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News and Comment June 2012

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22 June (Part 1) - Plod moves at a plodding pace

Chief Superintendent Dave StringerMy default position with the police is that they are uniformed thugs and that you will find a higher proportion of criminals inside a police station than you will on the streets. When I met Borough Commander Stringer last February, the man who was willing to see me prosecuted on the lying words of Bexley council leader Teresa O’Neill kept asking me to trust him. Until I see someone charged with obscene blogging and in the dock I will remain suspicious of all of them. Having said that, the Detective Sergeant detailed to keep me informed of progress hasn’t put a foot wrong except that I cannot see why it has taken all year to reach the stage he has. A fortnight might have been more like it.

Another default position is that I would like to keep readers fully informed - but there is a problem. It is possible that my cynicism is entirely misplaced and the police aim to feel a collar in due course. The DS assures me that is the case but his carefully chosen words have done nothing to convince me that his superiors don’t have a different agenda. Nevertheless it would be foolhardy to do anything that might jeopardise the DS’s chances of success. For that reason any news given here has generally been a couple of months behind the times. The meeting with CS Stringer on 10th February was not reported until March 26th. On one occasion, for strategic reasons, a report was not true at all.

Just over three weeks ago the police said they were going to ask a magistrate for a search warrant which is what drove Elwyn Bryant and myself to complain to the Commissioner about the way Bexleyheath police has handled the case. The tipping point was their refusal to accept or acknowledge our complaint that applying to a magistrate in Bexley where the words magistrate, councillor and council employee are virtually synonymous, and then sitting on it, as implied by Borough Commander Victor Olisa to Elwyn, was tantamount to forewarning every councillor in Bexley to cover his tracks before plod called.

Probably that is about as far as I can go in bringing you up to date with developments without treading on legal toes. Circumstantial evidence leads me to believe that one of two Conservative councillors, one a Cabinet member, wrote those obscenities. If Teresa O’Neill is still not worried about her criminal crew then she should be. If I were her I would be phoning every one of them to ask if they have had any unexpected visitors in the last day or two.


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