Friday, 25 March 2011

WILL WE SEE JUSTICE FOR YVONNE FLETCHER?










With special thanks to the webmaster at the Surrey Constabulary blog for their latest post reprinted here.

After 27 years, is a day of justice finally approaching for murdered WPC?

By surreywebmaster, March 25, 2011 09:02

Special report:

In a rebel camp in Benghazi, Kim Sengupta has a chilling encounter with a man accused of the 1984 murder of Yvonne Fletcher.

Friday, 25 March 2011
The shocking killing of Yvonne Fletcher in April 1984 led to the siege of the Libyan embassy by armed police.

Artillery shells exploded in the distance and ambulance sirens rose through the air as Libya’s revolution continued on its violent course. But, at the corner of an army camp in Benghazi, the focus was on a 27-year-old murder in London. Sitting on a white plastic chair on the parade ground, with a balaclava-clad guard training a Kalashnikov on him, Omar Ahmed Sodani recounted how he was accused over the shooting of PC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in the UK. He accused three other men of the crime, of which he is the chief suspect. And he gave a glimmer of hope that he will finally be held to account by saying he would be willing to stand trial in London.

The shocking killing of PC Fletcher in April 1984 led to the siege of the Libyan embassy by armed police, the expulsion of the country’s diplomats and a permanent scar on relations between Britain and Libya.

Omar Sodani is accused of shooting WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan Embassy in 1984.

Mr Sodani, the 59-year-old head of the Al Ejanalghoria, Muammar Gaddafi’s militia in Benghazi, has been photographed by British officials, according to a senior rebel, after being discovered hiding in a farmhouse 10 days ago. He has been questioned by his captors in the rebel movement not only about the shooting but for allegedly providing reports on Libyan students in London which led to their persecution back home, as well as complicity in human rights abuses.

“Of course I realise I am in a serious position. I don’t know if I am a prisoner or not, but I am the head of the Al Ejanalghoria, the revolutionary committee,” Mr Sodani said. He spoke haltingly at first, hunched forward into the gray fleece he was wearing, some of his words lost in a strong wind gusting around the parade ground. Occasionally his eyes would dart towards a group of rebel fighters who were watching him intently. “They have interrogated me about the shooting all those years ago,” he said. “I have explained to them that I did not do it.

“I do think about the policewoman and her family over time but there is nothing I can do. The shooting should not have happened. It was a mistake, but I had nothing to do with it. For years it was difficult to talk about it, but I can say that I did not kill her.”

At the time of the shooting, insisted Mr Sodani, he was under arrest at a London police station. He had tried to get into the embassy, where he acted as a part-time spokesman, while a group of dissidents were holding a demonstration outside and became involved in an altercation with a police officer. “I do not remember which police station it was, but it was near by. By the time I was released the shooting had already taken place,” he said. “I was in London, at my home in Ennismore Gardens, for two weeks and then I was expelled. But I have had this accusation against me ever since.”

Now he says that he is prepared to face justice. “The police in England never charged me with it even though I was there for two weeks after it took place,” he said. “I am being questioned about this again when there is so much happening in Libya. But I am prepared to stand up before a judge, here, or in England, and say that I did not kill her.”

PC Fletcher, who was policing the demonstration, was killed by a single shot from the first-floor window of the embassy, called the “people’s bureau” by the Libyans. Mr Sodani’s fingerprints were discovered in the room near the window frame and, it is claimed, he was seen by one of the protesters outside.

There has never been any proof of who fired the gun. But Mr Sodani’s protestations of innocence were met with scepticism in Benghazi. “At the time he was spying on students for his masters in Tripoli,” a rebel official said. “He was in the embassy, I remember seeing him at the embassy. He has done a lot of nasty things since he returned here. He will be held accountable for all that as well.”

Mr Sodani countered those claims with rising urgency audible in his voice. As he spoke he became louder, as if he would not have many other chances to protest his innocence.

“It is not surprising that my fingerprints were found, I was there all the time helping them put out statements,” he said. And, he added, Yvonne Fletcher’s death had made little impression. “I cannot remember where the shooting took place, it was more than 25 years ago,” he said. “We talked about it afterwards, but we did not talk about it much.”

