We – The People Wot Know

We are the people, the people who know. And because we know we are dangerous. We are a threat. There are tens of thousands of us and we all know, every single one of us.

We know EXACTLY what this government is doing to this, once proud, country. Whether we support the Police, The NHS, the Armed a Forces, the Coastguard Service, Courts, Prisons, Probation, we all KNOW.

120 odd thousand of us can be controlled by the State. Forget bloody Purdah, I’m sick of the word, and it’s dodgy utilisation. I’m talking about the 120 odd thousand Police Officers who are discouraged from speaking out by the out-dated Police Regs.  Some have, many ‘signed’ the open letter recently, but many, many more didn’t.  ACPO types were riding Social Media actively discouraging serving officers from signing it.  But those officers KNOW.

The rest of us, the ‘silent’ majority of retired officers and supportive Members of the Public, get ‘controlled’ in a much quieter, insidious way.

We get ignored.

I am not alone in trying to bring the consequences of #MaysMayhem to the attention of the media. A few of my retired colleagues have tried and I know of at least one MoP who spent what seemed like an entire morning forwarding links and messages to just about the entire UK Media a Industry.

Nothing.

We get ignored.

Freedom of Information requests to the Home Office get Refused more times than not. Police Forces fail to respond within the allotted timescale, and then claim an Exemption more often than not.

We get ignored.

And by being ignored lies the biggest act of Control possible. We don’t exist. We have no voice. We can achieve nothing. Why? Because the State have obviously decided that we will not be bamboozled by them so they simply refuse to Engage.

We will not even scratch the armour of Dodgy Dave, Teflon Theresa or Tiny Tim unless the Media start to take notice, and I’m not too optimistic about that, but if you can get one local paper, local radio station, local TV news interested in the TRUE SCALE OF THE CUTS and what it means IN REAL TERMS we might just stand a chance.

Good luck.
Ave imperator, morituri te salutant

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Beyond The Reach Of The Law

I told you that this was going to be a busy old week.

I have seen and read much utter crap in recent days about the Police use of RIPA against journalists as a ruse to smoke out their (journalists’) sources.

I can quite easily agree with the comments about ‘Dawn Raids’, I have long since thought they were not always necessary, and I’m absolutely certain that on some occasions it’s a tactic used purely to send a message, under other circumstances they may be vital. A balancing act, but the priority has to be securing the evidence, but Dawn Raids do not need to be the Norm, particularly for historical investigations.

The relationship between Press and Police has always been fragile and not destined to improve any time soon. I fear that this week it has descended to even lower levels with stories from Sean O’Neil (@TimesCrime) and the Beeb’s Danny Shaw (@DannyShawBBC).

Danny asks the question “Do Police Believe They Are Above The Law?”

Let me answer that, “No, I don’t believe that they do, nor are they and neither should they be”

My headline would be “Journalists and Politicians believe they should be above the law”

Let me be clear on this, NOBODY should be above the law or immune from investigation and prosecution.

Each Police Officer swears an oath similar to this;:

I (name) do solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lady the Queen in the office of Constable, without favour or affection, malice or ill will; and that I will, to the best of my power, cause the peace to be kept and preserved, and prevent all offences against the persons and properties of Her Majesty’s subjects and that while I continue to hold the said office I will, to the best of my skill and knowledge, discharge all the duties thereof faithfully according to law.

Nowhere in this oath does it mention journalists and politicians being exempt from investigation.

Each sworn constable is an independent legal official; they are not agents of the police force, PCC or government. Each police officer has personal liability for their actions or inaction.
Sir Richard Mayne’s 9 Principles include this one;
“5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion; but by constantly demonstrating absolutely
impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour; and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.”
To the best of my knowledge the modern Police Service still follows these nine principles, which do not seem to include an exemption for Press and Politicians.

RIPA applies to a wide-range of investigations in which private information might be obtained. Cases in which it applies include:

terrorism
crime
public safety
emergency services

In a nutshell, broadly speaking, RIPA can be used by Police Officers investigating a CRIME

EVERY application for an authority under RIPA has to be recorded, submitted via Supervising Officers who will ensure that there are sufficient grounds for the authority to be granted.

RIPA does not give the Police, or any other Authority, powers to go on a ‘Fishing Expedition’ I.e. Let’s have a look at these journalists’ telephone records so that we can work out who their sources are. It MAY give Police powers to examine defined journalists’ telephone records in an attempt to identify who had unlawfully passed information to them. This must be an integral part of a criminal investigation.

