The Insidious Culture Of Fear

Fear is a powerful emotion. Let’s be honest, in the main, we tend to take notice of our fears, and for good, sensible reasons.

Large organisations suffer corporate fear too. They tend to have a serious fear of Whistleblowers, and any groups that are trying to assist Whistleblowers. So what do they do about it? They tend to get their retaliation in first and ‘Control’ their workforce with a Culture of Fear.

I have just been watching an article on my telly box, and it was stated, as though it were fact, that ALMOST NO Whistleblowers went on to keep their jobs. Now that’s a frightening statement for a start.

I’m not going to bore you with yet another blog about James, his story is now very well known. Although I do believe that the Met were uncomfortable with the level of support that James enjoyed and went on the offensive.

Instead, I would ask you to spend a few minutes reading the story of Dr Raj Mattu, an NHS Whistleblower, and see what comparisons you can draw from that. Is this a course of conduct that sounds familiar?

This is totally despicable behaviour and sadly just what we have come to expect.

Some of our friends and colleagues in the West of England have already experienced the Culture of Fear, first hand.

There is a Group on Facebook where members who are serving officers are constantly being reminded “don’t forget that DPS monitor this Group, don’t get caught posting something you shouldn’t “. Or “officers are being disciplined for “Liking” inappropriate posts, maybe serving officers should all leave the group rather than get themselves into trouble for ‘Liking’ someone else’s post”.

I’m absolutely certain that even the Mighty Met don’t have the resources to monitor every ‘Like’ and check out who liked it and find out if they are a serving officer, so they get the Culture of Fear to do their job for them.

Whether it was done malevolently, or with the best of intentions by former colleagues, the insidious Culture of Fear is alive and well in the Met.

It’s not my intention to encourage you all to ignore it as such, but to be aware of the tactics, acknowledge them and conduct yourselves accordingly. I also think that it’s about time that the Fed and other relevant professional bodies tackled the management that is encouraging, and using, this Culture of Fear,

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11 thoughts on “The Insidious Culture Of Fear

  1. A culture of fear and bullying starts at the top.

    In my own case as a police whistleblower those that tried to support me were themselves targeted including 2 police federation representatives.

    The Police Federation failed to support their own reps and true to form I have had to fund my own cases due to the reluctance of the federation to be seen to be funding cases that may affect the reputation of the police service but more likely to affect their own careers and position within the federation.

    The present structure and operation of the police federation is open to abuse and I for one would like to see some reform especially in the Counties where their close working relationships with PSD often mean that they acquiesce in corrupt practices rather than challenging those practices adopted by PSDs usually acting under ibstructions from Deputy Chief Constables.

    I have been assisting officers in the Met and various other forces for over 10 years and the response to whistleblowers has not changed despite police officers coming under the umbrella of the Public interest Disclosure Act since 2004.

    • I have heard other examples of the Fed not fully supporting their members, or that is how it has been viewed by outsiders. Sadly the circumstances you describe are still current and they ne d to change as a matter of urgency.

  2. Yes, why can’t top brass just speak the truth? They’ve reached the top, or near, they’ve few to fear. Yet it’s they who kowtow to base instincts of self preservation & image management & vindictiveness. Aren’t they any bigger than this? Must they show themselves as so much smaller than their feared whistleblowers? If they can’t lead from the top, they should be led away from it. UKSA only belatedly downgraded the crime figs, once highlighted by James, PASC et al. The Home Office still spin, in arrears, that they were always concerned about mis-recording yet the PASC Chair had to point out again recently that they instructed HMIC to take action only once their torpor faced detection. No leadership – anywhere. Beaten out of them years ago. But once light moves towards their lair, that startles them enough to cover their tracks, lash out and trash the messenger. A plague on ’em all. Anyone unable or unwilling to speak the truth or address injustice after climbing a greasy pole should be slid back down on a snake without further ado. A small but clear example is the institutional bullying meted out to James to abandon as hopeless his legal tussle via employment tribunal alone, without Fed representation/support against two fatly-paid & fatly-supported & fatly-cunning Met barristers & a solicitor. Even now, why should someone lose a 10 year career without compensation, regardless of legal process or niceties. It’s an injustice. It remains an injustice. Those paid nicely at the top should still be shouting from on high of this injustice (let alone of others). But they didn’t. They haven’t. They aren’t. They won’t. They’re unfit. They’re a disgrace. They’re an embarrassment. Everyone must surely see this. It may seem just a pea, this small injustice, but what an obstruction to any promulgation of police “ethics”. No princess is needed before sleep is lost over it. Many a PC must sleep fitfully & wake troubled or in fury seeing a colleague describing truthfully their experience then tossed aside. If meant as an example, it is an example of malice which ought to keep us all awake until remedied fairly.

    • I think you are right, but, as has been said on previous posts, and, thankfully, in Parliament by MP Bernard Jenkins, the most shameful aspect of the James Patrick case is the failure of support from his own Police Federation.

      It’s worth remembering that, at the same time as the Federation is providing officers with full legal support in the Andrew Mitchell case, they failed to provide Mr Patrick with any support whatsoever.

      His final decision to resign came following the meeting the Met’s legal team and realising he was on his own.

      Since then there has been no explanation from the Police Federation for this failure to support James Patrick; for them #therestissilence

      • Hi,

        As far as I’m concerned it’s a chapter of my life that’s done and reality takes over (I.e. Trying to find a job, etc).

        What I will say is that no one is or has been trying to sue me and a comment made in passing by an MP the other week boiled down to nothing more than a crossed wire and a Chinese whisper.

        Anyway, life goes on and little things like this raise the occasional smile.

        Atb,

        James

  3. Thanks Alan,

    As well as the Federation being attacked as shameful by Mr Jenkins, another MP from the PASC is now saying on social media that he had heard from a Police source that the reason for the Federation’s decision not to support Mr Patrick was that there was a conflict of interest, as they were already supporting other officers to sue Mr Patrick.

    The Federation cannot speak on this issue, so it may be better for Mr Patrick to set the matter straight and trust people to decide for themselves – we are adults after all.

    If you can only win your case by supressing certain facts then it’s a false victory based on half-truths.

    • As I have said before Keira, I do actually speak with James and several of his friends and there has never been any suggestion that he was going to be sued by anyone. An interesting version of events.

  4. I know that’s what I thought, but given as it was from a Member of Parliament I don’t think he meant in the legal sense but in the more general sense as in an issue pur(sued) against him by colleagues.

    Haver there been matters raised against James Patrick by his colleagues?

    It would certainly be a good reason for the fedration to refuse to support – i.e. conflict of interest.

    Perhaps we may never know. ah the mysteries of policing!

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