Just a quickie – a solicitor incident has made me too angry to write and has in any case diverted my attention.
I didn’t like what Mark Andrews did and can be seen doing on CCTV. What really upsets me is the way what was a minor incident became such a big problem and waste of money. I worked with and through people like Andrews when I was a cop and we all “benefit” from hairy-arsed coppers. Working with him and present at the time I would have stopped what he was doing whether below or above him in rank. It was wrong and, in my view criminal.
With this view one might expect that I support his arrest and conviction. I don’t. That he was convicted and then this was quashed by “Judge Roy Bean” seems to me to demonstrate just how ridiculous and unfair our CJS has become. The arrest and treatment of the woman concerned seems equally absurd.
It’s too easy in cases like this to get into arguments like ‘one rule for us, another for the police’. The truth is we are getting all sorts of stuff out of proportion. Gadget’s ‘argument’ that you have to know about dealing with drunks and so on doesn’t hold either, but is part of a valid, wider set of considerations. What we need in situations like this is a discipline and supervisory system that works and what’s exposed here is that there isn’t one, even when police officers initiate a complaint.
Whilst I don’t condone Andrew’s behaviour I also know the dangers of working with officers who won’t get stuck in. The current system is encouraging them not to. It needs radical reform. The answer, and only in part, is to have civil tribunals we can trust to bring such matters to light and deal with them through discipline under public scrutiny and in ‘real time’ (i.e. ‘quick’).
We should be looking for ways to stop police custody incidents through night courts and other measures to bring speedy resolution. I’m fairly sure I would work with Andrews and would see his treatment as unfair if I did (unless this is his general form). This doesn’t make me feel the woman’s treatment was remotely decent. And how did Andrew’s come to feel he could get away with it in front of other officers? And how did they come to believe they didn’t have a duty to stop him at the time (in my view a general duty of decency towards the woman and towards a colleague ‘off on one’)? I believe what we might call “Gadget immorality” played a role in that.
Without enough detail I’d guess Andrews has been the scapegoat in a system that has lost all sense of proportion.
Whilst entitled to an opinion you have fallen into the trap that senior management and the CPS often do. Making a judgement based on video alone.
Unless you were there and could smell feel, taste and hear all that surrounds the released CCTV the best anyone not there could suggest is that it could be done better.Investigate , yes, convict through the media, not sound and would be forbidden to do a member the public, unfair trial anyone.
No one has ever asked why the other officers present did absolutely nothing to assist or intervene apart from ring the confidential internal complaint line.
I did not ‘like’ what appeared but am experienced enough ( still currently serving and involved in providing use of force professional evidence related to police us eof force, training and application of that training in the operational arena) to know there is always more to it.
Finally having been exonerated by a court and found innocent of any wrongdoing i would agree that the whole thing was a waste of public money. This can be credited to people who are more concerned with force image and others determined to show how right on they are by attempting to convict a copper when the question should be what sort of operating systems and procedures are in place that cause a custody sergeant to have to forcibly move a drunken detainee and not allocate the task to custody staff..
That the incident occurred is regretful but hindsight without consideration is a sure recipe for injudicious decisions on prosecution..
Good luck with your book…………………..
Actually you have mis-read me mate. I broadly agree with you. We need a different way of dealing with this sort of shit. This needs to take into account just what the stress situations are and have a range of appropriate discipline. The current system is screwed and helps neither police nor genuine complaint.
Absolutely spot on – a reasoned and reasonable post, I totally agree. I tried to make a similar point on Gadget’s blog at the time but was kicked out, (by him I assume), as reasonable arguments are not permitted only rants.
Reasonable use of force is what we have always had to work with even with the most obnoxious people. Actions may have to be justified in a court of law and, as somebody who carried for nine years and also worked with a set of teeth on four paws for about 25 years in a supervisory role, I was quite content with the rules then.
What I am not content with is what passes for justice now. Nor am I content with what passes for supervision in the job now as it seems that washing their hands of an incident and pushing it straight over to the CPS for a decision is the way to go. In my view it is cowardly and would do Pontius Pilate proud.
Maybe Andrews lost it and we can sympathise with that but it concerns me greatly that ‘Gadget’ espouses greater force to combat the force being used. It is not using one’s brain nor will it sort the problem as it will just create a vicious spiral. You also make the point that, at times, we need colleagues to step in and say, ‘whoa, take five’. I have done it to others and have also had it done to me much to my gratitude after the event.
There is much I agree with on Gadget’s blog but I think he does the police a disservice with his vociferous rants and the urging for a Para military police service. It would appear that we all agree that the system is wrong and senior management must take a lot of the blame for that.
Forgetting my background, as a member of the public I personally do not wish the great British police service to forget how it was set up nor forget what it was set up to do.
I’m not sure Gadget is a cop. I rarely visit these days, though my partner did buy the book for me. I think proper supervision would prevent such problems and some better sense of ‘their but for the grace of god go I’.
“I’m not sure Gadget is a cop.”
I share your doubts and my suspicions grow with each scan of the blog. I also agree with surreywebmaster’s point that Gadget does the police a disservice. Perhaps then, not by accident.
An interesting thought. I must admit to thinking that he must work with some pretty poor detectives if they have not worked out who he is yet from his posts and demeanor at work.. One to watch, even David Copperfield had to pack it in as things were closing in but at least he offered some ideas and not just rants.
Anyway, peace and goodwill to all police bloggers, hope you have a good Crimble.. : – )
In my old force, Gadget would have been a switchboard operatoror something like a divisional secretary.
I’m appalled that not one of have the moral character to say that the video evidence is sufficient to charge and convict Andrews of criminal assault.
The is NO evidence that JUSTIFIES a public servant slamming someone’s head into the concrete floor so hard that it knocks them unconscious and makes them bleed profusely.
Shame on the lot of you. If it were your wife or daughter, you’d be up in arms if you were half a man.
May you rise to that stature.
You didn’t read the post and comments then…?
He certainly didn’t read the court evidence as reported.