I Hear The Sound Of Distant Shredders

With apologies to the song of a similar name.

There can’t be a single person in the land that has not heard the monumental news that the Met will be investigated over (I think) 14 allegations relating to the alleged covering up of Child Abuse enquiries in the 70s. In particular, much has been made of allegations relating to Cyril Smith.

As an officer in London in the 70s I welcome such an investigation, but I’m far from confident about what the outcome will be.

On a personal level my conscience is clear.  I don’t remember having any involvement with any Child Abuse allegations whatsoever, not even as the initial Reporting Officer. My corporate conscience is far less clear though.

Am I aware of any such enquiries being binned?  Most definitely NO.

Could such enquiries get binned?

Almost certainly.

I have read allegations that officers were threatened with the Official Secrets Act and at least one allegation that an Investigating Officer was threatened by a Special Branch officer with a firearm.  Allegations like those fill me with dread and shame.  I have never heard the like of that before, but as for the general principle of binning certain enquiries, that DID happen.

It didn’t take very long before the edict was watered down but the end result was the same. Instead of being told to desist and stop all operations and enquiries the instruction quickly morphed into “if you want to conduct an operation against ‘cottagers’ etc you must display notices at the venues and inform the local press”. Guess what happened? Nobody was caught and other areas experienced an increase in complaints from the public as the problem was merely displaced.  I am in no doubt whatsoever as to the reason for this ban – solely to do with WHO WE MIGHT CATCH, nothing else at all.

If any of you are members of a certain group on Facebook you can see examples of this happening all over the Met, and for basically the same reasons.

I have already seen one well-established tweeter comment this morning that if he were told to halt an enquiry he most definitely would not follow that instruction.  I can’t argue with that because it’s absolutely the right approach, but London in the 70s was a much different place. The Police Force of the 70s was vastly different to the Police Service of 2015.  As a Constable with maybe 5 years service, to be told by a faceless boss from Scotland Yard to discontinue an operation, that’s exactly what happened. None of us liked it, it’s just how it was, and I suppose you never really understand unless you lived through it. Much like the corruption of the 60s, I’ve only ever heard the anecdotes of that, and they make me shiver.

So, for all those reasons I welcome this investigation, but I fear, like many others, it is destined never to achieve its full potential.  Many times the officers on the Front Line never knew the names of those at NSY issuing their edicts, just informed by local management that Scotland Yard has blocked it.

40 something years later I doubt there’s any paper records left. If they didn’t disappear without trace in the 70s, they may well have been disposed of by now under the Met’s own Retention Policy.  Back-Record Conversion onto computer would be highly unlikely.

If there is anything left, I suspect that grinding sort of noise that I can hear may well be the hopper-fed cross-cut shredders being fired up, and ready for action.

College Chaos And A Safer London

No, the two aren’t necessarily connected, just two items of insanity floating around Twitter last night.

Firstly the College of Policing (CoP) has announced a national scrutiny into undercover policing;

http://www.college.police.uk/News/College-news/Pages/National-undercover-scrutiny-.aspx

Included in the panel are the Police Action Centre aka Sophie Khan and PCC Sue Mountstevens.

Can CoP really be that naive or are they merely flexing their muscles with an opening kick in the nads for the troops on the (shrinking) Front Line?

Where do I begin? Sophie Khan? Why on earth would any right-minded person or organisation include Sophie Khan on any scrutiny panel into such a vital part of modern day Policing? She is prone to gross over-generalisations and exaggerations, on an almost daily basis.

I fully accept that I’m talking about a couple of years ago but her historical Twitter T/L does not make comfortable reading for CoP surely;

She seems very anti-police, one of her old tweets was “Good Night all. I’m off to bed. Will be dreaming about suing the police as always. Sweet dreams to you all. I love my job so much :) ”

On the 7th of April 2012 she posted the following comment on Twatter: “Met Police aren’t just racist while on duty, they are racist off duty. They’re members of BNP scum. Well done on being the most hated.

This is a suitable person to be engaged by CoP for such an important piece of work? Many of us who have dared to disagree with her and challenge her extreme views merely get ‘blocked’ as she seems unwilling to engage with her critics. This has directly led to the Twitter #hashtag #BlockedBySophieKhan. CoP really believe that this is a suitable person for their panel?

