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News and Comment January 2012

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3 January (Part 3) - Back to work…

The new year may be a good time to do an update on what is happening on the ’legal’ front where both Bexley council and Bexleyheath police have been dragging their feet.

Harassment letter
It is nine months since Will Tuckley told the police that he wanted me (his complaint pre-dated Olly Cromwell’s first Bexley blog) prosecuted for “criticising councillors on a personal level” and the cops dutifully got on the the Crown Prosecution Service to see if they could have me in court. They eventually settled on a threat of arrest under the Harassment Act. Bexleyheath police refused to discuss the matter and following a complaint to the Directorate of Professional Services an anonymous officer in Bexleyheath police’s Professional Standards Unit told me they couldn’t find the responsible officer so they had to obey Will Tuckley’s command and throw out my complaint. The issue is now with the Independent Police Complaints Commission. I don’t know the current situation but when the IPCC was set up it was stuffed full of retired policemen. Truly independent? Probably not.

Obscene blog
Elwyn Bryant quoted the Met. Police guidance on hate crime to Bexley’s boys in blue who were either ignorant of it or maybe they thought an elderly gent like Elwyn would be a pushover for their soft soap. The obscene blog is now officially a hate crime. It is progress of a sort but I can’t see it making a lot of difference. If there is eventually a conviction it may result in a more severe sentence but the initial difficulty remains; how do you persuade a police force under the thumb of Bexley council to get off its backside?

My letter on the subject (and others) to Chief Inspector Gowen is more than three weeks old and unanswered. Disappointing as it was him who invited a response when he apologised for one of his mistakes - but only after a complaint. Maybe he didn’t expect to receive such a comprehensive list of police wrongdoing for his delectation? Looks like a return visit to the Directorate of Professional Standards will not be long in coming.

Councillors Taylor and HuntOne of Elwyn’s new police contacts says he believes the investigation is nearing its end. I suspect they are hoping to find a new way to wriggle away from it. To those readers who have asked if either of the two blogging councillors have been in contact to assure me they are entirely innocent of any crime I have two things to say…

1) No one said they are involved and I do not for one moment believe they are involved despite them having the requisite knowledge and their own blogs disappeared at the same time as the last vestiges of the obscene one. One can understand why sensible people would do that at the present time and it must be clearly understood that there is not a shred of evidence that either of these two might be involved. I am absolutely sure that they are not.

2) No they haven’t. I wish they would but presumably they have their reasons. Perhaps it is not as politically easy as it would seem to ‘ordinary folk’.

Subject Access Request
Made last May and due to be answered within 40 working days. It should have revealed who published the obscene blog but that would be too honest by far. So even now it is unanswered. However the Information Commissioner has given an ultimatum and told Bexley council to answer it by the end of this week. I really can’t see that happening. At best I will get a non-answer.

Olly Cromwell
A malicious prosecution if ever there was one. Olly was found not guilty of harassment on 21st December but a new charge is due to be heard at Greenwich Court on 14th February. There is no dispute about what he said, only the possible effect of what he said. Despite the harassment case being over and done with and the District Judge regretting that he had no power to order the return of Mrs. Cromwell’s computers and phones etc., Bexley police are still refusing to return anything. Still needed for their investigation they say. Is Bexleyheath police station full of incompetents or extremely flexibly policemen doing Bexley council’s bidding? Probably both.

P.S. I received a phone call this morning from someone who follows Bonkers second hand through comments by friends, he has no computer of his own. He was under the impression, because it was in the News Shopper which has not yet been able to carry an update, that Olly is due at Bromley court on Friday 6th January. This is not the case, those charges were dropped. The new date is definitely 1:30 on 14th February at Greenwich.


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