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News and Comment November 2012

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16 November (Part 1) - Bexley police see only what they want to see

I suspect that my distrust of the police upsets some readers but probably not as many as would have been the case 20 years ago. Back then I too believed they were honest, I had had no contact with them at any time during my life and then suddenly I did. Beaten up when I opened my own front door to two Bexleyheath police officers and no end of apologies from the Chief Superintendent could undo the damage. The lies told at the police disciplinary hearing, the loss of the incriminating CCTV tape, the policeman who came back to berate me in my own home and who threatened to arrest me for a breach of the peace when I told him to go. I still try hard to believe the police when they claim to be on my side but I know they will try to sweep crime under the carpet if one of their friends might be in trouble - and I don’t just mean the obscene blog.

At the end of last month I alluded to a court case in which Bexleyheath police had, to put it at its mildest, been found wanting. I hoped my long term correspondent would be persuaded to allow publication of some details of how he successful sued our police for their failures and their dishonesty. His account follows. You may wish to read the background to the case before proceeding.

Dartford County CourtThe case involved several pieces of false information that Bexley Police sent to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority about a child who was the victim of a violent crime in the borough. The information given by Police initially resulted in the child being refused compensation for the serious injuries that he suffered in the attack. Of course, once the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority received accurate evidence about the incident, their compensation decision was changed. However, the Police refused to correct any of their false records and statements, claiming that the law about keeping accurate records did not apply to them, and that they were ‘exempt’ from having to be accurate.

When the case was eventually taken to court, the judge ruled that it was “quite clear” that police statements were not exempt from the law. He considered evidence about several statements from Police that the child was to blame for the attack upon himself, that only minor injuries were sustained and that there was no CCTV footage of the main assault, and found that these statements were “wholly inaccurate” and “completely wrong”. He concluded that Bexley Police had “failed to properly consider” the evidence that was available – CCTV footage, a teacher’s report, a medical report, and the handwritten statements of the attacker and other parties, and stated that “those documents show quite clearly a version of events that is different from the conclusions reached by the officers at the time”.

So could there be many other people or investigations that Bexley Police have written false information about, but decided not to correct, because they felt they were exempt from the law requiring it to be accurate? Surely not, as this could have made them responsible for serious miscarriages of justice, and that sort of thing would never happen in a respectable borough like Bexley.

In which case, we have to ask ourselves why Bexley Police would “fail to properly consider” evidence about a serious crime committed against a child in this particular instance; and why, on finding their records wrong, the Police would do everything in their power to avoid putting them right. Perhaps posting more information about how Bexley Police officers conducted themselves in this case will help readers solve this mystery…

As implied by my correspondent’s final sentence there is more to come. I am hoping he will feel able to reveal why the police were so keen to bury his case. As I said last month their motives may not have been a million miles from their apparent inability to bring Bexley council’s crimes to a rapid conclusion and will show the extent of the institutional dishonesty which Chief Superintendent Victor Olisa has inherited and I see no sign that he intends to tackle it.

It is disturbing to learn that the police officer responsible for the malfeasance recorded above is now in charge of the obscene blog enquiry.

The complete story.


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