I was sitting in Angry Towers this morning mulling over recent events and it occurred to me that one of the biggest problems we have at the moment is TRUTH.
I most certainly don’t have a problem with truth at all, in fact I frequently urge that the truth be told, as in the ongoing #Crimestats disgrace. The problem with the truth is that it refuses to be buried, it keeps on popping it’s head up shouting “I’m over here” at the most inconvenient times. If you’re really unlucky it will leap up and bite yer bum.
In the past few months and years we have had several instances of the truth getting in the way of a good story.
Crimestats – I won’t bore you too much with that, it’s still current, but even Bernie Hogan-Who admitted that there was a truth to James Patrick’s revelations and that it needed to be heard. It needed to be heard so much that, instead of making James part of the Working Party studying and rectifying the problem, they forced him out of his chosen career. I for one want to hear the TRUE situation with Crime Figures, not a manipulated version to suit the bonus culture which seems to have crept in to some senior officers careers.
Interestingly I refound this:- Tom Winsor (NEVER a Police Officer), who is leading an inquiry into crime statistics, told the HASC committee he was in no doubt it would uncover “some fiddling of the figures”. Lord Stevens (previous Met Commissioner) said “fiddling of figures” has been going on since he joined the police. A slight difference there.
The Lawrence & Morgan enquiries– the truth that at least one corrupt officer may have compromised one or both of these murder investigations making it difficult or impossible to secure a just conviction.
The Blakelock Investigation – His murder was followed by three extraordinary police investigations. The first, headed by Det Chief Supt Graham Melvin, resulted in the prosecution of three youths, and three men. But the tactics were described in court as having more in “common with a witch-hunt of the 17th century than an orthodox attempt to solve a murder” after youths were questioned without legal representatives.
Without forensic evidence or CCTV pictures, it relied on confessions and witness statements. “You ain’t got enough evidence,” one of the accused and the alleged ringleader, Winston Silcott, was alleged to have told the senior officer during an interview. “Those kids will never go to court. You wait and see. No one else will talk to you. You can’t keep me away from them.”
Silcott, Mark Braithwaite and Engin Raghip were convicted of murder but scientific tests later revealed that the notes from the key interview with Mr Silcott – which were not routinely recorded – had been tampered with. Based on the findings, the so-called “Tottenham Three” were cleared in 1991, reigniting feelings of resentment and mistrust between the police and the black community.
A second innovative murder inquiry, headed by Commander Perry Nove from an outside force the following year, offered lifetime immunity to witnesses who were “kickers” in the attack rather than “stabbers” if they cooperated with police. But the Nove inquiry did not lead to anyone being charged over the killing on the advice of a senior barrister. The inquiry ended when Det Chief Supt Melvin and another senior investigator, Det Insp Maxwell Dingle, were put on trial for allegedly tampering with a witness statement. They were cleared by a jury.
Hillsborough – an independent panel laid bare a cover-up which attempted to shift the blame for the tragedy onto its victims. It revealed operational failures as well as the fact that the victims were not exceptionally drunk, as was originally suggested, and around half could have survived.
The list goes on and on, I am not going to document them all here. What screams out loud and clear is this;
There are laws and procedures for dealing with all investigations on every scale. If they are followed, you may not get the result you are after, but the truth will not pop up and bite you in the arse when you are least expecting it. Let truth be your friend, let it work FOR you, not AGAINST you.