Sgt.Mark Andrews

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.



Tottenham Probably Shows No Faith in IPCC

Cops in London shoot some guy.  It maybe a ‘Katrina Bridge’ incident or not.  Now we have riots and arson all over.  One possible reason for the riots is that our supposedly independent police complaints commission isn’t.  It’s hard to find any decent investigation they have done and senior figures should have been sacked long ago.  Internal suggestions include the bosses being warned off proper investigations and nicking bent cops by the Home Office.  The worthies who get these top jobs all seem much the same and pretty useless.  There is not a single decent investigation report on the IPCC website, yet there is a growing list of worthless self-congratulation and performance management piss that should be the tell-tale sign of hapless management by now – the stuff that comes before Baby P, Fiona Pilkington, killing innocent Brazilians (this seems to have done Dick’s career portfolio good) and the dreadful truth.

The initial protest was peaceful and just an airing of concern.  If the IPCC was any good, one can imagine a few people going to make a complaint.  This bunch of bureaucratic tossers would probably have fobbed them off with meaningless crud on confidentiality and other routine insulting behaviour concerned citizens get.

Cops immediately started their backfire campaign of smearing the poor sod they shot.  This theme is widely reported in journal articles and no one ever seems to be sacked.  The lies told around Stockwell helped no one.  Blair should have been removed from office as soon as he blocked IPCC people at the scene (I must admit I’d balk at untrained bunglers on my crime scene) and now excuses about CCTV not working and so on look dire, as does the drivel on 17 civilian witnesses not hearing shouts of ‘armed police’, especially as this should not have been shouted.  I have no truck with blaming armed people under stress – but Stockwell should have produced sackings in clown Gold and the prosecution of Blair for interfering with a lawful investigation.  IPCC investigations do not seem to lead to satisfaction for victims of poor policing or to uncovering corruption.

On a statistical basis, how many of the 40+ forces across England and Wales don’t have problems when they are put under at bit of pressure like the Met on ‘hacking’?  We were told GMP was lucky to have such a fine specimen as ‘Shagger Todd’ – in fact he now looks like a total clown in comparison with Fahey – so where was the IPCC when needed?  Where are they now on the routine favouritism and chief constables able to bully their way out of gross misconduct and stay in office?  Given not a single force has been able to understand its own performance in order to transfer ‘success’, where are both HMIC and IPCC on a corruption enquiry into senior police gaming?  Two Merseyside working stiffs are supposed to have been sacked (no report on IPCC website though) and lost pensions over gaming – so what should be happening to the senior network actually raking in bonus payments?

The IPCC has failed – we need a new way to renew faith in our policing.  The resources could be found by abolishing ACPO and other nitwit bodies and combining police complaints and HMIC in a quality body.  The new body should be responsive to communities and ordinary people and responsible to the public.  But on this last matter the question is how?  We need new ideas now we have discovered voting is almost useless.

We want our cops nicking the looters, druggies and other thugs rather than see them cashing in on protests and we want cops to be able to tell the truth on crime, not listen to ACPO-types telling us the opposite of what we witness every day.  We simply can’t trust that proper investigations will take place.

Nothing excuses this kind of riot and one wishes officers hurt a speedy recovery, as well as the innocent victims who have lost their homes.  It doesn’t feel good that we have areas as tinderbox as this.  It could be the people involved are beyond any rational appeal – I remember a similar issue over a worthless toerag 30 years ago in Manchester.  That one resolved when a good proportion of the protesters realised chummy had been nicking from them and was not innocent.  One can’t base arguments on the twits with firebombs, but if this can kick off over what looks like a police return of fire, one has to wonder about the wider issue of investigative credibility. The IPCC seem to have been intimate with the dead person’s relatives and this wasn’t enough.

Time To Root Out Corruption in Police Complaints

A jury has delivered a verdict of unlawful killing in the Ian Tomlinson case.  I doff my cap in the direction of the IPCC investigator who put such a good case togther.  Sadly, it was all too late, after skulduggery at the Yard, the bent pathology and duck-egg Hardwick at the IPCC, who initially denied there would be CCTV evidence.

Harwood should be put on trial for GBH with intent, but this piece of scum is the least of the problems.  He should have been sacked within weeks.  We have seen civilians (also scum) convicted for substantially less brutality.

I think it’s now time to make some examples of those involved in the skulduggery, and those officers who failed to stop Harwood, or at least arrest him on the spot.  Deterrence is the major reason for the legal system and it is hards to think we can achieve attitude change when one reads Gadget’s contributors and her/him at their worst.