That leads me to Sue Mountstevens, Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset Police.

She is not without controversy either;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-29838505 after a Disciplinary Hearing found that she had committed a Serious Error of Judgement.

In May 2014, Avon and Somerset’s Chief Constable Nick Gargan was suspended over allegations he made inappropriate advances to female staff.

The Police and Crime Panel found Sue Mountstevens breached her own code of conduct by telling Mr Gargan who had made the allegations.

Engaging Ms Mountstevens on such a high-profile panel as this, so soon after her gross faux pas sends a terrible message to Police ‘Whistleblowers’ and the like. Not only are they treated appallingly but those that betray them are seemingly only guilty of an error of judgement, and then deemed worthy to sit on a panel passing scrutiny on Undercover Policing.

Exactly what kind of vetting has/is being conducted on these people? Does anybody at CoP even care?

Fortunately I got out before the inception of CoP, but many of my friends remain and I can only despair, as far as I’m concerned this is the end of the road for any slight credibility that CoP had. For me that has died completely after this charade.


Then we have the nonsense that is Bernie Hogan-Who claiming to be a Can Do Leader and that London will be a safer place with a smaller, reduced Met.

http://content.met.police.uk/News/Commissioner-Transform-British-policing-to-keep-the-public-safe/1400030449171/1257246745756

Sir Bernard said: “If you had any doubt, if my officers had any doubt, then let’s be clear – the Met is a ‘can-do’ organisation, and I am a ‘can-do’ leader. A smaller Met can make London safer.”

“But we need to spell out, like the military has, that we can’t promise to tackle everything the world throws up within a shrinking budget. If we try to fight on all fronts, we’ll fail on some. If we’re not clear what’s beyond our reach, how can others take responsibility?”

I can only agree with a lot of what he said, but make London safer with a smaller Met? Really? I guess we’ll all have our views on that, but I don’t see how that’s doable with the scale of further cuts still to come. His reference to the Armed Forces is valid, they also have been slashed to the point where I fail to see how they could be effective if the wheel truly came off. Not because they are incompetent, I have the highest respect and regard for them, there just aren’t enough of them. The outbreak of war would not be the finest hour to recommence recruiting.

IMG_0220

Or maybe



It’s Going To Be A Busy Old Week

It’s only Tuesday, and my quill is already getting blunt.

Yesterday I discussed the (yet again) vindictive reports coming out of HMIC and IPCC, you can find that here if you haven’t already read it.

Today I’m occupied by the proposed cuts looming for the Met.  I know that the Met is not the only Force facing cuts, merely one of 43, but what staggers me is the size of those cuts and what that means for the future of, what is undoubtedly, the largest Force in the land.

With 31,500 warranted officers it is far and away the largest force, and by comparison the second largest is West Midlands Police with 7,155 warranted officers, all the way down to Warwickshire with a mere 788.

I’ve learned a lot about the Met since I retired and I’m no longer certain that I would describe it as the Best Force, but nobody can argue that it’s the largest and probably best-resourced. In retirement I have spent some wonderful hours sharing many cups of coffee with colleagues still serving in Constabulary Forces and been made aware of the ‘Bleeding Obvious’  The Met do it differently.

In all the time I was serving I was blissfully unaware of just how lucky I was.  We used to moan that we didn’t have a widget for so and so, or a gizzmo for this and that, but basically we were incredibly well off compared to our County Cousins.

I don’t know if it is still the case but the Met used to survive on that dirty word ‘Overtime’.  Entire Public Order events were policed by officers on overtime sometimes, almost inevitably a third to half of a PSU would be on overtime.  Rest days being cancelled, with, or without, notice was a frequent occurrence.

In August 2012 I asked the Met how many Rest Days were still outstanding, waiting to be re-rostered and taken, the reply I got was this

“There are 165,624 rest days (as of 5th July 2012) that are currently shown
as either cancelled, outstanding or waiting for officers to re-roster
them.
However please note there are 43,355 rest days that have been re-rostered
to the future.”

I have read elsewhere that this figure is now closer to half a million.

