetence.  There’s a good example by Graham Smith on the IPCC written years ago (google) that gets to the nub.  You can’t let people investigate themselves or make decisions on what gets investigated.

Neo-liberal politics more or less gives up on regulation and investigation, leaving markets to sort out the crime on the grounds of consumer choice.  This is dumb as consumer choice is very limited, whether in terms of buying cheap clothes made in sweat shops about to burn down, or in reporting a sexual assault to a nest of pedophiles, complaint file losers and Jimmy Saville veneration club.  I drive a VW knowing a former CEO used to fly a prostitute favourite first-class from Angola to Paris.

What I’d favour is test-purchase/mystery shopper stings across our organisations and some strong legislation on transparency – including punishments for people who lose evidence from CCTV and so on.  We have banks telling us they don’t know where money has gone, CEOs who didn’t know what was happening (but want to keep pay and bonuses) and massive stealing of tax money and money laundering.  We could stop most of the corruption without the sky falling in.

I think Peter Fahy has made a positive difference with less resources in GMP.  We still don’t know why shagger Todd was so well thought of and have no clue why similar banksters are worth so much of our money or why so few white-collar crooks go to jail.  I’d bet Fahy would do the job for 6 times (Plato’s recommendation) the recruitment pay of a PC.  I know I could find enough cops at every level at Plato’s rates of pay.  The value of our local bobby far exceeds that of any banker I taught or know.  We need to understand the wider corruption and unfairness to understand why all our organisations are protecting their Killingbecks, selling us horse-meat (its rat as lamb in China and poisoned baby milk) and lie in cover-up at the drop of a hat.  Jimmy Saville was on the radar when I was a cop 30 years back.  We did some extra-judicial work on some of his mates.  Beatings were fairly common – I preferred to get them for something else I could stand up in court.  Against the highest standards I failed – but I can’t remember a single officer I should have reported and didn’t.  Most (not by me) who were reported should not have been, and cops who did make complaints were bullied.  Plus ca change – except in spades?

UPSD may have a great deal right.  News from Cleveland contains a standard excuse on missing CCTV (and back-ups).  Imagine what bank and corporate lawyers and managers allow to go missing when it can take months or years to get warrants for the evidence.  The outcomes across current corruption are the same – very few banksters, very few bent cops in jail.

One can imagine a solution.  We could stop the useless recruitment and selection processes of “great leaders” and go for sortition – roughly qualification by exam and experience to a list and rolls of the dice for appointment.  The lot would stop much cronyism.  We’d need to do something about royal routes through private schools and elite universities and find genuine ways of recognising work achievement for qualification.  We seem to be destroying integrity across our organisations.  On complaints, the IPCC should already have conducted sensible research.  Typically only 6% of complaints are upheld.  A small sample, rigorously investigated, could tell us whether this unlikely figure is real.

The Great Gatsby is a novel about pathetic desire for an empty woman and money lust.  Max Keiser puts over a more credible ‘Radio Moscow’ message of a world run by bankster terrorists void of any integrity.  That we find this being acted out in a single police station with senior cops in sauna sex trists, fitting up their own, selling and using drugs, perverting the course of justice, shagging children, losing evidence and raising a wall of silence that should bring the ‘Untouchables’ raining down on the place – well it raises questions on whether anything has changed since celebrities were getting away with regular abuse and how far we have all fallen as yet more authority figures tell us ‘lessons are being learned’.  One wonders too, why Gadget had nothing to say on such and whether he knew which end of the whistle to blow.  My post should end with a statement that most cops are good people and the rest.  The shame of it is I don’t think any of us are.  We lack the system to be good in.  The basic problem is that we have UPSD reporting, but evidence from investigation is not put forward for public scrutiny even when we get the investigation.  Even people prepared to follow the evidence can’t when it isn’t revealed.  Hillsborough has demonstrated depravity by our authorities, press and idiot sections of the public.  The scandal underlying international banking is much worse.  This threatens democracy itself.

I don’t really care if a couple of senior officers get up one another in a sauna.  Their business unless they expect us to pay.  I’ve turned a blind eye.  Volunteering a week’s pay to charity and record expunged after 12 months sounds about right.  What would we expect of a Deputy Prime Minister doing much worse?   The real problem is some lad or lass on the shopfloor gets wacked for much less and that serious breaches of trust and law are covered-up.  Anyone thinking the police system impenetrable (away from the Killingbeck unlovely) needs to get out more.  Academe, the professions and bank and corporate accounts are much worse.  Most of us know about the blind eye, white lies and ‘there but for the grace of god go I’.

There are many malicious complaints, lefties who don’t realise the great plan failed in China and the USSR, righties with no clue that austerity is a Black Death solution in the third world and education has failed.  There are arguments about everything,  Did you know Britain was really behind Hitler as part of a plan to waste Germany and the USSR on each other?  The book is called ‘Conjuring Hitler’ – I got bored on lack of promised evidence.  We have known since the pre-Socratics that powerful arguments can be made for almost any view.  The key is evidence (though there are arguments this is not the case) and honesty in collecting and presenting it.

Anyone who has worked on a reasonably complex fraud or murder enquiry knows how tough it can be to collect, collate and present the evidence even before lawyers and judges ply their trade and various levels of disclosure.  Lab experiments can be more complex – but we have at least fucked the lawyers off.  In most social situations the actual evidence is not presented to us.  You must have seen banksters saying they have to get and pay huge salaries.  In 20 years teaching and researching in business schools I have seen no evidence for this at all.  Police forces regularly say there is no corruption problem or only a small one.  I see no evidence to support this.  The main reason in both cases for the lack of evidence is the lack of sensible and impartial investigation.  There is almost nothing that can be taken at face value.  Banksters and rich Harvard professors of moral philosophy point to soccer stars and their massive fees – so two wrongs make a right?  Soccer could bring in a salary cap.  So could banks.  When cops claim CCTV didn’t work or evidence has been lost – well this could be true.  But evidence here would be statistical – are cops regularly claiming evidence has accidentally gone missing and more often when their case might be contradicted by it?  Are the 160 amended statements at Hillsborough an exception or is this regular practice?  None of 17 civilian witnesses at Stockwell heard ‘stop armed police’ shouted – what’s the statistical likelihood?  The chance of me shouting that when about to shoot a suicide bomber is zero.  Tap, tap and explanation afterwards.  There is, at the same time, no evidence most of our cops are bent.