Asked who had carried out the shooting if it was not him, Mr Sodani was reticent at first. “This is something I want to only talk to the police about,” he said. Mr Sodani shook his head vigorously saying he did not want to incriminate anyone else. Then, after a moment’s silence, he scratched his stubbly beard, leant forward and spread his hands. “There were three names which came up,” he said. “Two were students, both called Saleh, and the third person was a diplomat, Abdul Gader. I do not know what has happened to them.”

As well as Mr Sodani, Scotland Yard had investigated Abdel-Gader Tuhami, who, it was claimed, had carried out political assassinations on behalf of the Gaddafi regime; Moustapha Maghribi, a military intelligence officer; Ali Jalid, a press officer; and two political attaches, Matouk Matouk and Abdul Ghadir Baghdadi.

After prolonged negotiations, the Libyan regime agreed to pay compensation to PC Fletcher’s family. Relations between Tripoli and the UK and US thawed after similar payments were made to the families bereaved in the Lockerbie bombing and the handing over of the two suspects for trial.

Detectives from London flew to Libya a number of times after pledges of co-operation from the authorities. But those trips did not unearth enough evidence to enable prosecutions. Police sources claimed they had been unable to interview a number of crucial witnesses and potential suspects.

According to media reports, Mr Sodani and Mr Matouk had already been executed on the orders of Colonel Gaddafi. “I read that I had been killed and that also we had been given a ‘hero’s welcome’ first. But that did not happen either, there was no welcome.

“They [the regime] said they would look after all my problems, but I had problems with my accommodation and my work and I did not get much help. So, at the end I decided to go back to continue my studies in Europe. I had not been charged by the police with anything, and so I did not see any reason why I shouldn’t travel.”

While working part time at the embassy in London, Mr Sodani was taking a course at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and applied for academic places in Belgium and Germany.

“I had wanted to leave my past behind. But in both Belgium and Germany I was told that I would not be accepted because I was in London during the shooting,” he said. “At the end I had to go to East Germany, to Berlin. All I wanted to do was continue with my studies.”

Mr Sodani headed a department at Benghazi University after returning to Libya. According to a member of the protest movement “he failed students who did not attend lectures on Gaddafi’s Green Book. He was totally with the regime”.

Mr Sodani disappeared soon after the 17 February uprising. He was found by rebels searching for members of Gaddafi’s force who are said to be trying to infiltrate Benghazi.

After talking for a little more than an hour, Mr Sodani was led away. As he departed, he made one final pronouncement: “I have full confidence in the fairness of the revolution and the revolution’s judges. This country would be a far better place in the future than it was in the past.” There was no mistaking the fear in his voice.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/after-27-years-is-a-day-of-justice-finally-approaching-for-murdered-wpc-2252531.html

See also - http://blog.old-and-bold.com/wordpress/?p=2955

One Response to “After 27 years, is a day of justice finally approaching for murdered WPC?”

surreywebmaster says:

March 25, 2011 at 09:16 The peaceful London protest that became a day of bloody infamy.

It began with what should have been a peaceful demonstration watched by benevolent London bobbies on 17 April 1984. Outside a building which Colonel Gaddafi insisted on calling the Libyan People’s Bureau, in St James’s Square off Pall Mall, a little group of Libyan exiles had gathered to protest at the hanging of two Tripoli University students.

The police did not expect the protesters to cause any trouble, and what should have eased their task was that it was a holiday in Libya, so most of the staff of the embassy, or People’s Bureau, were not at work that day. Neither the police nor the demonstrators reckoned on the fanaticism of some of the Gaddafi loyalists who were inside the building, staring resentfully out at their fellow countrymen shouting slogans against their leader.

One of them, in an upstairs room, raised an automatic weapon and raked the crowd with bullets, hitting 11 of the protesters. All, mercifully, survived, though five were seriously injured.

But one bullet hit a 25-year-old police constable, Yvonne Fletcher, who by rights should not have been in the police force at all because she was just 5ft 4in tall. But somehow she had talked her way into getting a job and was engaged to a fellow officer, who was standing nearby and saw her die.

It is the only instance in living memory in which a British police officer has been murdered in the line of duty and the culprit has got clean away – which is why Yvonne Fletcher is the only murdered officer whose name can be instantly recalled by a very large number of people, although she has been dead for almost 27 years.