There is no point allowing the same old votaries to investigate or make changes – this has repeatedly produced cover-up, and for police to evade real investigations when the evidence is available.  Decent cops deserve as much protection as we can give them, and there is a serious problem with false complaints.  I believe there are ways forward in this area and that many doing the real work of policing and investigating police incidents would welcome this.

I do not believe we have the best police in the world, though clearly not the worst.  And the police are not the major problem in our justice system either.  The debate needs to be opened-up.  We get poor service and some grow rich in providing it.

Incidentally, what kind of fuckwit thinks a jury of us lot can’t judge between a bent autopsy done by a discredited guy with a record of ‘helping police’ and decent evidence?  The kind we let become a votary is the kind.

Good luck to the Tomlinson family.  Sue the pants off the Met – I won’t begrudge my contribution.  The tedious work done showing “Harwood’s Progress” through CCTV deserves credit.  It is a matter of public interest to put Harwood on trial in order to get as much of the dirty linen into the public domain as possible.  Sadly, Scumboy was only a problem because we won’t address wider issues.

Cops Dealing With Scum – but the problem is deeper

Sgt.Mark Andrews has cost us (tax payers) at least £25K – that or buffoons in the Wiltshire cops and CPS have.  My reserved view is that I haven’t seen and heard all the evidence and am disgusted our justice system has not worked out it should do this as a matter of course – not for me, but for the concerned citizen in democratic public scrutiny (the cheapest form out external ‘regulation’ – as in the Government publishing details of public servants spending our money on chocolate teapots).  On what’s in the press I regard Andrews as disgusting, guilty and Judge ‘Roy’ Bean as much worse, a threat to what democracy and decency we have left.  I may be wrong, but I want to be able to judge on the evidence, and its absence alarms me.  The fact it isn’t there shows how backward or intentionally corrupt our legal system is.

The big problem here is establishment secrecy and lack of proper mechanisms of direct public scrutiny.  Libertarians left and right and even librarians should be up in arms on this.  Questions remain and they should not.

We allow a great deal of self-regulation in the UK.  There is good reason for this, but it’s been letting us down all over.  When we do bring in external regulation its usually useless, hapless, staffed with cronies or worse the dreadful jobsworth placepeople who become commissionars (no typo, they are Soviet).  We end up with toothless wonders-to-behold like the FSA, IPCC, Ofsted and similar.  Michel Foucault made rather a lot of Bentham’s ‘Panoptican’ – a prison design in which prisoners can be observed at all time – we might say modern production lines follow the design.  This leads to a problem to do with who observes the guards, maybe summed-up in the old chestnut of ‘who polices the police’?

I took some umbrage when asked why scum who had tried to escape justice by trying to hit me with iron bars had ended up with faces like busted galoshes, but understood why I was being asked.  Of course, I arrested some munters who looked like this before meeting me – I had to tangle with a few of these spitting, scratching, variously armed she-devils – all of whom made Andrew’s victim look like a de-clawed pussycat stoned on weed.  It would have been the very experience of dealing with drunks and so on that  would have made me compassionate towards her and her plight.  If this is the worst modern cops face, as Andrews seems to have sworn on oath, then Gadget et al must be fictionalising their encounters to the extreme (they aren’t, so why did Roy Bean swallow the line?).  One might wonder how a smaller man like me ever coped, yet I’m sure I could have led Andrew’s victim to the cells and left her in one piece.  I’m by no means sure my charge office sergeants would have let me use the cells, and we usually didn’t in cases that looked like this.  We might well have phoned the partner, tried to fix things up and got them home (after a relevant charge or process report).  Sure, it went wrong sometimes, but we were peace officers who expected the odd call back (this looks like it has origins in a domestic).

We expected to get a lot of flak and abuse from people in distress.  What this Andrews’ case reminds me of is those jerks who used to advise the drawing of truncheons before entering ‘niggers’ homes’ to give them a few smacks to let them know ‘who was who’ before finding out what had happened.  This was usually ‘bravado’, but it’s the attitude I’m reminded of, and Roy Bean seems to have it too.

The deeper problem is lack of public scrutiny – it’s this that Sino-Soviet and junta regimes always prevent.  This is where we have slipped, though having worked in countries with such regimes, I know we haven’t hit their bottom.

I’m only guessing, but think it likely the woman drove a short distance after a row with her partner and was trying to sleep it off.  She probably drove with too much alcohol in her.  She was not charged – and this itself shows incompetence if the first bit is true.  Roy Bean seems to have accepted a lot on her drunken state, with no questions as to why she wasn’t charged, and none of himself in accepting ‘evidence’ which goes against the charge sheet on the night.