The point across social issues is evidence is being withheld from us.   We take positions without the very stuff that would make them reasonable.  We vote on ‘the economy’ and know no economics.  Some are anti-CO2 but can’t explain likely models of climate change (one of the latest is cloud seeding by cosmic rays – science not clown fiction).  Economists of mainstream ilk based theory on rational man – a joke in biology – and debt being irrelevant (now an agony).   Blair tells us he is sound with god (which we can’t check) and asks if we would rather Saddam was still in power.  One suspects those Iraqis in the death count we don’t have might rather be living – and in any case we could have sent men ashore to achieve no Saddam.  One can argue we went to secure the oil – or that we went to keep the price up.  I increasingly think we live in a world denied evidence.  Our protest politics is UKIP – yet the EU only costs us £74 each and on the Swiss-Norwegian model we’d pay as much after leaving to remain in the trade area.  Of course, one might vote for them to repeal the smoking ban, curtail immigration and register how sick we are with the three main parties.

Pity John Prescott wasn’t elected a police commissioner.  They might be repealing the farce by now.  Two Jags outside the sauna, compliant chief inspector … we’d be better off with Max Keiser running the show.  If you watch you’ll see he only pretends to be mad.  The real psychos are running our organisations.

Police Racism Is Crap – Can’t the Met Catch On?

With 10 cases involving 20 officers referred or re-referred to the ludicrous IPCC can’t the Met catch on?  It’s OK for a black MP to slur all white people, but not one white person must  … blah, blah.  We know racism is crap and we know no one is really free from it if we read up on the subject.  We accept rape is wrong and yet the conviction rate is very low.  This is largely because most of the evidence is dubious, with all parties often drunk, stoned or both.  Solomon would have trouble!  The same, of course, is true of claims of racial abuse – often coming from people already discredited by being in police custody and it being so easy to make false claims without much comeback.  Black officers, I seem to remember, are as much as four times more likely to be subject to complaint procedures.

The problem here is that police complaints systems don’t work and are massively prejudiced in investigation and the law.  Cases that get to court follow familiar patterns of taking a very long time and of detailed histories of previous complaints against officers being ruled out as evidence whilst complainants (even if police officers) have their motives and credibility impugned.

Even if the IPCC was any use, referring such matters to them wouldn’t help.  This is a cultural matter requiring strong leadership beyond words in the supervision system and an openness that can’t be other than deterred by criminal investigation.  On the basis of the kind of “research” the IPCC has bought so far, it would poll the whole population on whether police are racist or not when what’s needed is research in the relevant population done by people who can establish trust.

Even the tape recording I’ve heard on television and at the Guardian is not evidence of racism and I’d acquit if that’s all to be found, despite being profoundly anti-racist.  I heard the same advice being given by a black nurse to black hooligans more than 30 years ago,though that was issued in more strident form.  Racism was chronic in the Met back then and they were in denial about it.  All sides in this need to let some independent researchers in so the matter can be brought properly out into the open. My guess is their are faults on all sides.

Half all young black lads are unemployed against a 25 – 30% average.  It’s common to hear this is because they are a lazy bunch and the rest, as it’s common to hear that Asians are bleeding welfare dry and so on.  Crap gossip like this comes about because we so rarely bother to make the truth on any subject easy to access.  Ethnic minorities are generally present in our prisons in disproportionate number.  Some say this is due to racist treatment, but it could as easily be disproportionate engagement in crime.

It is easy to stop your people using words like ‘nigger’ – just sack a few who do.  Works wonders, does a little of such medicine.  It won’t change any attitudes other than those about not being loose-lipped.  I’d like to see the Met engage some researchers prepared to get out in relevant areas with cameras and able to talk in confidence to police officers and the relevant population and make sense of relevant figures and some participant observation.  I suspect their are home truths the Met, our ‘ethnic’populations and the rest of us need to learn and that incompetence is at the heart of all this.  The current situation must be making all officers wary of dealing with BEMs and that can’t help.

The IPCC should get on with more important matters like the buried SOCA report on corruption.

 

Another Shooting By Police

Details on today’s incident are few.  Apparently some attempted car thief with a large bladed weapon was shot.  In years gone by we had to put ourselves at considerable risk and the likelihood of PTSD dealing with such creeps.  I’m not against them being gunned down instead.

I am concerned that the IPCC haven’t even (because of our dud legal system) told us the evidence on Duggan and this incident may take as long for what truth can be told to be out.  I believe the routine issue of one rifle per car is held back because of fears the complaints system is useless and officers don’t have the speedy back up that should be there for them.

More Problems For (I)PCC On Duggan

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/nov/20/mark-duggan-shooting-watchdog-panel

Two people have resigned from the Community Reference Committee set up by the IPCC after the killing of Mark Duggan and the riots sparked off by the event.  The allegations in the post above are dismal if true.

Perhaps the most damning is the statement that the IPCC Commissioner involved told CRC members 3 police officers gave a statement that a sergeant had been seen to throw the gun Duggan was supposed to be carrying to the spot where it was later found and later told them no such statements existed.  It’s more or less impossible to think of any reasonable excuse for the sergeant’s actions or to explain the lack of an arrest of the sergeant.  Quite how you can mislead someone on such a matter is also inexplicable.

We now seem to know that a potential murder scene (almost one of a police officer too) was easily compromised by the taxi Duggan was traveling in being moved and the brought back – flouting everything I know about crime scenes and yet apparently ‘authorised’ by IPCC investigators who hadn’t even made it to the scene, and that Duggan was under some kind of surveillance and allowed to pick up a weapon and travel with it.  Though we can’t be sure.

