Thursday, 17 April 2014

HEAR PC JAMES PATRICK CONFRONTING SIR BERNARD HOGAN-HOWE, THE MET COMMISSIONER ON LBC

This is the moment that PC James Patrick, a police whistleblower, who was forced to resign after raising doubts about crime figures, called LBC to confront the Met Police Commissioner.

                                                James' call to Sir Bernard, appears 20 minutes into the video.

http://www.lbc.co.uk/watch-met-police-chief-live-on-lbc-88983

PC James Patrick had said crime figures were manipulated and sexual offences were being under-reported by 22-25%.

Last month, PC Patrick left the force after being subjected to disciplinary proceedings.
He called Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe on his LBC phone-in to ask if the Met were planning to overhaul their procedures on whistleblowers to avoid what he had to go through.

Sir Bernard responded: "We're always prepared to do that. Each case, as you will know sadly though your experience is not straightforward, so of course we're always prepared to look at that and if there's anything you can offer us in that, we'll try to learn.

"It's a difficult balance to strike."

Speaking about his resignation, Mr Patrick told the Commissioner: "I've had no choice, have I boss? "I felt very, very let down in particular by the senior levels of the Met."

Sir Bernard replied: "First of all, I'm sorry about your experience, because I'm sure whatever the rights and wrongs, you won't have enjoyed what you have gone through, nor your family.

"Secondly, I'm certainly happy to consider meeting if you would want to, now that the misconduct process is out of the way.

"And I hope you'd be prepared to accept as well that, although you've got a very firm view about what you've seen and your experience, I have asked for some independent advice to find out whether your allegations are endemic or in fact your experience was a one-off."

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner did admit that mistakes are made in the force's crime figures, adding: "None of our figures are perfect. We know that. We know that not all crime is reported. In terms of rape, it is thought that 85% of rape is never even reported, let alone recorded. The stats never tell us everything and errors are made."

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Police Constable James Patrick on BBC The One Show





With thanks to Dave Hasney over at the Bankside Babble for this one. James' story and the disgraceful treatment and bullying he has received at the hands of the Metropolitan Police, following his decision to blow the whistle on the widespread manipulation and fiddling of crime statistics.



We are happy to re blog this to provide our support and thanks to James for his courageous efforts.



Not over by a long chalk this one, and let's hope we finally start to see some probity return to police recorded crime.



Steve Bennett



Retired West Midlands Police Officer

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

CAUGHT RED HANDED! PASC COMMITTEE CONCLUDES POLICE RECORDED CRIME CANNOT BE TRUSTED

“Poor data integrity reflects the poor quality of leadership"

The House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) have today published their report into allegations of police mis-recording of crime statistics. (The report - Caught Red-Handed: Why We Can’t Count on Police Recorded Crime Statistics - can be viewed here
Bernard Jenkin MP, Chair of the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) says: “Poor data integrity reflects the poor quality of leadership within the police.  Their compliance with the core values of policing, including accountability, honesty and integrity, will determine whether the proper quality of Police Recorded Crime data can be restored.”

The PASC report, Caught Redhanded: Why we can’t rely on Police Recorded Crime, published today, Wednesday 9th April 2014, says:

  • There is strong evidence that the police under-record crime, particularly sexual crimes such as rape in many police areas.
  • This is due to “lax compliance with the agreed national standard of victim-focussed crime recording.”
  • As a result of PASC’s inquiry, the UK Statistics Authority has already stripped Police Recorded Crime data of the quality kite mark, “National Statistics”.
  • The Home Office, the Office of National Statistics and the UK Statistics Authority have all been “far too passive”.
  • Numerical targets drive perverse incentives to mis-record crime.
  • Associated “attitudes and behaviour... have become ingrained, including within senior police leadership” raising “broader concerns about policing values”.
  • This presents officers with “a conflict between achievement of targets and core policing values.”
  • PASC “deprecate the use of targets in the strongest possible terms” and accuses the police of adopting a “flawed leadership model, contrary to the policing Code of Ethics.”

The PASC report recommends:

  • The Home Office should do more to discourage use of targets.
  • The Home Office must take responsibility and accept accountability for the quality of Police Recorded Crime Statistics.
  • Senior police leaders must emphasise data integrity and accuracy, not targets.
  • They should place new emphasis on values and ethics, especially in the Metropolitan Police.
  • The Home Office should “clarify the route open to police whistleblowers” and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of the Constabulary (HMIC) should investigate the treatment of key PASC witness police whistleblower PC James Patrick.
  • PASC recommends that “the Committee on Standards in Public Life conducts a wide-ranging inquiry into the police’s compliance with the new Code of Ethics; in particular the role of leadership in promoting and sustaining these values".