Though the Libyans refused to call their premises an “embassy”, its staff enjoyed all the privileges of accredited diplomats, which meant that the police were not allowed to go into the building to arrest the killer. All they could do was surround it, to stop him getting out.

The reaction in Tripoli was instant. Troops encircled the British embassy, trapping 20 people inside, and Colonel Gaddafi vowed that if their bureau was stormed “an act of this magnitude will not go unanswered by the Libyan people”.

The stand-off lasted several days, while the British authorities sought Libya’s permission for detectives to enter the building. They kept in telephone contact with staff inside, and took them supplies of food, drink and cigarettes, while armed police trained their weapons on the building, day and night. In Tripoli, the British embassy was under a similar siege.

After six days of tense and ultimately pointless negotiations, the British government broke off diplomatic relations with Libya, ordered the staff from the Tripoli embassy home, and gave Libya’s diplomatic staff one week to leave the country. The implication was that after a week they would lose their immunity and the police would be free to do what they could to identify and arrest the gunman.

Even as they left, they and their baggage were accorded diplomatic status, which meant that on 27 April police had to stand back, under the watchful gaze of diplomats from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Syria, as dozens of bags were removed from the building – knowing that one of those bags held the gun that had killed Yvonne Fletcher. The next day, 30 people trooped out of the People’s Bureau and boarded a plane for Tripoli.

The police believed they already knew the killer’s identity. Using monitoring equipment, they had overheard a heated argument inside the building during which the gunman’s name was mentioned. All 30 occupants had to give their names as they left. Only one matched.

He was said to be a man with dark hair, in his early 30s, a description that fits Omar Ahmed Sodani, who has always maintained his innocence. Though it was reported that Fletcher’s killer was executed on arrival in Libya, the truth appears to be that he was given a hero’s welcome.

Diplomatic relations between Britain and Libya were severed for 15 years, until July 1999, after Gaddafi had agreed to hand over the two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing. After that, detectives from the Metropolitan Police made several visits to Libya in the hope of cracking the case, but without success.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/the-peaceful-london-protest-that-became-a-day-of-bloody-infamy-2252530.html

See our previous related articles about Yvonne and the disgusting betrayal of her memory by Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and the Labour Government:

http://thinbluelineuk.blogspot.com/2009/10/murder-of-wpc-fletcher-gadaffi-sorry.html
http://thinbluelineuk.blogspot.com/2009/10/petition-to-bring-murderer-of-wpc.html
http://thinbluelineuk.blogspot.com/2009/09/police-federation-letter-to-gordon.html
http://thinbluelineuk.blogspot.com/2009/09/wpc-yvonne-fletcher-growing-sense-of.html
http://thinbluelineuk.blogspot.com/2009/09/murder-of-wpc-fletcher-uk-govt-betrayed.html








Monday, 21 March 2011

WINSOR REVIEW - HOW WILL IT AFFECT YOU? - PC to CHIEF INSPECTOR? FIND OUT HERE

The Winsor Review team has produced a ready reckoner to show how much you could be winning or losing from its recommendations.
We have uploaded the ready reckoner from the site for you. To access or download it for yourself click here or directly via the Winsor Review site.

The 'ready reckoner' for Constables, Sergeants, Inspectors and Chief Inspectors enables you to click on your current role and circumstances and it will give you an indication of how much more or less you would earn in the future.

Many reports have caused considerable concern for police officer and staff salaries. Many officers will actually benefit from the changes, the review claims. If you are a federated rank - from PC to Chief Inspector - and want to know how the proposals affect you, go to the ready reckoner to show how your income, including allowances and overtime, will change if the recommendations are implemented.

Click on the image to see it larger. To see how the review will affect you click here.



The Winsor Review site

WINSOR REVIEW - PAY LOSS CALCULATOR - LETTER FROM GENERAL SECRETARY
Friday 18th March 2011

Dear Colleague,

I would like to draw your attention to the following website which shows the effect on an officer’s income of the Winsor recommendations:
http://review.police.uk/publications/review-recommendations

After inputting the required information, many members will find that their pay falls as a result of these changes.

Even for those whose pay appears to rise, it is important to remember that these calculations only show changes to income in cash terms.

Inflation is currently running at 5% and is forecast to be close to this level for at least the next 12 months, so the value of basic pay will fall as a result of the two-year pay freeze which the Government wishes to impose upon us.