About the only thing we do know for certain nearly 4 months on is that Duggan’s death and the piss poor handling of the investigation caused riots across our cities.

This is not, as the IPCC would have us believe, a complex enquiry.  The players and the scene have been known since the outset.  A detective sergeant and a couple of jacks plus a SOCO should have been enough.  Early individual statements from officers at the scene (not colluding) should have been a must (the IPCC is so toothless it can’t even do this).  If a cop had been shot by Duggan most of the non-forensics would have been done within hours, statements within 24 and a charge read out the morning after.  The Commissioner seems so hapless she didn’t know even essential features of the investigation weeks into it and made up some that were untrue.

You wouldn’t find me anywhere near community referencing, but you could get me out of the office or bed to talk to a crowd of people in the circumstances of August 4th.  I wouldn’t do the job at all under the obvious remit for pussies in effect.

What I’d suggest is the scraping of elected police chiefs and letting us elect some regional oversight people to direct complaints and improvement with a small number of hardened investigators who would nick any “sergeant seen throwing a gun into a crime scene periphery”.  Of course, some will think we are getting no more than the usual community referencing porkies, but those of us who do think like this from time to time don’t go a-rioting.  I would say though, that police and IPCC people had enough time to spin false tales to the press and this means there was time to put together a truthful story to tell the putative rioters and the wider public.  If the nonsense on an exchange of fire and the rest came from officers involved in the incident, there is more gloom ahead.

IPCC Bungle On At Tortoise Speed

Whatever might the following mean?

“The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is to independently investigate the steps undertaken by Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers in relation to an investigation of an alleged assault, involving a firearm, in late July 2011.

As a result of the MPS investigation, an individual has been charged with offences relating to the firearm and alleged assault.

The MPS voluntarily referred the matter to the IPCC after tests suggested the non-police issue firearm recovered from the scene of the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan on 4 August 2011 could have been the one used in the earlier alleged assault.

 IPCC Commissioner, Sarah Green, said:

“Our investigation will consider whether all investigative lines were promptly identified and acted upon by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service and to what extent, if any, the conduct of this investigation may have impacted on the supply of the firearm found at the scene of the shooting of Mark Duggan.

“We have informed Mr Duggan’s family of the situation today and IPCC family liaison managers continue to be on hand to support Mr Duggan’s family while investigations continue.

“As an individual has now been charged with offences in relation to that police investigation, we cannot provide any further information at this time.”

The MPS referred the matter to the IPCC on Monday 14 November 2011 and an assessment has been concluded resulting in the decision to undertake an independent investigation”

I thought the IPCC was investigating the Duggan shooting – obviously so badly that the Met have had to refer a relevant matter to them?  Surely one would expect this to simply be a matter uncovered by the IPCC investigators?  It happened before the Duggan killing – who didn’t tell them straight away.  It’s time for some sackings now, but who can say not cooperating with the IPCC is wrong after Blair denied them access at Stockwell?.

There are any number of possibilities on the non-police weapon, from Duggan carrying it about after it has been used in another criminal incident (dumb but done) to it having been planted at the scene of the Duggan killing.  What I detest and can see no reason for is the manner in which this kind of information is released.  Our notions of sub judice are long past sell by date and in need of review.  The IPCC or police can’t flout them as they stand, but the ground itself is dangerous.  Just as Duggan’s killing led to the march that led to the riots, this could too.  One hopes not.

It is now more than three months since the Duggan killing – one that almost killed a police officer from assumed friendly fire too.  One appreciates matters do not proceed at all like CSI (which is crass nonsense) – yet we do not seem to have any means to properly investigate in an appropriately open manner, reported in a way we can trust.  This is in part the British disease of secrecy and across the world a problem with enquiries into potential police wrongdoing and incompetence.

What’s at issue in matters like this is less the probable fantasy that Mark Duggan was gunned down and a ‘Saturday night special’ left to confuse any evidence trail, but the general problems we have with fair ways of getting truth out and for us to be able to trust in fair investigation.

We have had enquiries into Iraq and yet another one is yet to conclude.  This is years on and I have never understood why we went in to Iraq or Afghanistan and don’t meet anyone else who does either,  As someone who teaches economics in universities I don’t have a full understanding of what I think is looting by rich people, though I’d say I do know enough to say the economics presented by politicians and media is based on a quasi-religious farce that is a cover-story for the looting.

One might say that we should be able to rely on court reporting and the various inquiries and should just have patience.  This barely fits with history in any depth, other than that written by victors etc.  I suspect the real problem is we can demand nothing from democracy.  We now demand those arrested tell their story against not being believed in the future (oversimplification) – yet allow those in authority to delay and deylay until “enquiries” are complete – a point often ever deferred with enquiries in secret and conducted by people with interests and bias we are expected to take as ‘objective’.

There are better and faster ways.  We need to establish and build them into a working constitution.  That we can’t wake up and smell the coffee over matters from nearly four months elapsing with us no further enlightened on the death of one person and the near death of a police officer, are waiting until January over a Border Agency farce and have so little conception as a populace on how reasonable equality went so badly wrong in the hands of paid-for politicians and banksters – or have so much coverage of a soccer player calling someone black and so little about vulture funds stealing millions from poor people who live in the Congo (also black) through banks in Jersey – all strike me as to do with a justice system that is intentionally inaccessible, expensive and slow. I suspect the reasons for wanting to restrict what can be said to courtrooms and equivalents are a problem for democracy.

It seems we can’t trust the public, when acting as jurors, with information such as Tabak looking at the pornography of strangling women the night before he put his hands round Jo Yates’ neck – yet could expect them to exclude ‘Duggan the hood’ reporting on deliberation of his killing and the near killing of a police officer by another police officer.  My sense of it is we need something less archaic in place on what can and should be in public scrutiny.  There is no scientific evidence I know of to suggest judges’ instructions and the system of evidence in courtrooms makes anyone more objective – rather the opposite.  We still allow eyewitness evidence and credibility, knowing both are highly likely to be wrong.  Where is the independent assessment of IPCC reports?

