As you all know PC James Patrick of the Metropolitan Police has been facing Disciplinary Proceedings for approx 18 months (forgive me on the exact length of time, but it’s about that). Initially he was told that he was facing a charge of Gross Misconduct and as such faced losing his job if found guilty. This charge, to the best of my knowledge and belief, related to the publication and sale of his book, The Rest is Silence and the associated, alleged, ‘Business Interest’ Once more, please forgive me if this is less than 100% correct, but that is my understanding.
Then the evidence was reviewed (I believe) by an outside Force and AFTER that review the charge was reduced to one of ‘simple’ Misconduct, the consequences of which are slightly less dire, but still have unwelcome and complex ramifications.
I’m a simple soul at heart, easily pleased, I live in a world of black and white (can I still say that?). I don’t do grey. So why has it taken so very long to proceed with this case? In my world it is not complex. Was there an undisclosed and unauthorised Business Interest? A lot has happened to James since, and a lot has been said since, but if you strip it back to its barest bones did the publication and sale of James’ book constitute any kind of Disciplinary Offence? How on earth has it been allowed to drag on so long? I have known complex fraud cases come to Court and be dealt with more efficiently than this, and all the time James has got the potential consequences of this action hanging over his head, and that of his loyal family. That is the (high) personal cost that James and his family are continuing to pay every day.
What about the cost to the Public Purse? How much has this protracted enquiry cost the London Council Tax Payer? So, I thought I’d ask.
I submitted the following request to the MPS;
Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),
It has been well reported in the media that one of your officers,
PC James Patrick, has been the subject of Disciplinary Proceedings
concerning an alleged offence of Gross Misconduct.
Enquiries by MPS Directorate of Professional Standards have been
ongoing for quite some time.
Today I read that these proceedings have been ‘downgraded’ to
Could you please tell me the total cost of this investigation to
I specifically do not require any personal information, or complex
breakdowns of cost, just one simple total amount please.
Today, I received their response, and to say that I was astounded is a mere understatement, my flabber has seldom been so ghasted. Gird your loins, here it is in its entirety;
Following receipt of your request, I have conducted searches to locate
information relevant to your request. These searches failed to locate
information of the description specified by your request
Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) investigations are not
routinely costed by the MPS. The investigation into PC James Patrick has
accordingly, not been attributed a cost. Furthermore, should a member of
staff endeavour to calculate the cost of this investigation, there is
insufficient information held by the MPS to undertake this calculation.
For example, police officers are required, each day, to complete a duty
state. The duty state records the activities performed by a police
officer. This record does not contain sufficient detail to allow the time
spent by a police officer on a particular investigation to be calculated.
This is largely because police officers tend to be involved in more than
one investigation at any given time and the duty state does not record
each activity performed by an officer and attribute this activity to a
particular investigation. Moreover, it should also be noted that no record
of duties exists for members of police staff. Other costs connected to an
investigation such as the equipment and information technology used in an
investigation and other tangible resources are also not attributed to a
particular investigation by the MPS, which makes calculating the cost of
this investigation impractical.
Having considered your request, I have found that the requested
information cannot be provided as it is not held by the MPS.
So there you have it, they don’t bloody know.
When I last worked in the MPS every enquiry had a Resource Code that it was costed against. I had to show on my Duty State every separate enquiry that I had been involved in during the day and the number of hours for which. Why? Nobody seems to take any notice. Or is it simply that this enquiry has got so disproportionately expensive that the MPS are embarrassed by its cost.
I am seriously considering appealing this decision, comments on a postcard please.