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.

 

The Country Needs New Management

We have repeatedly been told that educational standards have been rising in this country.  Anyone daring to contradict this has been accused of deriding the hard work of pupils “achieving”  5 GCSEs and the ever increasing number of A levels. The usual array of statistics was in place to “prove” the “improvement” in standards. Those familiar with police recorded statistics and the odd BCS material that show consistent lowering of certain aspects of crime, year on year, will note the similarities.

Management has been held to be one of the UK’s failings ever since I can remember.  Various reports came up with the obvious and stupid conclusion that we needed business schools.  We have over 50 now, teaching utter crap in the main.  These were boot polishing schools for piss poor bureaucrats long before we copied the Americans.

The Mail publishes some tired crap from employers that I’ve seen all my career too.  Schools and universities don’t produce the candidates they need.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2026858/Bosses-condemn-useless-degrees-leave-graduates-lacking-basic-skills.html

This is usually not put down to thew young people themselves, but the educators.  I don’t agree.  The fault lies in the kids in part, in the governments that have all lied to us and the collapse of standards amongst educators and the creeps who manage in education.

The problem starts in thinking we can teach anything complicated to most people.  Most people can’t even learn basic science, and maths at GCSE is trivial.  School leavers are usually utterly unsuited to university education and unable to learn independently – they have been schooled into this incompetence.

We need to change our attitudes towards education.  It isn’t good for everyone and is a lot to do with child minding at Primary levels – so much so some kids cannot make the transfer even to Secondary and yet remain in ‘school’ until 18 in FE colleges and do a further three useless years at university before becoming secretaries who can’t spell.

The essential problem is management getting into everything and pretending a good job is being done as standards drop to the floor.  I can’t think of a single industry we have ‘saved’, ‘created’ and all the rest through management.  There’s more evidence we “managed” the conditions that created the riots than that we are properly managing the country, education or crime.

We might define management as something that is ‘against democracy’ – OK in the individual firm but bad when we reach the point where we can’t democratically direct policy because the rich will run away with ‘their’ money.

IPCC ‘Investigate’ A Bare Cupboard

Police and court records appear to be destroyed as a matter of routine in a fairly short space of time.  A case in Manchester saw Mr Zengeya convicted in 2001.  He seemed to have used stolen credit cards to pay for a shipment, presumably over the phone.  He claimed ‘some other guy did it’ and named him.  This was to settle a debt between them.  He named the other guy, who was found and arrested – but not charged and later appeared as a prosecution witness.

Mr Zengeya went through a few appeals with no luck and then to the CCRC.  They sent the matter to appeal and the conviction was quashed in 2009.   Mr Zengeya got 9 months, which he presumably served.  The interesting thing is that the Appeal Court, notoriously difficult to convince of anything, found enough evidence to conclude there was not a fair trial.  This is very strange in view of the IPCC ‘investigation’ into a complaint about the cop who dealt with the case, now Supt. Hassall.  They seem only to have scraps to have a go at as all the main evidence of court records and the like and, of course, the GMP file, have been destroyed.

So what did the CCRC and the Court of Appeal work on then?  And why was vital evidence destroyed when an appeal was in progress – or was it all destroyed after the appeal in case a complaint followed?

The appeal was granted on the basis of disclosure rules.  It’s impossible from the poor IPCC report to make out if they contacted the court for the evidence presented to them, only to note the cupboard was empty where they looked and they avoid saying when it was emptied.  You might think a case in which an innocent man was found guilty (or the opposite) would be sealed in some way so we could find out what really happened and prevent the same thing happening again.  Or that an ‘independent’ commissioner would be asking very open questions as to why evidence vital to this purpose can be routinely destroyed.  No ‘learning lessons’ from this one then  - unless the system has already learned burning the books is the lesson to learn!  The case is equally appalling if a guilty man can rely on the evidence going up in smoke and then appeal.  Dismal.  All we can say here is at least one guilty man walked free.  The Guardian reported the following:

A commission report found that the police officer investigating the case, Steve Hassall, then a detective sergeant and now a detective superintendent for Greater Manchester police (GMP), failed to disclose certain important pieces of evidence, relating to Usman, which should have been put before the jury.