 
 
Bernard Jenkin MP, Chair of the Committee, said:
“The most depressing part of this inquiry is the way that the Metropolitan Police appear to have treated my constituent, PC James Patrick. He says he has been forced to resign from the Metropolitan.  Acting as a whistleblower, he tried to highlight serious concerns about the validity of crime statistics, and the target culture.  Most police forces are still in denial about the damage targets cause, both to data integrity and to standards of behaviour. 
"We are indebted to PC Patrick for his courage in speaking out, in fulfilment of his duty to the highest standards of public service, despite intense pressures to the contrary. The new police code of ethics places a duty on officers to report misconduct among their peers:  the systems enabling police officers to do this must be made much clearer and more accessible, and the Home Office must clarify the route open to police whistleblowers who have exhausted internal channels within their police forces.
“We asked the Home Office for this clarification before we finalised our report, but they replied too late.  We have published their response on our website now. We are calling for HMIC to investigate the Metropolitan Police Service in respect of the treatment of PC Patrick. We have grave doubts that the Metropolitan Police Service has treated PC Patrick fairly or with respect and care.
“Crime statistics are central to our understanding of the nature and prevalence of crime in England and Wales. They provide crucial information for the police which helps them to decide how to deploy their manpower resources. Lax supervision of recorded crime data risks reducing the police’s effectiveness in their core role of protecting the public and preventing crime.”
Caught red-handed: Why we can't count on Police Recorded Crime statistics
Summary
Crime statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) are central to our understanding of the nature and prevalence of crime in England and Wales. They providecrucial information for the police which helps them to decide how to deploy their manpower resources. Lax supervision of recorded crime data risks reducing the police's effectiveness in their core role of protecting the public and preventing crime.
Measurement of crime is based on two main statistical sources: (i) the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW, formerly the British Crime Survey) and (ii) Police Recorded Crime (PRC). The CSEW and PRC provide strong evidence that the overall volume of crime has been falling. However, there is an accumulation of substantial and credible evidence indicating that the PRC data do not represent a full and accurate account of crime in England and Wales. Of most importance, we have strong evidence that PRC under-records crime, and therefore the rate of decrease in crime may be exaggerated, and this is due to lax police compliance with the agreed national standard of victim-focussed crime recording.
As a result of PASC's inquiry and the evidence we have exposed, the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) decided in January 2014 to strip PRC data of its designation as National Statistics. We conclude that the Home Office, ONS and UKSA have been far too passive in the face of concerns raised about PRC; they have repeatedly missed opportunities to ensure the integrity and quality of PRC data.
The cessation of regular external audit of police force crime recording in 2007 was a mistake. We recommend the re-instatement of annual audits of crime recording practices.
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary's inspection in 2013 into the Kent Police found clear evidence that targets are detrimental to the integrity of crime data. Numerical targets for individual police officers and police forces as a whole, based on PRC data, and set by senior police officers or Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), drive perverse incentives to misrecord crime, tend to affect attitudes and erode data quality. Some PCCs consider the perverse incentives created by targets to be so serious that they have dropped all targets. We applaud them. The attitudes and behaviour which lead to the misrecording of crime have become ingrained, including within senior leadership. This leads to the subordination of data integrity to target-chasing. This can present officers with a conflict between achievement of targets and core policing values.
We deprecate the use of targets in the strongest possible terms. The Home Office, which claims credit for abolishing national numerical targets, should also be discouraging the use of such targets. The Home Office must also take responsibility and accept accountability for the quality of PRC statistics. Senior police leaders must ensure that emphasis is placed on data integrity and accuracy, not on the achievement of targets. We regard such practice as a flawed leadership model, contrary to the policing Code of Ethics. The quality of leadership within the police, and its compliance with the core values of policing, including accountability, honesty and integrity, will determine whether the proper quality of PRC data can be restored. We are convinced that this requires leadership in many police forces to place new emphasis on values and ethics, especially in the Metropolitan Police Service. We recommend that the Committee on Standards in Public Life conducts a wide-ranging inquiry into the police's compliance with the new Code of Ethics; in particular the role of leadership in promoting and sustaining these values in the face of all the other pressures on the force.
Our written evidence to the committee can be seen here.