We can only guess on the costs, but if Andrews’ side was £25K we can probably double that.  All from finding one half of a domestic sleeping in a car?  That’s almost a couple of the coppers we really need, in a time of cuts.

What Wiltshire need to do is to open up this case to full public scrutiny.  This should really be happening across the board with miscarriages of justice and the bungling that never leaves our press and about which the press rarely have the fortitude to pursue .  On CCTV currently available, Andrews (now innocent by Bean) is as guilty as sin against my standards of decency.  In Nico Bento, the CCTV that should, on looking at it, have cleared him was the very thing that convicted him of a murder that did not happen.  Forensic scientists are not only lying in court, but must be known to be doing so by court officers who should disclose their suspicions, but don’t – when a judge writes of his suspicions on police evidence, we end up with the case going in front of Roy Bean, who suddenly finds a smell of roses coming up from the pit, where another judge, closer to the day-to-day found the odour of corruption.

I’ve regularly had my results turned over by other scientists and I’ve never got used to liking it.  Sometimes, I’ve known my peers didn’t know what they were talking about, and on other occasions have been exposed like a raw prawn.  Einstein‘s Relativity was still being dismissed as ‘Jewish science’ by some in the 1950s, but he would have been the last to smear current attempts at a real advance.  Even science can take decades to accept the wet fish that has been slapping it in the face.

Cops get a lot of abuse from people we might cast as the ‘evil poor’.  The problem is not that they should not expose this, it’s that they should not treat everyone who does not somehow out-ranks them through the almost unmitigated stereotyping some of them use, something that extends to them treating decent people very badly – even if that person is lapse through booze of stress.  Many cops still rise above this, but on the ‘facts’ of the Andrews and other cases as we are allowed to see them, there are bent pathologists and judges they can turn to for cover-up, and an apparent interest in the establishment in the cover-up and the threat we must now all feel of being victims of the rotten core.  This may be what the establishment intends, fearing discontent to come.  This is not proper, civilised behaviour in a system that allows the occasional weakness.

In more recent life, I have had to back down from violent threats from a woman much worse than the victim in the Andrew’s case, who is probably just getting early release from arson and GHB convictions.  I did not dare defend myself or my family.  There was much more provocation and threat than Andrew’s even made up.  Do cops now have greater ‘powers’ to use violence than civilians at lower levels of threat?  Cops seem only concerned with themselves and their plight, a very selfish and dangerous attitude bloated out all over.  The issues of having to deal with ‘Swamps’ is one I understand and did.  Dealing with situations full of lies and emotion I understand.  I even understand wanting to kill a variety of scum and have used a lot of legitimate violence, some of the situations still traumatising me from time to time, sometimes to temporary inaction and complete disjuncture from the world around me.  I have never treated anyone remotely as badly as I feel Andrews did in the available CCTV.  I am horrified any judge would find this remotely acceptable.  I’m amenable to evidence that would change my mind – so where is it?  And why would a judge think this acceptable, unless perverted by Sweeny myths?

Where, incidentally, is the evidence of cops being badly done to – the real stuff, not fairy stories told amongst those wearing Washerwoman Gadget’s wrist-bangles?  And what is ‘evidence’ in this sense when one judge can choose to see it so differently than another?  We need an enquiry in public.  Sacking the IPCC hierarchy overnight might just pay for it.  Instead of local police chiefs (promised pie in the sky anyway), we could start with genuine public representation there, and civilian decisions on what should be investigated and when.  In Ghost Squad* – -, a cop much defiled by fellow officers, yet the best amongst them, finally takes his belt off and flogs some scum floozie and is sacked.  He could have been sent for re-education.  I’d be happy if Andrews  got that, but how many more need to go, judging on idiot support for his actions?

* Ghost Squad is available free at Lovefilm.  ‘Amy’ is very pretty and I’m still a bit of a sucker for that kind of thing away from current affairs programmes where I regard such pouting as vile sexist and ableist behaviour.  Half the plot of episode three is:

Sergeant Ralph Allen (Brendan Coyle) is an old-fashioned, no-nonsense copper, or a ‘dinosaur’ according to McKay (Emma Fielding). She suspects he is bringing the force into disrepute and needs removing. Amy’s task is clear – get close to him, prove that he’s abusing his position and get him kicked out. An undercover Amy (Elaine Cassidy) pairs up with Ralph to follow up the disappearance of tearaway Danielle Parker, a teenage member of a notorious girl gang that runs amok on the local estate. Ralph doesn’t seem too bothered about the missing teenager, but when his friend Eddy (Jamie Cymbal) gets viciously attacked by Danielle’s crew, Ralph becomes determined to bring the gang to justice. Amy soon finds that she likes Ralph; despite his gruff appearance, he is dedicated to his job and intent on making a difference for the community he serves.