The legitimisation crisis continues.  I have no idea whether the officer who shot Mark Duggan and nearly killed his fellow officer is culpable of anything.  I’m happy for courts to decide.  I’m not comfortable with, have all these been traced an investigation that has taken so long to decide where charges lie and seems to have missed relevant material or had this hidden from it.  Given the non-police issue weapon found being previously subject to likely police seizure from criminal activity or amnesty, have all these been traced?  Was this basic enquiry done at all given the way this chestnut seems to have been passed on? We could be told about this and should be.  The rest needs social and legal changes, including to the IPCC remit – but is essentially about the secrecy we have made habitual.

If Mark Duggan has survived and was subject to criminal charges, one line of enquiry essential to his defence would be the discovery of similar weapons handed-in to police that cannot be reliably traced to destruction, or worse, the actual weapon turning up in police hands and supposedly destroyed.  One would expect a paper trail.  Has this been done?  It would seem not on the basis of the IPCC having to be informed about this other matter.

 

Keystone Cop Discipline?

The ‘Enfield Serious Crime Squad’ (or whatever) recently caught demolishing a Mini with laughably ‘non-issue’ baseball bats has rather sadly been disbanded.  Current cops shows lack the edge of ‘The Sweeny’ and this lot promised yo add Keystone humour and farce to our lives.  A better punishment than the slapped wrists and demotion of the obviously heroic detective sergeant running the show would have seen them followed everywhere by a documentary team led by Ricky Gervais.  At least the suspect, if not the one they invented, was in this Mini – in my days they shot one up and killed people only to discover the one they were after wasn’t in the car at all.

There was a time when the Met’s version of shock and awe involved 50 Bobbies wading ashore to ‘invade’ Anguilla – I believe some were sensible enough to stay.  Compared with the Stockwell fiasco this was underkill by the Enfield Crew.  Once again supervision seems to have been entirely absent and the IPCC looking on burning money to no effect.  It’s time to be rid of that organisation.  The cops did a fair job investigating themselves – the problem being the discipline isn’t transparent.

What’s being missed in discipline cases is that the police officers and the forces generally lie and don’t seem able to come clean.  Some poor sod at the bottom may get the push, but generally the problems are being covered-up – including the pressures on officers and the cultures in which they are under-performing.

The key area in need of investigation are broad miscarriages of justice in the CJS in terms of victims’ and complainants’ perceptions and what carte blanche investigation could discover.  This needs to be national and properly independent.  It certainly doesn’t need to be about nailing cops to the wall, but it does need to be an open process.

What I’m seeing is probably decent cops ending up in discipline trouble and little happening on the incompetence, inadequate management and changes in the dud CJS system that doesn’t help with many of the problems.  Recent promises on 120,000 dud families by the Home Secretary may as well come from the nether end of Tony Blair and the same useless bureaucrat he used is still making the same false promises (Louise whoever).

The aim in police improvement is somewhat of a paradox – we need cops with more discretion and less clown bureaucracy who don’t do the gaming that is destroying all credibility – and for these cops not to abuse this legitimate authority.  I would say at the outset you can’t design a system on the lines of anti-corruption through bureaucracy – if you do the job itself can’t be done.

The IPCC is little use because it was not given the remit needed on discipline and has ended up as Bandaid -a typical British watchdog with no teeth.  This was predicted by Graham Smith.  I knew as soon as I saw the kind of investigations they were doing – despite some good people, they mostly waste time on dross.  Softcock – the former Chair was an obvious disaster.and was quickly defending hopeless systems like local resolution on the grounds everyone was unhappy with it.  The lack of balls was obvious at Stockwell where he should have gone into the scene straight away with his investigators or got locked up trying.  Plenty of information is going into the IPCC on widespread corruption and incompetence yet there is no sign of them doing anything with it.  The lack of statistics on complaints (not weasel numbers) is as appalling as the regular gaming figures forces issue on crime itself.  What we need to see is the anatomy of police action that causes complaint and what in that process makes people feel justice or otherwise is being done.  Instead, we have to rely on ‘Panorama’.

The probllems are clearly wider than policing.  The CJS remains a dated mess lawyers and a wad of other ‘professionals’  make money from.  Courts often get round to hearing cases over a year after offences are committed – and I’m not talking complex cases.  If the riots demonstrated anything, it was that we can cure this, And I’m sure most of us still trust cops ahead of banksters and politicians.  Proper work opportunities would cure a lot too.

The “answers” I hear are 100 years past sell by, yet politicians still puke them and the only view on television and most main stream media is undergraduate piss (useful only for drug testing).  How anyone can say, after 60 years of universal education and more training than you can shake a stick at, that more of this is any answer eludes me – and I’m an educationalist.  Just as many cops I meet despair of being able to sort out ‘problem families’ (IQs maybe at 380 for a family of five) or protect victims from them but won’t tell the truth on this openly, I know many academics who won’t let their own kids build up a £50K debt going to a second class ‘university’ who are ‘quiet’ too.  From a currently cursory look, police discipline hasn’t changed much over 60 years and the IPCC has the same problems as previous bodies.

My guess is the first problem is that we can’t see the wood from the trees.  Research shows that people in the UK and US believe society is much fairer than it is, wealth shared much more than it is – and worse that their ‘ideal’ is massively more equal than the current situation and more like 1970 – an era in which we believed we were making progress on this.

Part of the answer on policing is to make the job better.  Neville Evans was good enough to send me a copy of his book on this,  My solutions would be more radical than his, but I share his analysis on there not being enough care about for officers and that this is largely ignored.  It may seem strange, but I share with Joseph Wambaugh (who did 16 years) the feeling that civilian discipline would actually help with that.  In the meantime,Nigel’s book might bring some help and solace to those officers not pretending to be John Wayne.

What Do Senior Cops Do?

“During the course of these incidents and our investigation Nottinghamshire Police
has been subject to an intense period of change and scrutiny. We have been reassured
by the force that lessons will be learned on this occasion and I hope, for
the sake of those who need the police’s help, this truly is the case this time.”