The commission found the failure to give full and proper disclosure of material relating to the credibility of the key prosecution witness rendered the conviction unsafe.

“Hassall’s witness statement was clearly misleading in that he said Usman was interviewed in relation to ‘unconnected offences of obtaining services by deception’ whereas the records of his police interviews clearly showed that he was interviewed as a suspect and also, as regards items found in his house, as a potential fraudster,” the commission’s report said.

If the CCRC was able to conclude this, what standard of evidence is it using in comparison with the IPCC who couldn’t find anything?  The CCRC mention being able to compare the officer’s statement and police records, yet this was something the IPCC could not do.

Another feature of this is that only the poor cop is subject to investigation – why not the lawyers and judge?

As part of the CCRC investigation both the defence and prosecution barrister
argued they did not believe they had been aware of Mr A's arrest prior to the
start of the trial. Both opined that Supt Hassall's statement to the court was
"misleading" in that it didn't specifically state that Mr A had been arrested for
the specific offence that Mr Zengeya was charged with. In particular the use of
the term "unconnected offences" was believed to be most misleading.
However Mr Zengeya's defence barrister also opined to the IPCC
investigators that it did appear the arrest of Mr A had been disclosed during
evidence and therefore the allegedly misleading statement could not have
undermined the case.

On the basis of the above from the IPCC report I wonder what use these lawyers and the trial judge are.  The question seems to be whether Mr.Z did it, Mr. U did it or whether they acted together.  We need to know why the system was so piss poor this was not thrashed out in court at the time.  All that we can be sure of is that documents from which lessons could be learned are being destroyed.  And Mr. Z’s defence lawyer was no good.

The Appeal Court judgement is not available.  Shouldn’t the CCRC do something to stop records being ‘routinely’ destroyed like this?

Another Mad Tale of Police Brutality

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jun/03/police-not-guilty-babar-ahmad

This is the case involving terrorist suspect Babar Ahmad, arrested in 2003 and still in custody.  The Grauniad doesn’t mention whether there is any substance to the arrest.  There’s a reasonable account at Wikipedia -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babar_Ahmad

Hang on – we’re in the middle of 2011 and the guy is still in prison, convicted of nothing?  WTF!  Isn’t this the very kind of legal behaviour we despise?

I don’t know the guy.  Even in the Wiki story, he would have been a better target than a convenient Brazilian, but there isn’t much I can find out.  There some stuff about 5th Fleet movements and vulnerability to RPG attacks – which isn’t far from Neddy Seagoon buying an insurance policy on the English Channel and trying to set it on fire.  You come across so many Jihadis in our universities (often on complaint from female students) it’s hard to know what kind of other threat they pose.  Four Lions  is about right.  I was close to one who killed twice, but couldn’t get authorities to take me seriously until after the murders.  I’ve taught them abroad too and generally been treated well (one punch to an ear, one knife taken off idiot in someone else’s class).  They have more of a case to answer in a number of ways we ignore than most think.

The first is there is justification for action against oppression.  The second is there is no justification for their dire use of religion (which their academics confirm).  The third is there is no justification for their dismal attitudes towards and ‘use’ of women, or our avoidance of this.  The fourth is our lack of recognition of how lovely and humble the many decent people in their cultures are.  The fifth is our responsibility for the whole mess.

 

We don’t have much of a record of catching the real beasts of terrorism until after the tragedy.  Ahmad could be an absolute bastard – but it’s clear we can’t be told or he isn’t – our principles are that he should thus be free.

The response to his claims of being subject to very unnecessary force (70-odd injuries) is predictably farcical along standard lines.  Denial, heroism by an officer proclaimed after internal non-enquiry, more denial, then a pay out of £60K and finally a trial after an investigation so long after-the-fact as to be absurd.