These calculations also take no account of the fact that under the Winsor recommendations officers will not move up their pay increments. This means that if an officer is not at the top of his or her pay scale, their pay will actually be lower than it would otherwise have been, despite any increases that result from Mr Winsor’s recommendations.

I should also point out, for your information, that while Mr Winsor factors in pension contribution increases, these have yet to be discussed by the Police Negotiating Board, and we have been assured that discussions will take place there before any increases are implemented.

In common with all other employees, though, from April 2011 there will be several changes to the income tax and national insurance regimes. In particular:
  • The income tax personal allowance will rise to £7,475, but the salary level at which employees begin to pay the higher rate of income tax (40%) will fall from £37,400 per annum to £35,000 per annum.
  • Employee national insurance contribution (NIC) rates will rise from 11% to 12% for those who earn between £139 a week and up to £817 a week and from 1% to 2% for those who earn anything over £817 per week.
The effect of this is that employees with total earnings of more than £35,000 a year will find themselves paying more in income tax and national insurance contributions.

I hope that you find this information helpful to understand the true impact of the Winsor recommendations on your take home pay. The PFEW will engage fully on negotiations over these recommendations, but we have no intention of agreeing to any changes which would see a fall in our members’ pay and conditions of service. As I have tried to do throughout this process, I will continue to keep you updated on developments.
Regards

Ian Rennie

General Secretary
Police Federation of England and Wales
www.polfed.org
See source document

The Winsor Review - The effect on pay and conditions - 21 March 2011


To see source file on http://www.polfed.org/ click here

Dear Colleagues

On Friday 18th March 2011, we became aware of the circulation of an e-mail communication from Tom Winsor to Chief Constables requesting their urgent assistance and co-operation in ensuring that their police officers and staff are properly informed about the likely effects of the implementation of his review of pay and conditions. He asked them to circulate a letter and a ready reckoner that is also available on his review website, which he states officers and staff can use to dispel misleading information about the effects that his proposals will have on police pay.

This resulted in my communication above, from which it is clearly evident that Tom Winsor is being selective as to the information he wants officers to focus on and is a blatant attempt to generate support for his proposals by creating uncertainty and division between officers. This is particularly disappointing considering that the Home Secretary has yet to inform the Police Negotiating Board as to which of his proposals she considers should be the subject of negotiation. The adoption of this strategy by Tom Winsor clearly shows that his review, which proposes to remove almost £500M from police pay, can now be seen for exactly what it is, a cynical attack to reduce police pay and conditions.

It is important that you are aware of the full facts and not fooled by this misleading information provided by Winsor. I have therefore asked your local Federation to bring this information to the attention of your Chief Constable, requesting that they give my communication equal prominence with that of the Winsor Pay Calculator in any of their communications, including the force website. I would hope that as good employers and leaders of the service, Chief Constables would want to ensure that their officers are aware of the full facts. I await confirmation of their support and will keep you informed of their co-operation, however it would be inappropriate not to congratulate Simon Ash, the Chief Constable of Suffolk, who I understand is the first to refuse. We can only hope that this is not an indication of his support for the Winsor proposals, particularly as he represents ACPO on the Official Side of PNB, although one would hope that he would represent the views all the Chief Constables not just his own.

To ensure that you are fully informed, I also include my earlier communication of 11th March that includes previously circulated information identifying the detrimental impact the Winsor proposals will have on officers’ pay and conditions.

We are grateful for your continued support during this difficult time for policing.
Regards

Ian Rennie

General Secretary
Police Federation of E&W
Federation House
Highbury Drive
Leatherhead
Surrey KT22 7UY

We would urge all Federated ranks to read Ian Rennie's detailed comments about the review.

To read or download them now click here.

To see Paul McKeever's latest address to the membership click below.

video

Sunday, 6 March 2011

CRIME IS DOWN ..... OR IS IT? - PART 5 - CRIME OF THE CENTURY

Over recent years, every Tom, Dick and Harry involved in the compilation, manipulation and obfuscation of crime statistics have thrown their thistle encrusted ACPO caps in the air to celebrate a steady fall in crime. The Home Office boasted it was all down to its crime prevention efforts. The police hierarchy said it was their intelligence-led approach that was responsible. Academics said rising consumption, falling inequality, better security devices, fewer adolescent males, an upsurge in abortions (with fewer neglected children) and/or a fall in unemployment were at the root of it all. The last Government would have us believe it was a direct result of their strategy to bolster officer numbers and wonderful performance targeting that brought about the miraculous decrease in crime and increase in detections.