The above is flannel from someone paid a lot of money to be an IPCC commissioner.  It’s schoolgirl stuff, typical of a game of doctors and nurses rather than the tough action of a world with real consequences.

The report it’s from contains no references to any Nottinghamshire senior officers.  One wonders what these officers get paid for.  The absence from the report is such that I would consider sacking them all.  In the absence of any report to the Home Secretary asking for more power to deal with such ‘invisible man’ corruption, the IPCC Commissioner should go to, instead iof making such vapid statements as above.

Across the board we see senior figures taking gazumped salaries, bonuses and having no clue when things go wrong on their watch.  In this case I can’t even find mention of anyone above the rank of sergeant.  Police inspectors are paid more than university lecturers these days – what for?  We know the IPCC is a shambles that couldn’t investigate its way out of a paper bag and can’t see how pathetic and biased it is, but what on earth has it done here?  Sure the Plods have behaved just as any victim still living would expect – like a bunch on incompetents – but this went on and on and on with no supervision stepping in to sort it out.  There is no investigation into what matters, only some puny attempt to find scapegoats at the bottom.

These domestic violence come “neighbour dispute” cases are often more difficult than murder enquiries yet the most inexperienced cops are dispatched to deal with them.  I had not only no training to deal with them but operated in a cynical culture concerning them.  As far as I can find now, this situation pertains, though high-level rhetoric has changed, paralleling political correctness.  Untrained, inexperienced cops are being sent into situations with little power to resolve them and every encouragement to write them off so they can get to the next job.  A case of no real change in 30 years and perhaps even a worsening despite new rhetoric.

This case should have gone down the route of ‘Williams is a dangerous bastard Boss, I need help to sort it out’.  The IPCC never get to the question of why this didn’t happen. Underlying this is the widespread understanding in police ranks that victims like the woman concerned don’t matter.  The cops on the ground blundered – but frankly almost anyone would.  Some of them lied or were totally incompetent on vital evidence too – but don’t con yourself that you wouldn’t have – they were acting as expected.

So where were the senior officers who trashed the useless domestic violence policy and didn’t replace it for 18 months and where were those who should have picked up on this long-running case?  What does a senior cop do?  The only obvious answer is that they stay away from any flying shit that might stick to them and they cloak themselves in invisibility and take high salaries for little evident work or accountability.  In this case the accountability appears to be to another highly paid IPCC slacker whose rap on the knuckles is to “hope” they learn the lessons they didn’t learn, as promised,last time.  This is like the hope of the mother of a teenage recidivist.

We need to stop seeing matters like this a police problems needing external review through feeble bodies like the IPCC – this route of what is really self-regulation (for many reasons the “independent” is a con) is failing everywhere from banking to government.  The IPCC has merely found what a decent sergeant or inspector should have been on top of in routine supervision.  This is key – if the supervision didn’t find this case in time how many more are going bad under their watch?  This one only came to light because of a death – dead victims have more ‘rights’ than living ones.

Decent senior cops doing what they are paid for would be finding these cases before the deaths and where there aren’t such final consequences.  They should also be pressing for such matters to be out of police hands at an early stage for resolution.  Instead they let victims live in fear and blame it all on the evil poor like Gadget.  Gadget is right on much of what goes on, but hapless on solution.  This is for the worst of reasons and amounts to giving up to the current situation in which many have to live with the consequences of “policing failure” – a failure which is much more generally systemic and buries the real problem.  That the IPCC has replaced what should be routine supervision suggests our senior cops are obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception just by turning up at work, and that IPCC management is puny.

We have seen recently that half of the complaints made against teachers are malicious or groundless.  I would have expected a higher figure and would in complaints against police. Standards in both organisations have been dropping for years and this is the case across our society.  Nurses chat idly as patients need care, doctors strike patients off for having the effrontery to complain.  I suspect a widespread collapse in responsible supervision.  As an academic I could once advise good students to get to an appropriate university.  Now this advice would probably be a discipline breach if it was to advise on a different university than the one I teach in, despite the advice being in the interests of the individual.  The relation to the public we serve has gone.

I believe senior cops are:

1.no longer cops

2. overpaid

3. self-serving mortgage serfs

4. bureaucrats charged to cover-up serious failings

5. take no responsibility that matters

6. need the cost-saving knife.

I would welcome an explanation of what they do.  I can find none in any IPCC report and plenty of evidence they preside over a system that fails us more than it helps.

 

Casey Brittle Case And Hapless Policing

The IPCC has produced a mildly critical report on the death of Casey Brittle at the hands of her dangerous ex-boyfriend.  The guy was clearly a total shit and not fit to be on our streets.  One wonders how many more like him there are and why our CJS can’t deal with them.  I am not aware of any case studies of successful police and legal action in dealing with this kind of scum.  One would expect such material to be collated and in use in training.

The IPCC report is tiresome and lacks any self-criticism, or criticism of the system-level. The cops put up for minor disciplinaries are all constables or sergeants – this despite the Nottinghamshire force having form for such failure and having no domestic violence policy in force for more than a year.  In defence of the IPCC, one can say there remit is woefully inadequate, but they’ve been around long enough to protest this and get it changed and have, instead, been led by inadequates drawing massive salaries who couldn’t say boo to a goose.

The report gives us no idea how rife (or otherwise) the problem is.  My own experience indicates the problems are extensive and policing of them hapless.  The issues are not merely policing ones – our CJS (indeed wider legal system) is not fit for purpose. Resources are committed to clown libel cases or interest only to the rich and the feeble-minded who gawp at such stuff through the ‘mejar’ (a far more appropriate term than media, suggesting narcissistic voyeurism).

The systemic failures are not correctly pinned on Response officers, dud as these often are in effect.  My guess (fairly reasonably informed) is that this case is the tip on an iceberg.  I believe the actual problem is that we don’t equip our cops with the tools to do the job and actually skill the incompetence they and other agencies demonstrate,  The IPCC make several references to forms not being submitted to a domestic violence unit working 9 to 5 (well almost).  Piss-poor bureaucratic solutions will only lead to clown form-filling that will only help in cover-up.

