Image Or Loyalty? Who Would Be A Whistleblower?

Who Would be a Whistleblower?  Not many, it takes a particular type of person.

Who would be a Whistleblower in the Met?  Not very many at all, and after the recent shenanigans I would be entirely surprised if anybody at all within the Met thought it it was worth the risk and aggravation.

After James Patrick’s stirling efforts in exposing the sham that is called Crime Statistics (amongst other things) the end result was that he felt that he had no other alternatives, so he resigned.  Baroness Jenny Jones asked Boris and The Met questions about their Whitsleblowing policies, all of which were met with wishy washy (if any) answers.  Requests to the Met under the Freedom of Information Act were either refused or responded to with confusing and contradictory answers.

Then Jenny Jones asked Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey if he could provide ONE single example of a Whistleblower in the Met feeling that it had been a ‘positive experience’.  Not one single person who exposed wrongdoing  does not feel their career was negatively impacted or that they were treated fairly despite 1,121 reports being made through its internal reporting system ‘Rightline’ in the last four years.  NOT ONE out of over 1,100 cases.

That is a damning indictment of the Met and its Management.

The Metropolitan Police is quite clearly more concerned about its image than it is with being loyal to its officers and staff, particularly those 1,121 people who put their heads above the parapet.

Craig Mackey, told the Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee that rewarding whistleblowers “is to effectively inculcate them and to provide some support around them in terms of the process around it.”  Well that all sounds a bit pink and fluffy to me.  Thick old me didn’t have a clue what ‘inculcate’ meant so I went away and looked it up.  The Oxford Dictionary defines it thus ;”Instil (an idea, attitude, or habit) by persistent instruction:“, so there you have it.

So, I ask you again, “Who would want to be a Whistleblower in the Met?”

Come to think of it, can anyone provide me with a single example where anyone in the Police Service ANYWHERE has had a ‘positive experience’ whistleblowing?

Can anyone provide me with a single experience of anybody in the Public Sector (NHS, Local Govt etc etc) that has had a ‘positive experience?

I’m here all week to take our replies, I thank you.

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PLEASE FORM AN ORDERLY QUEUE

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The Balance Of Probabilities

Balance of probabilities is the standard of proof required in all civil cases (and Disciplinary Hearings). It basically means that to win you need to convince the judge/Chairperson that your case is 51% likely to be true. i.e. your story only has to be slightly more plausible than the other side’s story.

This can be contrasted with a criminal case where the standard is beyond reasonable doubt, which is very near to 100% certainty before the defendant can be found guilty.

What the hell is he blathering on about? I hear you ask.

Well he’s blathering on about Ex PC James Patrick’s series of ‘Cathartic Blogs’.  James has had a bit of ‘Unfinished Business’ and he’s now taken the opportunity to dump all that baggage, free himself from the shackles, and hopefully move on, rebuilding the lives of himself and his family.

But allow me to be mischievous for a minute and take a peek at James’ blogs;

The first one was

Withholding Evidence From Parliament

In this blog James alleges that a Senior Police Officer Suppressed Evidence On Crime Figures
The Commander of the Directorate of Professional Standards refused permission to present Parliament with evidence of the manipulation of police statistics.  Commander Gibson apparently refused James’ request to appear before the Home Affairs Select Committee to provide evidence of ‘number fudging’.  Why was that do you think?

Next we have

Use of Temperature in Interviews

in which James relates how  Met Police Using Degrading Interview Techniques:
The Directorate of Professional Standards are using high temperatures and dishonesty to pressurise police officers under investigation.

“In an interview room on the 21st floor, adjacent to the entrance of the male changing rooms, me and my Federation Representative found ourselves in a box room, where the temperature exceeded 28 degrees.”  “The interviewing officers, a Constable and Sergeant from the Directorate of Professional Standards told me that there was a “heating fault which had been reported”, ”  There is a witness to this, the Federation Representative.