I remember fondly that when overtime restrictions were first brought in (for welfare reasons allegedly) we were not allowed to incur more than 100 hours overtime a month without a supervisor submitting a report supporting it.  The Met truly did run on overtime even though they had even more than 31,500 officers in those days, and considerably less demand.

Which brings me to the point of today’s post.  In the last round of budgetary cuts in the name of Austerity, the Met lost £600 million from its budget.  Even a behemoth like the Met must have felt the pain. In fact I’m sure they did.  In an attempt to ease the pain Police Stations were sold off, Front Counters closed, manpower lost, back office officers moved back onto the Front Line, even Peel Centre hasn’t escaped untouched.

peel centre

No, they’re not carrying out improvements, that bit’s been sold orft.  Training Centres, Feeding Centres – gone.

Now we hear that the Met has to suffer a further £800 million of cuts and my honest question is simply HOW?

I can’t sit here and pretend that cuts are not necessary, I’m not convinced that they’re being applied fairly and evenly (why ring-fence the Overseas Aid budget for example?) but how on earth can the Met survive?  And what hope is there for the rest of the country if the biggest (by far) Force is suffering?

My loyalty (if I have any left) is obviously to the Met, but I am capable of seeing the bigger picture and I’m convinced that it’s not a good one.  I’ve said before that even if we elected a new Government this Thursday, the changes brought about by May, Camoron and Winsor will take decades to reverse, if ever, and now it’s set to get to worse.

Home Office Stats for Policing Strength are already listed under 10 Regions plus BTP so maybe that’s what’s in store for us. Or maybe a National Force under a new Chief

winsor uniform

Commissioner, who knows.

I have previously writ that I’ve heard a rumour that the inner sanctum of the Home Office contains a document predicting a total National Policing Strength of 80,000, may your god help us if we’re ever reduced to those levels, but it would solve the budgetary problems which is the only priority the ConDems seem to have on their list. They don’t seem to care about the strength of the Armed Forces or any of the Emergency Services, who knows what they’re agenda is?

#TJF #CutsHaveConsequences

doomed

MOPAC – And How They Just Keep Giving

Well, that’s giving in a taking sort of way really. I must thank @TanyaSmith67 for bringing this matter to my attention, it had completely passed me by.  I’ll stop writing about it just as soon as Boris and co let me, honest I will.

Not content with selling off huge chunks of the Met’ s Estate (and I know there are those of you out there who aren’t quite as outraged as us at Angry Towers) but Boris’ deputy, Steve Greenhalgh, has found himself another controversy to get involved in.

Being in charge of the MOPAC/MPS estates strategy, Greenhalgh has endorsed, if not decided upon,.the sale of certain properties within the estate deemed ‘Surplus to Requirements’.  Last week, a mayoral press release said Greenhalgh had “intervened” to stop the sale of the Raynesfield homes in Raynes Park, “I was not happy with how they had been treated,” said Greenhalgh of Raynesfield’s residents. “I was not prepared to see key workers like nurses, carers and teachers forced to move out of their homes.”  In August it had been reported that “Nurses and school workers facing eviction from their police-owned homes say they are being “cleansed” from the borough due to a lack of affordable housing.

Key workers living at Raynesfield in Raynes Park and 30 Griffiths Road in Wimbledon will be evicted from their flats by the end of the year after the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) sold the land. The sale forms part of Boris Johnson’s long-term estate strategy to sell off properties and invest profits back into frontline policing.

Residents of the two estates, mostly on low salaries, will now have to leave the borough because they neither earn enough to rent privately nor meet criteria to qualify for social housing.”

Well, I have to say that I was completely unaware that the Met owned residential properties that were rented out to others, I was only aware of the Section Houses and Married Quarters.  Presumably these are ex Married Quarters that have been vacated by the officers, under whatever circumstances, and put onto the rental market. What do other Forces do?

The same thing happened in Hammersmith, where MOPAC owns a block of flats called Broadmead. Greenhalgh said he had been “very shocked” to learn that Broadmead’s residents might be turfed out and that he’d discovered this “all because” Tory councillors in his old borough had brought the tenants’ situation to his notice.