OUR COMMENT

This report from the respected cross party committee is most welcome. It strongly supports the main thrust of what we have said from these pages for a number of years, supported by a wealth of evidence and detailed reports.
The service has faced considerable criticism over recent years, much of it justified, some of it not. Policing is vital to our community and so is the trust we place in our forces to tell us the truth. We hope that this sends out the positive signal to the Leadership of the service that they cannot continue to be a law unto themselves, behaving in an immoral, crooked and yes, even corrupt manner, deceiving the public to the extent that crime is declining and detections are being maintained.
What is truly disappointing is that so many Chief and Senior Officers have lied, obfuscated and cheated regarding the probity of recorded crime, many of them benefitting financially through target bonus payments, with career promotions and political advancement on the back of the web of deceit and lies that has been spun. It seems that none of these officers will ever be brought to account for their corrupt and scurrilous pernicious deceptions they have perpetrated or at the very least, turned a blind eye to.
The next challenge the service must face head on is the equally corrupt detections data. Again from these pages and in concert with others who share our views, we have espoused that detection performance has been massively inflated, deceiving the public into believing that the service is more effective at clearing crime than it actually is. This fools and serves no one, least of all the service itself. Whilst the politicians choose to believe the spin, the service will never receive the support and fiscal backing it needs to improve the true effectiveness of crime detection.
Steve
 
Steve Bennett
Retired West Midlands Police Officer

ACPO Response : Chief Constables need and want accurate crime data

The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) review of recorded crime finds the vast majority of police officers joined the police in order to serve as dedicated and courageous professionals, motivated by their vocation to protect the public. However, the service has not always met the data quality the public expects

Speaking on behalf of the National Policing Performance Management Business Area, Deputy Chief Constable Francis Habgood said:
“Chief constables need and want accurate crime data so that they can understand the threats to our communities and direct our resources effectively to cut crime and protect those we serve. It is also vital that the public trust that if they are victim of crime it will be recorded accurately, investigated fully and that police will take appropriate action. Public confidence, after increasing in recent years, remains stable but we must always to strive to meet the highest standards to ensure that trust is deserved.
“Nobody joins the police service with the intention of recording crime inaccurately. As the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) finds, the vast majority of police officers joined the police in order to serve as dedicated and courageous professionals, motivated by their vocation to protect the public. However, the service has not always met the data quality the public expects.
“The report raises concerns about the use of numerical targets relating to crime reduction but recognises that there has been a gradual shift towards a range of measures to monitor performance against priorities. Performance management has an important part to play in achieving local priorities and the intelligent use of targets can support police activity, if focused correctly on victim outcomes.
“Working with Police and Crime Commissioners, chief constables have an important role to play in building a culture of ethical crime reporting that complements the service’s wider values, laid out in the draft Code of Ethics developed by the College of Policing. We will continue to work hard to achieve greater consistency. and accuracy across the country.”
 




Tuesday, 25 March 2014

CRIME STATS HERO PC FORCED TO RESIGN

 
 
 
It is with a heavy heart and immense disappointment that we hear of the resignation of Met PC James Patrick.
 
Whilst it may not seem so, whilst the wounds are so fresh, many congratulations are due to you James. On the basis of all you have experienced you have made the best decision for you. Your courageous commitment to exposing the truth about the scandal of police recorded crime and statistics and other matters displays a level of integrity sadly lacking in the leadership of the service who continue to defend their pensions, careers and fiefdoms with their lies, obfuscation and pathetic deflection strategies. They remind us more of politicians rather than police officers.

After years of campaigning by James, our website, Copperfield, Gadget and many others, along with many brave officers who have shown great integrity sadly lacking in many of their senior officers, the scurrilous and pernicious deception foisted upon the general public has been exposed.

We continue to perhaps vainly hope that the Chief Officers of ACPO and SMT ranks will finally be held to account, for it is THEY who must be held responsible for this disgraceful travesty. They should hang their heads in shame that such a fine officer feels forced to walk away from the job for these reasons.

It is THEY who have benefitted financially from exorbitant 15% bonus payments for fallacious crime reduction figures.

It is THEY who are being dragged, lying, denying, obfuscating, scheming and kicking to admit the truth that many have known or suspected all along, that the now discredited police recorded crime and the equally fallacious detections are manipulated for political, career and monetary gain, whilst rank and file officers have their professional integrity compromised as they are pressured into implementing strategies they know to be corrupt.

It is the ACPO and SMT rank officers who could have stopped this fiasco in its tracks. It is THEY who chose to perpetuate the myth of falling crime, for their own selfish, corrupt motives.

It is THEY who, even now, with all of the evidence being exposed for the world to see, who are desperately fighting to protect their careers, pensions and fiefdoms.

It is THEY who will undoubtedly point the accusatory finger at junior officers for strategies THEY constructed, orchestrated, enforced or at the very least condoned.

It is THEY who must answer to this. It is THEY, who in all likelihood, will walk away scot free, having been ultimately responsible for the decimation of the police service so many have been proud to commit their lives to.

It is THEY who will likely evade punishment for depriving the tax paying public with the police service we deserve.

Yes, politicians and Home Office civil servants of all persuasions have played their part, many of whom now display a sense of mock surprise and horror at the revelations we have seen. Many of them knew full well what was happening, yet chose to capitalise on the opportunity to boast that crime had fallen to unprecedented levels. Rest assured, THEY KNEW!