At the trial the usual ruse of keeping allegations and facts from the jury shames the system.  The  Grauniad reports:

‘The conclusion of the case means it is possible to report that two of the officers found not guilty – Jones and James-Bowen – had 40 separate allegations of assault against them between 1993 and 2007, the majority involving black or Asian men. The allegations, which came to light during the civil proceedings, had been found to be unsubstantiated following inquiries. In a separate case Jones was found not guilty of racially assaulting two teenage boys who had accused him of taking them into the back of a police van and shouting abuse about their ethnic backgrounds in front of his colleagues’.

I have no truck with prejudice, including the prejudice of anti-racism.  I did not like the grim, squalid black people and Asians I tended to work amongst as a cop – scum to a man locked up.  I’d say the same of my own ‘ethnicity’.  I don’t even think my own culture is the best I’ve lived in, though it’s much better than some.

Our culture is prejudiced and so are our cops.  Big deal – get over it.  Research done on this is so feeble we should ignore it.  The race card needs to go.  There are reasons to suspect it’s working in reverse.  Are we really saying that some religious profanities prior to a couple of trigger finger movements that killed Osama matter?

Our cops have to be allowed to go in hard and fast when needed.  If I was a victim of such noble cause I wouldn’t complain if they said sorry, even if in the form of being offered a bottle of scotch by a black officer saying, ‘Here, Honkie, this’ll ease the pain’.  These issues are blinds.

Remember ‘justice delayed is justice denied’?  ‘Rather the guilty man walk free than one innocent man go to jail’?

What this case demonstrates is that our legal system is in a mess.  The key issue is that of timely investigation by independent people.  This clearly did not happen.  We didn’t convict on claims of brutality against the Irish either – one wonders what might have been had the juries known they were innocent.

In this case allegations and facts concerning the police officers were hidden, but not the’ identity’ of the ‘terrorist’.  What these officers did or didn’t do hardly matters in comparison with the system’s failings.  If the allegations are as bullshit as any made against me or other cops I worked with, I wish them well.  I’m much happier to see them in the job than those who failed to deal with this properly at the proper time.  These people should be facing discipline now, not the ‘famous four’.  They too have already been denied either just desserts or justice and should be left alone.

 

Tomlinson Enquiry Failing The Need

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/may/09/ian-tomlinson-death - the Grauniad.

Ian Tomlinson was killed two years ago because police officers failed to protect a vulnerable man.  They prevented him making his way home, and one of them clearly assaulted him in front of other officers.  The story is now ghastly, and pretty much all of our criminal justice system is tarnished.  Claims that there is no evidence of this, that and the other really only substantiate that no timely investigation was possible, and that only ‘chance’ video evidence has helped bring the grubby story to any light at all.

One can see that police have to be as free as we can make them from malevolent complaint, but here we have all the signs of various bureaucracies operating only to make no one responsible.  Whilst money is being consumed in this manner, we can only fear things can only get worse.

Harwood will almost certainly escape proper prosecution because a trial would bring others and the system itself under belated scrutiny.  And it is in these areas that the great matters of public concern lie.

The Rape Allegations Against Assange

A reasonably full account of the allegations of “rape” against Assange is at http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/17/julian-assange-sweden

The complaints were made very late in the day and I would be unwilling to convict anyone of the basis of what is in the newspaper.  I reminded of much said on Ambush Predator over the last year.  False complaints are a massive problem throughout our legal systems, not least for genuine victims and those subject to false complaints.  Frankly, I don’t find myself attracted to relationships that need a condom, but many are less particular then me.  I’m afraid I can’t suffer such humiliations as a partner sleeping her way through most of the process either.

Maybe there is actual evidence of a forensic nature, but the newspaper stuff leaves me feeling threatened, not about sexual encounters, but other ways one can be set up.  I’ve seen quite a lot of this in our court systems, which cope with it badly.  Has the media coverage already made it impossible to give Assange a fair trial, as in previous claims of trial by media?

I begin to suspect on hearing he seems to have ripped the same set of clothes off one woman twice and yet stayed at her flat for another week.  Given what we can’t get to court, I don’t think any CJS should be into this one.  Maybe there are bags of ripped clothes and reasons these women couldn’t manage to say ‘fuck off you pervert’ and get him to book into a hotel?  I somehow doubt it.