“Later in the year, a family member made a Freedom of Information Act request to the Met police, asking what heating faults had been reported and resolved in that room, a month either side of my interview. The Met responded, after an internal review – first having missed the statutory deadline for reply – stating that no heating faults had been reported or recorded during the entire period. This was confirmed a second time, to my legal representatives, in December 2013.”

I have read the relevant Freedom of Information request, and the Met’s response.  James’ account is accurate, they recorded no heating fault despite the assurances of the DPS officers conducting the interview.

#3 goes like this

Deliberately Witheld Disclosure

Police Whistleblower Accused Of Fraud After Discovering Witheld Documents:

Written records of management meetings, which the Met denied had taken place, were discovered and spurious accusations of dishonesty were made by officers involved after the alarm was raised.  The events contained within this blog just left me speechless, a rare occurrence I can assure you.  Did James offer to repay the money at the first opportunity having been asked so to do. Yes!!  Did he commit any wilful, dishonest act in order to bring about this over-payment?  Seemingly not.

#4

‘Pissing Off’ Superiors

Police Officer Put ‘Noses Out Of Joint’ By Exposing Sham Crime Figures:
Crime statistics whistleblower went to Parliament after a meeting in Scotland Yard in which he was told that he risked ‘pissing off’ superiors by continuing to report his concerns about the recording of sexual offences. So James risked pissing off ‘superiors’ by exposing the truth? How does that work then? Surely these so-called ‘superiors’ should be big enough and ugly enough to survive the TRUTH? Wouldn’t you think?

#5

Procurement Fraud

 Metropolitan Police Covered Up Smartwater Procurement Fraud:
Scotland Yard breached its own procurement procedures yet found itself innocent, while senior officers delivered briefings saying they were covering up potential offences by the force.  With James’ consent I have discussed this with a retired Auditor of some note. He/She more or less agrees with James’ take on the situation and points out that at the very least there is a clear Conflict of Interests, and that it is not the first time that the Met has had similar issues.

Finally;

Conflict and Intimidation

Met Police Used Scare Tactics Against Whistleblower And Family:
After he had given evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee about the manipulation of police crime figures, uniformed officers were sent to the family home to ‘rattle their cages’.  Having lodged grievances against one or more members of the DPS staff, James received this text one day “Can you let me know whether you are both ok and that you have received the email I sent you? James R and I have both tried to call you but got no reply. Simon Laurence has asked me to set up a welfare check to your home address if I don’t hear from you shortly”.

  “The Met requested that Essex officers attended my home, stating that they had tried to contact me several times, and were concerned about my welfare as there had been ‘developments’ in my working arrangements which may ‘have caused him some distress’. Uniformed officers, in a marked police vehicle, attended my home at quarter to nine in the evening, while my wife and I were watching television and our children were asleep upstairs”.

My reaction to this is short and blunt.  Please fill the Comments section below with any other instances where an officer facing Disciplinary Proceedings has been ‘fortunate’ enough to receive a Welfare Visit at his Home Address from a neighbouring Force at 9 o’clock in the evening?  Plenty of space available, fill your boots.

So, on the Balance of Probabilities, have the Met been Bang Out Of Order?  Have they pursued a Disciplinary matter diligently, or have they tried to use their power and might to wield the sledgehammer that would crack the walnut?  Don’t forget, Balance of Probabilities, not Beyond A reasonable Doubt.

I find the case proved and order that the Met pays ex PC James Patrick substantial financial compensation.

Court adjourned.

This One’s For Regie

So we’ve had James Patrick, Mental Health Cop, The Real (or Fake) British Cop, Sgt Gary Watts and now Newquay Sarge.

Newquay Sarge

Newquay Sarge

What the hell has he done wrong?

He has been disciplined by his Force, Devon and Cornwall, and labelled ‘incompetent’

‘Sarge’ has more than 4,500 followers on Twitter—including councillors, locals, and many journalists.