So I’m beginning to see the pattern now, Greenhalgh decides to sell off the Met-owned residential properties, that are now managed by a Housing Association and occupied by key workers or others on low income.  Then, when he hears that they residents are to be displaced (whatever did he think was going to happen to them?) he steps in top prevent it and everybody hails him as a hero.

Apparently Deputy Mayor Greenhalgh still wants those homes sold, but says this will now only happen if the new owner can offer existing tenants “similar or better terms” than they presently enjoy, ensuring that they can afford to stay, rather than selling the sites vacant on the open market for as much money as possible.

Tom Copley calls for apology from Deputy Mayor for Policing

So what is he playing at? I seen to recall that his political career has been dogged by controversy of one kind or another, and nothing seems to have changed.  He now seems to be quite happy to put people in fear of being evicted from their reasonably priced homes, then mounting his blue stallion and charging in to save them from the fate that he himself had instigated.

Or is that just the jaundiced view of a cynical duffer?

WTF Are You On Boris?

Just as the ink had dried on my last post, and my aged quill was cleaned and dry, one of my erstwhile colleagues enlightened me to something else not quite right with the Met’s Property Portfolio. [Santa, please send new quill and ink for Crimbo, much obliged, I have been good].

According to that unmissable publication Mayor Watch the Met (or Boris) has seemingly blundered again.  Bought NSY for £120 million (if memory serves me well), put it up for sale at £250 million and finally sold it to an offshore investor from UAE for £370 million.

So far so good, although I suspect there may be some Capital Gains Tax liability there somewhere.

So, having sold off the Crown Jewels Boris now finds that the replacement premises that the NSY staff will be relocating to are too f’ing small.

Honestly, you couldn’t make it up.

Proceeds from the sale will kick-start a major investment opportunity to secure the future of the Met Police, with the funds being used to kit out officers across London with mobile technology such as tablets, smartphones and body cameras, enabling them to spend more time out on the streets. It will also allow much-needed investment in the remaining estate along with modern ICT infrastructure and new software platforms.

However the Met are relocating to Curtis Green building on Embankment but have already identified the need for extension works, they are planning the construction of a new rear extension to help create “525 work spaces” for officers and civilian support workers.

At the same time MOPAC has authorised a revamp of Holborn police station to accommodate the Met’s legal department and the refurbishment of three floors at its Marlowe House office block to create a further 616 work stations.

However a briefing document drawn up for Stephen Greenhalgh, London’s deputy mayor for policing and crime, warns that the combined space created by the projects may be insufficient to house all of the Met’s HQ functions.

The document states: “One of the original planning assumptions for the Mayor Buildings Estates Strategy and the exit of NSY was that all teams exiting NSY will be relocated within the remainder of the MOPAC estate.

“Whilst this position can be achieved in terms of available floor space, certain facilities would require further investment to maintain operational performance.”

The document continues:

“Recent developments have necessitated the need to look at the accommodation requirements of specific teams again, and occupational arrangements of key partner agencies.

“A growth bid for the specific team will require the provision of further accommodation. Studies are underway to model whether the existing MOPAC estate can meet these requirements or whether third party accommodation is needed.”

So, forward planning not high on MOPAC’s skillset then.  Green party AM Baroness Jenny Jones commented: “It does seem a bit ridiculous that the Mayor in his rush to sell off police buildings has left the Met with a headquarters that is too small.

Curtis Green, or Scotland Yard as it will soon be known, may not even be operational until October 2016.

And then, hold your breath dear reader, there’s the Met’s other White Elephant, Empress State Building which presently provides nearly 4,000 desk spaces for the Met.

ESB

This one is only leased, but is also on ‘the list’.

If I may quote from an article in the Grauniad last year…….

“Anyone as enmeshed in London government as Boris Johnson’s policing deputy Stephen Greenhalgh makes connections in overlapping fields. These can be valuable but also trigger unhelpful suspicions. Greenhalgh’s energetic history as a Conservative politician and company director illustrates how such problems might arise.

His present job as head of MOPAC – the mayor’s office for policing and crime – involves lots of complex maths about where Metropolitan Police Service personnel should be based. The objective is to save money in the context of big pressures on budgets. Several police stations are to be sold, along with New Scotland Yard, the Met’s famous HQ since 1967. And then there’s the Empress State Building (ESB), a 31-floor, 117 metre tall tower, which presently provides nearly 4,000 desk spaces for the Met.