What’s needed is a system that drags these bastards in front of a court straight away, much as the night courts rustled up to deal with the recent rioters.  Police officers are being asked to deal with questions they can’t answer and which it would be wrong to give them personal power to deal with.  Sure there were officers who ‘dealt’ with these incidents on “area search no trace” form – but this is the ‘record’ of most Response policing (including mine 30years ago).  No solution that doesn’t recognise the mostly young, inexperienced and wet-behind-the-ears Response cops (some remaining this way for 20 years) aren’t Solomons will work.  They need somewhere to ‘bag-off’ these problems and this place should be ‘judicial’ and the bastards (and some innocent parties) need to be taken there, and directions given for proper investigation under which all parties are made aware of consequences, and resources allocated.

There are glaring faults in the policing in this case, yet we keep coming back to the same old story, most of which is cover-up with each case dealt with as though it is separate from the actual and much wider problem.  This problem is that our justice system is run by the rich for the rich and is too slow to have much deterrent effect amongst the repeat offending scum whose presence dominates the CJS and policing.

Much policing actually works on the basis of keeping people out of court because this costs so much money.  I think it’s time to reverse this and get more of these problems into a courtroom as they arise, with courts issuing injunctions with powers of arrest as soon as possible with the effect of a binding over and directed police and other agency investigation.  This would bring about ‘partnership working’ far more directly than current pontification about it.

We should be looking to improve police work, but as with 50% of our kids who can’t benefit from education designed for the intelligent, we can’t keep on pretending we can make cops just out of training school into Solomons capable of solutions none of us could manage and they are expected to deal with because white collar people and all kinds of stuffed shirts want their weekends free for ‘golf’ or fear they would turn to dust if forced to venture into the 24/7/365.

In terms of resources, I think we could design out the CPS, the need for the judicial element to consist of expensive lawyers, use this element instead of elected police commissioners and remove many senior police ranks, the IPCC and look to further savings by a less adversarial CJS and reliance on dated concepts in evidence such as ‘credibility’ and in some cases ‘proof’ through a more discursive yet binding approach.

One thing clear in the IPCC report is the absence of senior officers (amazing given the lack of a domestic violence policy for 18 months) giving advice or being available to give any.  Several should be sacked and the disciplinary record of the poor sods trying to actually do the job, however badly, expunged.

I believe our cops are much worse than our general public image of them – they are much more unpopular amongst people with recent experience of problems needing police support.  That a statement like this is so often received as criticism of all officers is also a statement of the paranoid-schizoid position cops take too easily.  Police always make out their job is very difficult, but rather than using this as an excuse, we should be looking for the reasons why the job is so difficult and solutions to it.

Even in proposing immediate referral of many street issues to an investigative court, I’m aware that the worst court in Britain is the Family Court and this is stacked out with professional advice.  This court is so bad it keeps its proceedings secret.  We need something quick with follow-through, using mediation with enforceable arbitration.

Corruption Models

It should have dawned on most of us that greed has finally screwed our productive economies.  It’s the triumph of Wall Street and the decline of America writ worldwide.  Yves Smith’s Naked Capitalism reposts this:

‘Whatever the deeper story, however, Madrick’s subtitle gets it right: what we have experienced is, in a very real sense, the triumph of Wall Street and the decline of America. Despite what some academics (primarily in business schools) claimed, the vast sums of money channelled through Wall Street did not improve America’s productive capacity by “efficiently allocating capital to its best use”. Instead, it diminished the country’s productivity by directing capital on the basis of financial chicanery, outrageous compensation packages and bubble-infected stock price valuations.

My suspicion is that it has mainly been intellectual fashion, fanned with the backing of any number of corporate backed think tanks spewing out “research” that was anything but real research; rather pro-business propaganda. A sort of flat earthism, helped by some unsavoury support from those who benefit the most. But in the end its supreme illogic is catching up with it. When the contradictions of greedism only affected peripheral economies, such as Latin America and Asia, then those “other countries” could safely be blamed. But now it is affecting the major developed economies of Europe and the US, and it is becoming harder to avoid the obvious conclusion. It is not a choice between no government or bad government. It is a choice between bad government or good government.’

My own view is that organised crime is a better metaphor (and possibly real model) for what’s going on.  What we need are other models of enquiry to understand what organisation does.  Police corruption looks small enough to make a start on (though I believe this is a pin-prick in wider CJS corruption).  My starting point is people like Shijuro, Gadget and others who more or less deny police corruption.  I take them as straight people.  I saw little police corruption when I was a cop and heard a lot of complaint from obviously bent bastards that it was rife – they sometimes claimed the same of me and I know I was ‘hopelessly straight’ (tea and bacon butties aside).  This might seem to lead me to agree with the ‘deniers’.  Indeed, I do believe in the heavy presence of bent and idiot complaining.

My interest is in a wider and practically applicable theory (nothing is more practical than good theory) to organisation in general -my subject specialism is organisation theory.  The police case will hopefully lead to this wider understanding.  One might think here that a finding of no police corruption  would rank against this wider interest, but in fact a ‘clean case’ would help a lot in establishing it.  If we knew how to build such a clean system we could build clean financial services (at least in principle).

We regularly see corruption emerge, reluctantly, to daylight - Parliamentary expenses, the hacking scandal and so on.  Those around it claim they weren’t aware of it.  And as said, like Shijuro and others working more recently, I saw little and was offered little.  At least, this was true when I was plodding.  There was a bit, but it was pathetic  Undertakers turning up single-manned offering a fiver to carry out a body sort of stuff.  I saw more later, but the question as to whether blokes like me and Shijuro would ‘see’ corruption going on remains.  Not wanting any part of it, being subject of false complaints and other factors probably work against your average Joe being part of corruption or ‘seeing’ what might be there.  The most obvious way to find corruption is probably to be invited into it.  If one accepts, then silence or denial follows – and we all know the dangers of trying to blow the stuff out of the water.  The evidence we can give at this level needs explanation, but is not decisive.

