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.