The ESB is leased by MOPAC on the Met’s behalf from the property developer Capital and Counties (Capco), which bought a 50% share of it in 2008 and announced in May that it had bought the other half. The building’s location is significant. It stands within the 77 acres of prime west London land Capco intends to clear and replace with four high-priced urban “villages”, destroying in the process the historic Earls Court exhibition centre and the homes of around 2000 people, most of whom would sooner be left alone despite a promised offer of replacement dwellings nearby, if their responses to the council’s consultation on the issue are any guide.


This
widely-opposed redevelopment, known as the Earls Court Project, is dear to Greenhalgh’s heart. Most of the territory it covers lies within the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (H&F), which Greenhalgh led for six years from May 2006. Greenhalgh championed the scheme when at H&F. Shortly before leaving for his new job at City Hall described it to the Guardian as “the best deal in the history of redevelopment in London.” Johnson too is a big fan, hailing it as a “landmark project” in one of his London Plan Opportunity Areas.”

My apologies to the Grauniad for such a large quote, but it seemed fairer and more effective than paraphrasing it.

Is it just cynical, suspicious me, or is there a potential conflict of interests here?

It certainly does nothing to help resolve the Met’s almost critical shortage of desk space.

Never mind, it will sort itself out and all become clear in the fullness of time. It’s probably just me.

A Nice Little Earner Boris

This one is for all you Larndarners, NORF, SARF, it doesn’t really matter cos Boris has sold you out anyway.

I’ve blogged before about MOPAC selling off the family silver, most recently NSY has gone, as you will have heard.

Well if any of you are interested in what has been happening to the Met’s Estate then read on, if not, duck out now.

Below are details of the Met’s properties that have been sold off 2013 up until end of August this year. I don’t know if NSY has completed yet, but it doesn’t seem to feature yet.