I’d want to establish the full picture of complaints, cases and convictions.  I don’t know of one and the absence of a freely available source is itself disturbing.  There is a website that has a ‘rough catalogue’ – http://www.bentlawyersandcops.com/index.htm - and reading through it I found quite a lot I’m aware of missing.  As it is, it’s big enough to be worrying.  We should have a reliable official source.  The IPCC is the obvious agency that should insist on and collate such.  Quite how they think they can submit a paper to the Home Secretary without this base information, or reference to its lack, I don’t know.  I believe they may be the paradigm case of how not to do independent evaluation.

I doubt we can legislate or preceduralise some of the worst behaviours out of our organisations, though a lot is not being done to make things better and outcomes straighter.  A key word in my subject discipline is ‘transparency’, making realistic teaching of accounting, finance and organisational design somewhat farcical if one takes this seriously.  Dark pool and shadow financing dwarf balance sheets about anything one could shine a light on.  If we are teaching practice, we should be teaching ‘how not to get caught holding the baby’.  How one stops the revolting cop who sexually exploits children and women of whom a colleague might say ‘not even with yours’ is always going to be difficult (yet it should be easier to prosecute on real matters than words exchanged in jest and isn’t).  The accountant who presents management finances showing great bonuses for the senior group through the creation of a toxic subsidiary should be sacked, yet its the honest Joe who will be.

What we could do, both in policing and banksterism, is demonstrate the model we believe should be in place.  Even this is more difficult than at any first glance in the honest assumptions most of us share.  Greed was supposed to be ‘good’ and provide a cake so big we’d all be well off with its crumbs than through honest business, properly regulated. The cop equivalent is to say the job can’t be done with all kinds of regulation of their back – yet the rich get the ‘judge on the shoulder’ of judicial review.

‘Transparency’ is, in fact, a weasel-word – like ‘learning lessons’ and other pap.  95% of its use is naive or cynical.  The input words will be that we must have a robust, transparent, full and rigorous investigation and the output (intended before the outset) will be that ‘Blair didn’t lie to us on Iraq’ (speaking of weasels – watch Dispatches on Monday).  We need to break this kind of hold and risk more direct democracy.  One way f doing this is to do the real casework on matters like police corruption to establish how it works.

I’m not really interested in exposing more bent cops than surface at the moment.  This would be a good side-effect if this is the case that pertains.  There is already substantial work on ‘how we corrupt the organisations we work in, are corrupted by them and conceal this from others and ourselves’.  It’s disparate.  I’d point to some really good field work on eye witness evidence and the general issue of ‘working blind’ – police and forensic work are considerably corrupted by ‘personal and group Idols’.  We should be very concerned that people with scientific training are often so bad in this respect.  Much of the work that needs doing is in producing organisation theory that isn’t the sort of poncy piffle found at academic conferences, and instead approaches the moral corruption of work, bullying bosses, the jobsworth and incompetence.  My own start in this is 400 years old and can be found in the otherwise unreadable, arse-licking of Francis Bacon.

I think the key is money and our lack of control over it.  I didn’t take the five quids (maybe £60 now) from Mr B the undertaker.  This level of corruption is profoundly uninteresting, if often hilarious (60 cops in a fishing contest, all without necessary licences).  Much worse has taken place in an entirely legal framework.  Much ‘evidence’ produced in our courts is as doctored as Enron accounts.  But the point is the discovery of how this comes about and is so easily legitimated until reality is breached to the point of miscarriage.  We need, in the first place to establish what the Idols that legitimate corruption are.  In this sense, I agree focus on our cops is unfair because other groups are much worse.  The rich are notably unprepared to be regulated and whilst it must now be obvious they have no case, there is a problem with regulation that becomes red tape.  This is actually classic in avoiding the intent of regulation, especially in writing unusable legislation.

We can now at least ‘write’ organisational forms that limit corruption.  These challenge vested interest.  In wide academic reading one finds that all the general suggestions politicians come up with have been tried and failed.  Police in the UK have always managed to resist an independent body with its own investigators who can get in quick, prevent collusion on evidence and that would be responsible to the public directly, with its work subject to speedy public scrutiny.  The tiny IPCC is no such animal.  .

Organisation theory as taught fails to address our complexity as social animals.  It gives recipes for ‘herding cats’ as though cats do herd.  Not content with this incompetence it provides those bright enough to know this is crap with elaborate diversions into critiques of power also based on fantastic notions of human nature or hopeless hopes like the ‘State withering away’.  Some of this work, like Lyotard’s is really witty, much like that of Habermas is so boring (if sometimes accurate) you lose the will to live.  The standard fodder is in textbooks fit only for bit parts in Fahrenheit 457, taught by pedants who shrike over whether I got the temperature of ‘book burning’ right.  Left behind are barkingly obvious thingies like it being unfair for a few to get filthy rich (important because we end up in serfdom to their money), a work ethic fit for the 13th century and the fact most of us don’t want to suffer crap bosses and jobs so dull monkeys are smart enough not to do them.  To talk like this is against manners, and if you want a theory of that you can use Norbert Elias.  Most people can’t do much maths, so we base economics on it.  Humour is everywhere crushed and one suspects regarded as uncouth.  The dullest departments of all are the business schools, where empowerment, kwality, innovation and creativity drown under the weasel use of the terms.  Here, dworks teach excellence, not realising the concept blew up within 6 months of publication of the book they think businesses use and don’t.  None of us, under this barrage of drivel have a clue of how much work needs to be done in our society and how this might be fairly managed.

My model would start in tracking real work – this happens in manufacturing,  If we find  miserable crooked families making life hell for neighbours and living lives of welfare sponsored crime over and over again and using housing, police, social worker and legal aid money over and over how can we call this a ‘success’?  And I don’t say this lightly because the agencies concerned are claiming to be successful rather than bungling, serial incompetents.  I believe something like this is the case in many spheres of work activity.  We are stamping qualifications out all over – but where is the real educational success?  Bankers stamp out mega-bonuses whilst losing our shirts.  You get the drift – some corruption must be involved.  We’ve been pumping aid out – where is the real success?

