The IPCC is finally calling for a change in the law to enable families and public to get timely information and explanations when things go wrong in police investigations and arrests. Bankers lobby for legal changes so they can’t be done for fraud, but we have a very dubious record in bringing our law up to modern speed and accountability. The problems are deep-rooted and bureaucratic. Whilst one understands the need to protect “wire-tap” and CHIS sources, police officers from unfair accusation and the rest, we get nearly everything wrong. Much of this is due to our dated notions of sub judice, but there is also a ‘Keystone’ element.
Sat behind a screen to protect her identity in court, in a case involving very nasty, murdering drug-dealers, a friend found her name and address being read out by the usher. A few days ago a man already disabled and living in a safe-house was gunned down. While we were ‘watching’ (hearing would be accurate) a gun battle in France on our increasingly dull rolling news, a Russian-Moldovan banker was being gunned down unnoticed in Canary Wharf. On shooting an innocent Brazilian lad, cops deny access to the very people who should be in investigating, tell us all the CCTV evidence is fucked, and come up with a yarn that reveals idiot Gold Command holding one briefing after another instead of getting the right people to the right place, some Army guy having a piss at a vital moment, and a killing that should have been as quiet as possible if a suicide bomber was suspected, and yet had loud shouts of ‘stop armed police’ none of 17 civilian witnesses heard and which would only have primed a real bomber to press his button. The fiasco resembles a previous IRA bomber being followed in London, and recent police shootings resemble ones in the past. The analysis is too weak for any learning and always aimed at the poor sods who do the shooting – frankly they are just mugs in a system that’s not working, whether dying in training, killing innocents or popping off at more dubious characters.
The law does need changing, but the deeper problems concern the kind of bureaucrats we are promoting and placing in supposedly independent roles that clearly are not. This starts at the top and with politicians who have the brass balls to sell dinners at Number Ten and take vastly overpaid non-jobs after service like Blair and many others. DSK probably sums up how crap their morality is. I doubt our system can produce any senior management or politicians capable of working in the public interest. We may as well proceed by lot than through our recruitment and selection and election processes.
In the States, one in four police shootings involves an unarmed opponent. This has much more to do with idiot behaviour from the anti-social than gung-ho police shooters, even under their ‘stand your ground’ legislation that seems to allow self-appointed vigilantes to shoot unarmed people who may have punched them.
Today we learn SOCA produced a report 4 years ago on severe corruption involving corrupt police officers and private investigators and nothing much seems to have been done even about this. Fear not, Keith Vaz is on the job as a pillar of integrity (all of a sudden), In the finance world the same problems that caused 2008 are still unresolved and actually being made worse by more deregulation. The problem we have is now an almost total lack of honesty and disclosure to public scrutiny, from police practice to glib shite from politicians telling us the private sector cavalry is coming.