Name of site
disposed of
Address &
Postcode
Value of
sale,
£’000
Purchaser
name and description
Expected new use Public Access
Prior to
Closure (Y/N)
Julian
Headon House – Office
West Hendon
Broadway, Edgware, Hendon, NW9
7AL
£3,250 Torah
Vochesed
Buildings Ltd
Private school for
Jewish community
N
Spring Court –
Residential
35 Station Road,
Sidcup, DA15
7EA
£1,149 Mr PJ and
Mrs BT Sherlock
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
N
Kingsbury
Police Office
5 The Mall,
Kenton, Middlesex, HA3
9TF
£500 Bellway
Homes Ltd
Comprehensive
redevelopment for residential
N
Walthamstow Former Police Station 360 Forest Road, London, E17 5JQ £1,006 E17 Met Ltd Refurbishment / redevelopment for residential Y
Richmond
Former Police
Station
8 Red Lion Street,
Richmond,
Surrey, TW9 1RW
£2,700 Snowfinch
LLP
Ground floor
commercial, upper floors residential
N
Kingsground –
Residential
1-11 Kingsground
and
134-144 Eltham
Hill,
Eltham, SE9 5ED
£1,271 Wilson
Homes
(London) Ltd
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
N
Hanwell
Former Police
Station
169 Uxbridge
Road,
Ealing, W7 3TH
£950 Octo
Investments
Ltd
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
N
Amelia Street
– Light
Industrial
2-16 Amelia
Street, Walworth, London, SE17
3PY
£3,400 Family
Mosaic Home Ownership Ltd
Comprehensive
redevelopment for residential
N
St John’s
Wood Former
Police Station
20 Newcourt
Street, London, NW8
7AA
£8,555 Newcourt
Property
Holdings Ltd
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
Y
Mackenzie
Trench House
– Residential
363 Lillie Road
London, SW6
7PD
£3,250 Cherwell (Lillie Road) Ltd. Refurbishment / redevelopment for residential N
3-5
Radbourne
Road – Office
3-5 Radbourne
Road
London, SW12
0EA
£1,115 Radbourne
DCP Ltd.
Comprehensive
redevelopment for residential
N
Willesden
Green Former
Police Station
965 High Road
London, NW10
£2,550 Gargreen
Ltd.
Comprehensive
redevelopment for residential
Y
Winchmore
Hill Former
Police Station
687 Green Lanes
London , N21
£900 AMC Trust Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
Y
Leyton
Former Police
Station
215 Francis Road
London, E10
£1,250 Uptime
Properties
Ltd.
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
Y
Harold Hill
Former Police
Station
Gooshays Drive
London, RM3
£1,625 Lidl UK GmbH Redevelopment for retail N
1-8 Park Close, Windsor – Residential Brook Street
Old Windsor, SL4
£2,250 The Crown
Estate
Refurbishment / redevelopment for residential N
Battersea
Former Police
Station
112-118
Battersea Bridge
Road
London, SW11
£6,000 Linden
Limited
Comprehensive
redevelopment for residential
Y
Connaught
Gardens – Residential
Connaught
Gardens 5-9 & Flats 10-27
London, N10 3LH
£9,150 Pantheon
Services Limited & Muswell Limited
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
N
Clapham
Former Police
Station
51 Union Grove
London
SW8 2QU
£4,500 Lexadon
(Union Grove) Limited
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
Y
Muswell Hill
Former Police
Station
115 Fortis Green
London
N2 9HW
£3,525 Station
House (Muswell Hill) Limited
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
Y
East Ham
Former Police Station & Section
House
4 High Street
South London E6 6ES
£3,350 London
Design and Engineering UTC
Education Y
Brockley
Former Police
Station
4 Howson Road
London
SE4 2AS
£2,050 Holbrook
Investments
Limited
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
Y
Chadwell
Heath Former
Police Station
14 Wangey Road
Chadwell Heath
Essex
RM6 4AJ
£1,000 Al Huda
Welfare
Foundation
Education / community N
Orpington
Former Police
Station
The Walnuts
Orpington
BR6 0TW
£2,307 Berkeley
Homes (Eastern Counties) Limited
Comprehensive
redevelopment for residential / health care
Y
Hackney
Former Police
Station
2 Lower Clapton
Road Hackney E5 0PA
£7,600 Tauheedul
Free School
Trust
Education Y
Whetstone
Former Police
Station
1170-1172 High
Road London N20 0LW
£4,150 Alma
Primary
Education Y
Golders Green Police Station 1069 Finchley
Road London NW11 0QE
£5,312 Derbyhaven
Services
Ltd., & Ellora Enterprises Ltd., & Adria Services Ltd.
Residential / community Y
Harrow Road
Police Station
325 Harrow Road,
London
W9 3RD
£9,000 Redrow
Homes Ltd.
Residential Y
Wanstead
Police Station
Spratt Hall Road,
Wanstead, London, E11 2RQ
£1,635 Sunil Kumar
Goel &
Ajanta Gupta
Residential Y
East Dulwich
(New) Police
Station
173-183 Lordship
Lane London SE22 8HA
£6,400 Harris
Federation
Education Y
South Norwood Police Station 11 Oliver Grove
London
SE25 6ED
£2,300 Secretary of State for Communities
and Local
Government
Education Y
Barnes Green
Police Office
96-102 Station
Road Barnes SW13 0NG
£10,005 Berkeley
Homes (Central London) Limited
Residential N
Pan London
Residential
Various £4,128 Various Residential N
Highgate
Police Station
407-409 Archway
Road London N6 4NW
3,575 Bellway
Homes
Limited
Residential N
Barking
Police Station
6 Ripple Road,
Barking
IG11 7PE
925.00 Resco
Investments
Limited
Residential Y
Wealdstone
Police Station
74 High Street
Wealdstone
HA3 7AF
950.00 Meso
Investment
LLP
Residential N
Marylebone
Police Station
1-9 Seymour Street London
W1H 7BA
3,000 Seymour Street Nominees Limited &
Berkeley Street Nominees Limited
c/o The Portman Estate
Mixed use redevelopment Y
Tabor Grove 22 Tabor Grove
Wimbledon
SW19 4EB
1,635 Southpoint
Capital
Limited
Residential/office N
Hampstead
Police Station
26 Rosslyn Hill
London
NW3 1PD
14,105 The
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Education Y
West Drayton
Police Station
Station Road
Hillingdon
UB7 7JQ
2,200 Area Estates
Limited
Residential N
Chalk Farm
Garage
5-17 Haverstock
Hill London NW3 3NN
2,000 Cambridge
Gate Properties Limited
Residential/retail N
Sydenham
Police Station
179 Dartmouth
Road London SE26 4RN
1,455 Sydenham
PS Limited
Residential Y
Norbury
Police Station
1516 London Rd.
Norbury
SW16 4ES
940.00 Norbury PS
Limited
Residential Y
Pan London
Residential
Various 3,957 Various Residential N