He also writes a popular blog on policing in the resort. Yet his comments barely registered until somebody in his police force took offence and insisted on starting an investigation.  Why, oh why, would somebody do that.
Here’s an open invitation to you all:-
  • Can you give me one example of an ‘Inappropriate Tweet’ by the Sarge?
  • Can you give me one example of a ‘Drunken tweet’ by the Sarge?
  • Can you give me one example of a Tweet by the Sarge that was ill-conceived?
  • Can you give me one example of an unprofessional Tweet?
  • Can you give me one example of Sarge failing to engage with his ‘audience’?
  • Finally, can you give me one reason why ANYBODY would want to report Sarge to Professional Standards and kick off a Disciplinary?

Thought not.

In his blog he says “It has not been an easy journey,  I have made mistakes, the force have made mistakes. But we are constantly learning how to use this medium,  it is scary for many of our senior officers. They do not control this medium, and in many cases have no understanding of it. That breeds suspicion,  and with suspicion comes resistance.”……..”There has not been one complaint raised by any member of the public, every complaint was from within the organisation.”

Doesn’t that just say it all?

Sarge said his most recent discipline investigation by Devon and Cornwall Police’s Professional Standards Department has found that due to “ongoing issues” with his Twitter account, he would be placed on Unsatisfactory Performance Procedures – meaning he cannot be assessed as being “competent” in his role.

“This has another impact: because I am ‘not yet competent’ I lose my entitlement to competency payments,” said Mr Butler. “This is being phased out (by December 2015) but I will lose a few hundred pounds”  So there we already have a financial penalty, for what? Tweeting, that’s what.

Another example of Professional Standards using the Iron Glove to control what they cannot control.

Sarge thinks that  some senior officers working for Devon and Cornwall Police find the social network medium “scary” and believe it will “tarnish the image of the police.”

Then, just to show what a true, humble gent the Sarge really is he had this to say “I know many will be outraged and blame the police but don’t, this is all new and we have to protect the reputation of the police,” he said.“They do not control this medium, and in many cases have no understanding of it. That breeds suspicion, and with suspicion comes resistance,” he said.“I will probably face further questions and will get into more trouble for writing this blog,” he said.  “They will argue I am bringing the force into disrepute.”   Oh no Sarge, they don’t need your help with that, looks like they;’re doing fine bythemsleves.

 

Come on Mr Sawyer, you always had a reputation for being fair.  How about you use the Chief Constable’s prerogative and intervene in this nonsense, or tell us all what it’s all about so that we can make our minds up whether D&C are being unfair or not.

In my humble opinion Newquay Sarge is an excellent ambassador for his Force, and Corporate Accounts ion SM.  What say you folks?

And why not vote for Regie in the Annual Twitter Awards? http://t.co/aaoof2CGB9

regie

stand by regie

regie teddy

banana regietwitter onHand for regie

Doing Less With Less

There has been much made on the BBC News (and I suspect other media channels) that the Police are not attending enough scenes of crime to report and investigate those crimes. I have heard it reported that PCSOs are being used to conduct initial investigations, a role I believe they are not trained for, and that victims are being encouraged to conduct their own house to house enquiries and seek out local CCTV. 

I do hope they are all complying with the relevant legislation.

My reaction to this only needs to be brief today

Since 2010 Police numbers have been slashed by 16,000 officers. Those cuts have not yet finished.

In approx half of the 43 Forces numbers have ben cut LOWER than their 2015 ‘Austerity Programme’ targets.

Why?

Why haven’t the public picked up on this and questioned their PCC?

I think that’s all I really need to say this morning really, if you want to knock the Police for not being efficient, then we all deserve an explanation of why numbers are being cut more than they need to be.

And Winsor’s HMIC publishing their report today when Winsor (author of Winsor 1 and 2 like you need reminding) is just simply offensive.

The only thing that you can do with Less is Less ultimately, anything else is Smoke and Mirrors

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