The relevant Codes of Practice already contain these words of wisdom;

Collateral intrusion

3.8 Before authorising applications for directed or intrusive surveillance, the authorising officer should also take into account the risk of obtaining private information about persons who are not subjects of the surveillance or property interference activity (collateral intrusion).

3.9 Measures should be taken, wherever practicable, to avoid or minimise unnecessary intrusion into the privacy of those who are not the intended subjects of the surveillance activity. Where such collateral intrusion is unavoidable, the activities may still be authorised, provided this intrusion is considered proportionate to what is sought to be achieved. The same proportionality tests apply to the likelihood of collateral intrusion as to intrusion into the privacy of the intended subject of the surveillance.

3.10 All applications should therefore include an assessment of the risk of collateral intrusion and details of any measures taken to limit this, to enable the authorising officer fully to consider the proportionality of the proposed actions.

If the Police Officers conducting such criminal investigation are prevented from doing so if a journalist or politician are involved, a side-effect of this could possibly be that Police Officers unlawfully selling information to the media would escape detection and prosecution. What would the Press make of that?

A suitable analogy might be the relationship between a Police Officer and a Registered Informant (CHIS). If there were suspicions that they were enjoying a corrupt relationship would it be acceptable to say “we can’t investigate that, there’s an Informant involved. We can’t compromise the identity of the Informant”? I’m pretty sure that The Times and the Beeb would be all over that like a rash.

Surely the sensible approach would be that Police Officers should be allowed to investigate allegations of crime, regardless of who may be involved and if that results in journalists, politicians or Police Officers being arrested then so be it. Of the utmost importance in this process is that such investigations are necessary, proportionate, recorded and authorised at the appropriate level. WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOUR.

Nobody should be beyond the reach of the law and immune from investigation, but those investigations must be carried out lawfully.

I hope that answers your question Danny.

I’m Glad Our Press Are So Perfect

Well, actually they’re. Not, far from it.

I, for one, am absolutely sick and tired of the British Media constantly playing the Blame Game.

Now that the excitement of yesterday’s fast-moving events is over they have adopted their default stance. Knocking, Sniping, Criticising, Blaming, and pointing out, from their nice warm studios, what exactly could have been done better.

In my opinion, and it is only that, the tragic events in Paris over the past few days were swiftly brought to an end by the French Gendarmes , Special Forces and GIGP. To my mind the authorities excelled themselves with an early identification of the suspects, which I believe was achieved by rapid processing of DNA evidence.

Plain, old-fashioned, balls out bravery was evident everywhere as Gendarmes followed up on leads and sightings, knowing full-well what the end game was likely to be.

Eventually the two Kouachi brothers were located and contained.

Not long after we had the siege at the KosherSupermarket.

It soon became apparent that the two incidents were linked and the Police and Special Forces hatched their plans.

In my opinion they did an excellent job. They didn’t have very much time in which to plan and coordinate between the two scenes. They did not have much previous experience to fall back on, as this scenario, fortunately, does not occur very often.

In the fullness of time we saw the end game unfold live on TV and all I saw was immense bravery by every single person involved.

It was quite obvious that the two operations had been coordinated, but there appears to have been a very slight delay at the Supermarket, POSSIBLY caused by a lack of cooperation from the Media.

Tragically four hostages lost their lives, but TV footage shown on French TV clearly shows their bodies on the floor BEFORE Rapid Entry. Investigations will ultimately confirm it, but it seems very clear that they did not die in the Rescue Operation.

This morning there is no live action for the media to cover, so we are now faced with journalists of several companies picking apart yesterday’s events, looking to see who they can blame for what. The Police and Security Services get a huge chunk of their criticism because these three terrorists had previously come to the notice of the authorities but we’re allowed to roam free and carry out these atrocities unhindered.

The simple answer to that one dear journalists is EVIDENCE. Members of our illustrious media would be absolutely incandescent if we started locking people up without evidence. Surveillance is time-consuming, resource-intensive and expensive. It also provides no absolute guarantees that the events of the past few days could have been prevented.

Maybe it’s possible for whoever ACPO are today to arrange an anti-terrorist exercise and invite representatives of the media to participate. Let them experience at first hand how it feels to contain and confront armed terrorists, have guns aimed at them and discharged, how things evolve in the Command and Control Centre, what it’s like to be in the immediate vicinity of a Flash Bang (Sorry, Stun Grenade), and maybe, eve, explain to journalists that INTELLIGENCE IS NOT EVIDENCE.

I don’t envy or underestimate journalists in war zones, but they do need to play fair with scenarios such as we have just witnessed. If they have all the answers why are they journalists and not Tactical Advisors?