 

Now my basic abacus makes this just shy of £124 million.

Is is worth it?  Is that really enough to make a difference.  Where on earth are all your lockers and kit going going to be? Back room as Tesco (other supermarkets are available)?

In addition to this there are also plans to sell the following in the next year or so;

Chelsea Police Station

Buckingham Gate

A 5 metre wide strip of land on Isle of Dogs (god knows what that is)

Residential Property Treetops, 4A The Drive, George Road, Coombe Hill, Kingston, Surrey.   I have no idea who used to live here, but no.2 sold in 2009 for £3.75 MILLION, so not a PC I’m guessing.

treetops  TREETOPS

Residential Property 17 Canonbury Park North.

Buckingham Gate, who could forget Buckingham Gate??  I don’t know if the County Forces have the equivalent, a dedicated Feeding Centre for those on Aid to Central London etc.  A fantastic building with great atmosphere, catering staff would always greet you with a smile and a cheery comment, no matter what the time of day, although they did sometimes give us curry for breakfast, but who cared?  A great place to swap your Beat Duty Helmet for somebody else’s if yours was a bit tired (allegedly) and those a little older than me inform me that it was the building in which the official enquiry into the sinking of the Titanic was held.  So not short on history either, but let’s just sell it off.

So there you go Londoners, a little bit more history goes down the pan, and will it REALLY help.  It sounds like a lot of money to us, but set against the operating budget for the MPS is it?

So Just When Will Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe Resign?

I’m sure you don’t need reminding that Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe is the ‘top cop’ in the land, the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, Big Cheese, Top Johnny. He is in charge.

Under his stewardship we have seen one of the biggest scandals to rock the Met for decades, (but by no means the only one, where do I start?).  The recording of Crime Statistics for Metropolitan Police District.

It has been known by almost everyone within the Met that Crime Figures have been fiddled, it has been going on for decades and quite probably since the very first year that numerical targets were first introduced.

The then Police Constable James Patrick (amongst others) gave evidence to the Public Administration Select Committee and they eventually reported back that crime figures were being manipulated.

Tom Winsor of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary admitted that the manipulation of crime figures was taking place. The UK Statistics Authority withdrew the Met’s gold standard national statistics status. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, was forced to admit the numbers were being fiddled and said the issue was a cause for concern.

FOUR eminent authorities all admitting that Crime Stats were being fiddled.

So what happened next? Was it put right?  Is all OK now?

Personally I have no idea whether I can yet trust the Met’s Crime Stats.

What happened next is that Police Constable James Patrick was hounded out of his job for daring to speak up.

Bernard Jenkin, the chair of the parliamentary committee that investigated the manipulation of crime stats, said: “The most depressing part of our inquiry is the way in which the Metropolitan police have treated my constituent, PC James Patrick, who was our key witness.”

The Grauniad went so far as to report this;

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) made repeated attempts to silence a whistleblower who exposed the widespread manipulation of crime statistics, it has emerged.

Documents seen by the Guardian show that senior officers made three separate attempts to stop PC James Patrick speaking out over the course of less than five months.”

Not a very honourable course of conduct in my opinion.

We also have the sorry tale of the TSG6, also on Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe’s watch.  If you missed that story previously you can read the transcript here.

In the last few months two senior people have resigned from Tesco due to ‘an accounting error’.  First we had the Finance Director falling on his sword, and just this week the Chairman.

So isn’t it about time that someone from the Met fell on their ceremonial sword and resigned as a point of honour over the most dishonourable things that appear to have happened, not to mention ‘an accounting error’ i.e. the Crime Stats?

Anyone want to run a book on when this will happen?