There’s a great comment by Amy on Ralph’s demise – ‘why does he have to go when the 60% jobsworths get to stay’ (more or less).  The actual IPCC turned out to be a damp squib, and internal accounts there say they have been warned off investigations that discredit cops.  Some even say police executions may have been covered-up.  No change, apparently after the demise of Nulabour.  On ‘Swamps’ it is not that unusual to find police corruption – look up Colin Gunn and the Bestway Estate, where two Plods got caught.  That investigation took four years, was conducted in secrecy and on memory by a detective superintendent.

I’d lead a ‘birch squad’ on my own Everglades (this happened on one estate 40 years ago because cops were so useless – I was one of the cops).  We’d have less to fear on civil rights from the formation of such squads, than from this Andrews-Judge Roy Bean farce.  Note the absence of LIBERTY and such on these cases.

Sgt. Mark Andrews Was A Disgrace ON CCTV -what’s the truth?

It’s time we were dealing with police accountability in an open public forum with evidence made properly available.  Wiltshire (Ruralshire if we are to believe an old slip of blog) police arrested a woman asleep in her car for refusing a breath test.  She’s pretty clearly assaulted in their custody and there was enough evidence to convince magistrates.  CCTV from the custody suite shows her being manhandled by Andrews.  I’d want to see the real thing, but on the U-tube stuff he starts pulling her along, then seems to smack her in the face, she falls and he drags her along the floor, at some point getting back to her feet, before being pushed hard to the floor in the cell.  In a long video you can see the cell floor is clean before this and the woman not moving on the floor for a couple of minutes.  She gets up and their is blood where her face was lying and then she’s bleeding all over.  No charges are eventually brought against the woman.  She looks like what I would have called a fairly harmless drunk, who might have annoyed me, but whom I would have treated with respect as far as I could.

From what I’ve seen her treatment was appalling, and cops present should have tried harder than they did to stop what she got.  Presumably, magistrates saw and heard the evidence and convicted – cops and CPS clearly thought there was a case to answer.  The sentence was more or less the maximum magistrates can deliver.  I think they were probably right, but I’d want the evidence in full, and we should remember any number of bastards treat their women and kids worse than this and cops/CPS can’t even get them to court, and derisory sentences are handed out when they do.  Evidence against Andrews included police evidence.

Judge Bean overturned the conviction so Andrews is an innocent man in law.

This case and responses to it on Ghastly Gadget and the like should lead to new thinking on police accountability and wider issues in our legal system.  I doubt Gadget is a cop, though he or she must at least be close to the job.  I hardly meet anyone, including a few senior officers who now think basic policing is being done right, or that we have proper control of it.  Gadget has stated Andrews is due and apology – if he is a cop, I think this is enough for him to have to leave.  He must be passing such attitudes on to fellow officers, and this is intolerable, very much rotten orchard.  What goes on on his blog, apart from wrist bangle sales, won’t do.  It’s evidence, at least to start with, of serious attitude and culture problems.  The issues are much wider than this, not least where the IPCC have been and why they weren’t called to start an investigation with the woman bleeding, and officers with as little time as possible to collude or destroy evidence.

If Andrews is genuinely innocent, even bigger questions need to be asked – surely none of us are safe from wrongful conviction if this is the case, and magistrates can’t be trusted at all.

I’d like our cops to be tougher, better protected and have more power on the beat.  What they seem to be doing reeks of incompetence and lack of grace.  The case also reeks of the need to get legal help most of us can’t afford, if in trouble.  Andrews was banged-up before his lawyers came along, which only suggests scrote who plead not guilty and go to Crown Court aren’t as stupid as their low IQs suggest.

Andrews claimed the woman was the worst prisoner he’d come across.  Against my experience, he needs to get out more.  I dealt with much worse, and suspect this was typical of police CPS attacks on credibility, which begin to look like scrote ploys in making counter allegations against those they have just committed crimes against.  One wonders what use CCTV can ever be against criminals on the basis of what is publicly available so far in this case.

If Judge Bean thinks the public accept this sort of thing, he’s not with it.  He should be subject to scrutiny in public like others in this case.  It increasingly seems our laws and legal system only work marginally.