ACPO and SMT rank officers lacked the integrity, honesty and courage required and so bravely displayed by James Patrick, to stop the rot. They were the only ones who could have resisted the pressure to manipulate and distort crime. They failed in their sworn duty to the general public and the rank and file officers they command when they chose the corrupt and crooked path. It's high time those who are responsible were brought to book. They do not meet the standard we expect of our most senior police officers. They have not only failed us, they have betrayed our trust and faith in them.

The only just result of the crime statistics mess, is that those officers who KNEW full well what they were doing and chose the wrong crooked path, should face criminal or at the very least severe disciplinary punishment.

And those who castigated and scorned James Patrick should be publicly shamed and removed from the proud office of constable, for they do not deserve the respect and honour of the position.  
 
JAMES, WE SEND YOU OUR VERY BEST WISHES, OUR THANKS FOR YOUR COURAGE AND INTEGRITY AND WISH YOU THE VERY BEST OF LUCK FOR YOUR FUTURE.
 
"All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke (British Statesman and Philosopher 1729-1797)

The last words must surely go to James by reprinting his public statement here.

Date: 24th of March 2014

With deep regret, I have just resigned from the Metropolitan Police Service (‘the MPS’).

I am giving several weeks notice, effectively one week for every complete year of service at this time, plus two to conclude the allegations of misconduct. I had intended to resign after the meeting in any case, but disturbing developments have brought this forward.

This has not been an easy decision and has certainly been made with no jerk of the knee.

I am very proud to have served the public, in the Office of Constable, since the 10th of May 2004 – first at Derbyshire Constabulary then transferring to the MPS on the 9th of October 2009 – even though my service could by no means be described as having been an easy ride.

My experience led me to see just how flawed the whistleblowing system is, how it fails, but also to firmly believe that no police officer should normally resign or retire while subject to any misconduct investigation; but the circumstances are such that I have no choice.

The decision has not been rushed, and I have given the MPS countless opportunities to set our relationship straight; I have also had to weigh, somewhat extraordinarily, the public interest and the impact such a decision may have on me.

This resignation arises directly from my treatment as a result of making disclosures in good faith and in the public interest.

In 2012 I publicly raised concerns over policing, police reform, statistical manipulation, the Olympics and lobbying. I made a permanent record of these concerns in one place, a book, the proceeds of which were destined for and donated to a charity supporting bereaved police families. The result of this was a gross misconduct investigation which had a significant impact upon my work, health and family life.

My family and I have had to live under this threat while the MPS pursued it, yet even so I carried on acting in the public interest, resulting in my being effectively bullied at New Scotland Yard and, in the end, with my sparking a parliamentary inquiry into crime statistics which has had a significant national impact. In the wake I had to watch senior officers deny it was happening, but I couldn’t reply as I’d been warned that it could result in further discipline. Worse still, Essex Police were sent to my home under the Trojan banner of welfare, concluding themselves that they had been sent to rattle our cages. To add insult to injury, it was then conceded that, in fact, what I had said was a truth that needed to be heard.

Having fought through delays and procedural irregularities in the proceedings before this, and having won the argument of bias, I was then informed that a review had been carried out and the gross misconduct dropped. I had to hear via a reporter, on open social media, that this happened after an external force had reviewed the determination of gross misconduct. I had pleaded for external scrutiny from the outset, had hard won an independent panel against the wishes of the MPS.

The situation has had a significant impact on my health, but there has been no real consideration for me. My management has been highlighted as a conflict of interest, driven by questionable motives, and left me subject to open threats of discipline and performance procedures for damage the MPS has caused.

Throughout the misconduct process it has been denied that there were any senior level discussions about me, or policy deficiencies relevant to my case. It was discovered on the 19th of March 2014 that significant material does indeed exist. On discovering this, and immediately serving it on the misconduct meeting Chair, the reaction from the MPS has been aggressive; implying that I am the person whose integrity is in question for trying to discover the truth, and threatening me with potential discipline for defending myself.
It is impossible for me to see how I could ever trust the MPS again, that is something which is permanently destroyed. I have held out for as long as I can but enough is enough: the camel’s back has been broken with a sledgehammer.
JP.




Wednesday, 5 March 2014

ALFIE MOORE : EX COP BRINGS A LIGHTER SIDE TO POLICING

Alfie Moore is a Humberside "Cop Turned Comedian" who brings some well needed humour back to the serious subject of policing.

Alfie is due to perform at a large Insurance Industry dinner event in Birmingham tonight and I am delighted to be attending. Alfie has been in touch on twitter and Facebook and I'm hoping to meet the man himself to swap a few stories from our policing past.


In these days where the job seems permanently under siege, Alfie is a welcome breath of fresh air.

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