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News and Comment November 2012

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2 November (Part 1) - Patience evaporates

The dearth of interesting stories continues and until next week’s council meetings that doesn’t seem likely to change. Those who have followed the Peter Craske/Obscene blog situation may care to read the following but perhaps for some the tale of police incompetence gets to be monotonous, in which case they will know not to read further.

Peter CraskeI shall cease the pretence that the person arrested for the obscene blog might not be councillor Peter Craske. That person was arrested on the same day as Peter Craske (see News Shopper reports) and discharged from bail on the same day as Peter Craske (News Shopper again). It was Peter Craske who tripled the price of residents’ parking permits and had his arithmetic torn apart by Nicholas Dowling. It was Nicholas and I who went into the Cinema Car Park, were spotted on CCTV, identified and subsequently libelled and it was Peter Craske who was in charge of CCTV and parking operations.

It was Peter Craske who was questioned by Elwyn Bryant about the £4m. contract placed with Parsons Brinckerhoff and it was Elwyn who publicly argued with Craske after he told lies about it at a council meeting. It was me who reported all those anti-Craske stories here and it was all three of us who featured heavily in Bexley council’s obscene blog. Finally the icing on the cake was tracing recent obscenities to Parsons Brinckerhoff with whom approximately £4m. changed hands. Maybe it isn’t enough to convince a court of who was behind the crime but it surely does look suspicious. That Brinckerhoff trace took fewer than 48 hours, the police take months to, possibly not, do the same thing.

When the police said they had released their suspect from police bail the words they used were “The option to 'not proceed' is used by police where persons have been on police bail for some time and the restriction placed upon that person by being on police bail is no longer required. I need to be clear that this does not mean that the person concerned is no longer under suspicion” I called Mick Barnbrook who has been an Inspector at Bexleyheath police to ask if he could explain further. He said that in all his 31 years of service he had never come across it before but he would make enquiries of various retired colleagues.

None had ever heard of such a thing and some offered theories. Among them that the case is being left in limbo because it gets a councillor off the hook while disallowing FOIs and the like because it is still officially a live case. Another is that the police cannot bring anyone to justice because to do so would show the previous investigatory team, against whom there is an outstanding complaint with the Directorate of Professional Standards, to be incompetent or dishonest when they declared all leads exhausted on 23rd August 2011.

While the police refuse, in contravention of their own guidelines on hate crime, to tell the victims anything of note, speculation will flourish.

It is 12 days since the investigating Detective Inspector said “I have asked DS P*** M********* to make contact with you to obtain the full transcript of the e-mails to which you refer and establish whether any offences have been committed or whether indeed they impact upon any current investigation. He will make contact over the next few days” and no such call has been received. (My phone logs all calls whether answered or not.) On the same day I voiced my dissatisfaction (extract below) with the way the DI had handled the case.

The previous Borough Commander Stringer assured me and my MP in February 2012 that I would be updated monthly on that related matter. The last time any information was volunteered by the police was in June. When pressed in early September DS M********* refused to tell me anything in terms that would almost certainly fall foul of the Metropolitan Police's guidance notes on how to deal with victims of hate crime.

This month I have heard nothing and what little information I have has come via my MP and Mr. Elwyn Bryant.

Elwyn has received a message this afternoon addressed to both him and me at the same address. He has passed a copy to me.

Just because the perpetrator of Bexley council's obscene blog wrote that Elwyn and I are a homosexual couple does not mean it is true and that we live under the same roof. The police assumed that was so in June 2011 but I had hoped that you may have got a grip of the facts by now.

I am appalled that after 17 months of investigation you have so little understanding of the real situation.

In another indication of police incompetence Mr. xxxxxx advised me that he was concerned that Bexley police continued to believe I write under the pseudonym Olly Cromwell. CI Gowen made that mistake with the result that my identity was published in newspapers nationally, he was fortunate that I did not include his name in my formal complaint to the DPS, but he apologised. I had hoped that CI Gowen's recognition of Bexley police's failure would ensure it was not repeated.

Do I have to get the IPCC to find against you again? Do you think any part of this email shows you to be performing in a professional manner? All I see is constant incompetence.

Victor OlisaI believe the time has come to make an official complaint against Chief Superintendent Victor Olisa and his team for failing to provide even the tiniest clue as to what is going on and for disregarding their own guidance notes. When CS Stringer was in charge he hinted at just enough to keep Elwyn and I satisfied and made a request that I did not jeopardise his enquiries by talking about the case here. The blog revealed nothing new for four months because of that. The current team has made no similar request since Craske’s arrest and is proving even less helpful.

Their failures are very considerable in number and I suspect it will be a week before they can be assembled into a readable complaint document.

Because I have been waiting for the police to contact me about the offensive emails received 16 days ago a separate crime report will be submitted almost immediately. I am convinced that CS Victor Olisa and his team have been persuaded to cover up a crime and if I am wrong they have only themselves to blame through keeping the victims less well informed than the local newspaper.


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