any day today rss X

News and Comment December 2012

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10 December (Part 1) - “Political interference”

Chief Superintendent Olisa Teresa O'NeillThis could be an interesting week for anyone still following the pursuit of Bexley council’s obscene blogger. The original failed investigation was referred to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Hogan-Howe last June and he asked his Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) to look into it. I have been advised that their reply is now awaiting the signature of a senior officer. Some of councillor Craske’s computing gear is also due back from forensic examination by Wednesday. It could be that Mick Barnbrook’s theory is correct.

Mick was a police officer for 31 years and an Inspector at Bexleyheath for some of that time and he has said from the outset that the answer to the complaint would be dependent on the outcome of the current investigation.

In his possibly jaundiced view the obscene blogger must walk free because anything else would suggest the first investigation failed due to negligence and if by chance someone was charged a good reason for the earlier failure would have to be manufactured.

I put the suggestion to the DPS a couple of months ago and they strongly denied it, but at that time they expected to send me a reply by mid-October but they delayed it. I am always more inclined to believe cock-up over conspiracy but last week it was confirmed that the DPS are indeed liaising with Bexleyheath police’s current enquiry team.

I can’t see why an investigation into the failures of 2011 needs knowledge of what is being done now. Maybe I should be more prepared to listen to Mick’s voice of experience.

After I indicated here that I had given up hope of the blog culprit being found and shifted the emphasis to the question of why, someone emailed me about the disappointment of never seeing anyone charged over the obscene blog but on the contrary I believe far more has been achieved than if a single political career had come to an end. His cohorts would have stood back and shaken their heads in mock condemnation whilst adopting an air of total innocence. Clement all over again.

The way things have worked out is far more damaging.

Ellison RoadWe know where the blog originated. On a device linked to the internet connection which terminates in Craske’s house. We don’t know who actually published it, it could have been a man with a laptop who had cracked his Wi-Fi password in a car parked outside Craske’s house.

Someone so clever that he not only cracked the password but also knew the names of people wandering around the Cinema Car Park two months earlier under the gaze of Craske’s CCTV system. And someone who coincidentally got wind of Elwyn Bryant and me visiting the Civic Offices only an hour or two earlier. So nothing is certain, Craske may have had the motive but we might never know who wrote that blog.

The extreme delay in solving a relatively low level crime is acknowledged to be “ridiculous” and it has been confirmed that there has been “political interference”. If I ever doubted that I stopped doing so the moment council leader Teresa O’Neill appointed Peter Craske to two council committees the moment his bail conditions were lifted. For good measure we know that the removal of Craske’s bail conditions was not the result of a considered decision by the investigating officer but of an order which came down from on high.

So whilst it is unlikely that a guilty councillor will be seen in the dock only to disappear and be forgotten soon afterwards, there is now something far more memorably damaging to be kicked around. Confirmation that the authority figures in Bexley are not believers in justice for all and that Bexleyheath police are susceptible to outside influence. I suspect that Elwyn Bryant will be seeking the views of his MP, James Brokenshire, on that to see what the Minister for Crime at the Home Office thinks of what goes on on his very doorstep.

If you do not believe Bexleyheath’s police is corrupt, just wait until you see the next installment of the Playground Saga tomorrow.


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