I believe the corruption is such a ‘mechanism’ that it must be known and expected by some of the players – we may blame Mugabe because aid money turns up in his “Swiss” account – but maybe other players know this will be the case and turds like him are just a front like a bent jewelry store fronting money laundering and usury? The corruption ‘mechanisms’, whatever they are, make it impossible to sensibly invest either money or effort.

To get to a model we need something like police enquiry in terms of being able to demand evidence.  One reason there is so much ‘theorising’ is that there is no access to evidence to derive facts from.  Imagine being black in Rhodesia dreaming of freedom from white colonialism – then imagine what this spring moment would be like knowing you wouldn’t get freedom but Mugabe.  Lack of knowledge of ‘corruption mechanisms’ sticks us in something like this situation.  To think of curbing banksterism, obscene excess and settling for a peaceful world in which we shifted from planet burning to something more communal is impossible why?  In my view, at least one possibility is the lack of corruption control models of organisation that would facilitate new and fairer forms of work.  There are, incidentally, economic models that predict success from handing out money to the poor instead of the banking black hole of the rich Politburo.  There have also been anti-corruption organisational designs in policing (they were utter bureaucratic piss).

My suspicion is that the ability to hide transactions is a major part of any ‘corrupt mechanism’.  Some stuff is private and we don’t want members of any anti-vice and promotion of purity squad peering into our houses to check our partners are wearing burkhas.  A register of complaints and process against police officers isn’t that and is something we should be able to demand.  Banks should not be able to assure us the investment we put into a local factory is now safely hedged in Zimbabwe delta-bonds either.  Black pools, shadow banking and bureaucratic secrecy, along with control through hot money and capital flight threats ain’t democracy either.

Learning Lessons From The Mark Duggan Killing

A number of weeks after Mark Duggan’s death we know little of the case.  There are no lessons to learn on the police and IPCC communication following the shooting.  This followed a standard cock-up line that is all too familiar, from which lessons should have been learned in the past and new procedures should already have been in place.  The big lesson to be learned is that the ‘learning lessons’ excuse is just an excuse.  The IPCC has been in place about 8 years and only gross incompetence can be responsible for its repeated failures at Stockwell, the Tomlinson incident and the general course of the discharge of its duties.  It is not trusted by anyone needing recourse to it or the police. Eight years on, it still recruits police to its investigation teams.

The release of misinformation that police had been involved in an exchange of fire and lack of decency by police and IPCC in regard to Duggan’s family is standard fare, as is the press reporting of the dead man as a gangster.  We need better rules for the media and on case material disclosure to ensure a good form of public scrutiny – rules that won’t compromise the prosecution of a case and will help to prevent people gathering round police stations and the sparking of riots.

Currently it is possible to suspect police officers involved of anything from incompetence to murder, as well as the opposite in that they may have been bravely doing their job.  This is all down to lack of information.  There are rumours that the non-police gun found ‘near the scene’ may have been planted, that the taxi in which Duggan seems to have been shot left the scene  and returned, and there are unanswered questions about how the false information on an exchange of fire arose.

We now know the converted starting pistol has no traces of Duggan on it and that the taxi was stopped in an intelligence-led operation.  The cops involved may be guilty of something, but the statistical likelihood is that they aren’t – but they are subject to protracted stress.  The Duggans feel police are operating a shoot to kill policy; unlikely, yet this is not to deny substance to their feelings.  How they come to feel this and be suspicious of the IPCC needs to be brought into the open and compared with others dissatisfied with police complaints.  The non-IPCC story on this is utterly unsatisfactory, as is their engagement in gaming performance management.

The lack of forensics linking Duggan to the converted starting pistol is disturbing.  Crooks, if he was such, are usually careless, and only a fool would chance his arm with such a weapon against the real thing.  Clearly, if this is either a murder or a conspiracy to cover up a cock up we don’t want disclosure that would prejudice future proceedings; yet 3,000 people may turn out to the funeral today believing the worst.

The mistake we’re making is in the belief that information has to be kept from the public domain to allow a fair trial and that this is possible in the modern world,or even desirable. Harwood cannot now receive such a ‘fair trial’, but would not be facing trial were it not for the public scrutiny that forced a proper investigation which police clearly tried to suppress.

It is miserable in extreme that police officers should find themselves under suspicion when they may have been acting diligently and bravely.  I’ve been in the position myself and it still rankles.  My guess is we can’t get round the problem, but could make it more open and get matters over more quickly through procedural changes and a change in attitude on disclosure before trial or likely trial.  The real problem is dated attitudes towards sub-judice and press reporting based on ‘salation’ rather than facts.  This allows the kind of secrecy that leads to conspiracy and potentially, riots.

We might also wonder, in this case, on how easy it was to arrest and imprison a nurse at Stepping Hill on almost no evidence, and the treatment of the officers involved in considerable discourtesy to the Duggans, the issue of misinformation, a man dead and millions and lives lost in ensuing riots.

In circumstances like this, officers involved should not be allowed to collude and should be subject to recorded question and answer as soon as possible.  A long and dark story on police evidence and its place in our system of evidence is involved here.  When officers collude, they produce  versions on the same story, accurate to a degree never found among other witnesses.  This is regarded favourably in court, against all scientific sense which would expect some differences.  Thus we have a court system based on evidence that cannot be accurate and is known to be based on collusion.

All the issues arising in the Duggan case should have been fixed from ‘lessons’ allegedly learned by police and IPCC on many occasions before.  The key lesson is they use learning lessons as an excuse and do little about it.  Another is the issue of police collusion on evidence – the IPCC has been against this since its inception and failed to get change.  Another may be the disdain shown by police and IPCC – an important cultural problem.

I have no faith in the IPCC and most people trying to complain have none.  It’s time they were gone.  We’d be better off with cops under elected control and outside standard operational police work doing the job.