But what if it never happened? What if all that research (and all of the political point-scoring which it inspired) is one big misleading lie? What if it was all a pernicious web of deceit involving Senior Politicians and Police Chiefs with the conspiratorial intention of fooling the public into believing that crime was falling and detections were rising year after year?

What if the truth is that crime didn’t fall at all – that it was only the statistics that fell, and in fact the illusion of falling crime was the biggest crime of them all?

"Crime Of The Century", the latest report from The Thin Blue Line argues that there has in fact been an appalling and orchestrated "Cooking of the crime books" for many years. Years of collaborative research and contributions from serving, retired and former police officers confirmed our worst suspicions. Police recorded crime and detections have been wickedly and deliberately manipulated for many years, resulting in millions being paid in performance bonuses to Chief Officers, gross misallocation and direction of fiscal and operational resources and perhaps the worst crime of all, the scurrilous conspiratorial deception of the tax paying public, perpetrated by Chief Officers and previous Home Office ministers that crime fell and detections rose dramatically under their watch.

Even more disturbing is that these "Gaming" practices have occurred with the knowledge and passive acquiescence of the responsible bodies whose duty it is, to manage and regulate policing, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Her Majesties Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC), The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and the Office of the Information Commissioner (ICO).  Whilst some of the supportive information and evidence is subject either copyright restrictions or legal privilege, the report provides sufficient detail for the reader to grasp the gravity of the scandalous activity and subsequent failure of the regulatory bodies to take the necessary action. 

Negative pr would be just one result from exposure of this scandal. This is the most likely motive for the regulatory bodies sweeping the details under the carpet in the hope that the activities will magically disappear. However, by concealing the extent of "gaming" the respective organisations are colluding or aiding and abetting the deception. By failing to act, they are silently condoning the strategies of Chief Officers who are ultimately responsible for these dubious and possibly criminal practices. 

In the few instances where "gaming" has been exposed within forces, it has been the rank and file officers, carrying out the strategies of the senior command, who have been held responsible. Senior officers have been adept at applying pressure for results through the management chain down to the front line officers responsible for crime recording and detections. However, when questioned, these Chiefs have plausible prepared answers that they only advocate "ethical practices". The evidence from the front liners is that in practice, the tactics employed do not support the Chief Officers' protestations.

The discussions of sanction detection targets provided some of the best and most worrying examples of the negative effects of the strategies. In addition to diverting effort and resources from the investigation and detection of more serious crime, the pressure to achieve sanction detections is threatening the integrity of officers. On some BCUs officers are adopting practices which could have serious consequences for them if they were to come to light.

The senior officers who exert these production pressures were accused of duplicity by turning a blind eye to such infractions whilst making grand statements in public about the importance of police integrity.

The report opens with a review of "Gaming in public sector statistics" – exploring in some depth the prevalence of the activity as a result of performance targeting. Reference is made to respected research and commissioned articles that explain the subject in greater detail as an overview.

This is followed by section 2 which summarises the work of Dr Rodger Patrick, who served as a Chief Inspector in the West Midlands Police during the introduction of New Public Management and the Performance Management regime which accompanied it 1995 – 2005. Dr Patrick is responsible for conducting what is perhaps the most extensive and conclusive independent research into the practice of Gaming within the police forces of England & Wales. The section details and explains the identified "gaming" practices of "cuffing", "stitching", "nodding" and "skewing".

In section 3 "Police Officers have their say", the report provides actual comment from serving police officers, detailing more precisely how crime statistics and detections are manipulated and fiddled. The polite term is "Housekeeping" but many simply refer to it as "Cooking the books".

Section 4 summarises the official line, drawing extracts from the "Crime statistics in England & Wales" reports. 

In section 5 the report explores the administrative changes implemented during the Labour years that dramatically skewed the statistics therefter. The Home Office Counting Rules, National Crime Recording Standard and the National Standard for Incident Recording each contributed to massive distortions of the crime statistics in years subsequent to their introduction, leading the Home Office to concede: "Variation in recording practices had made comparisons between police forces and, indeed, national estimates of the level of crime difficult to measure accurately". The notes that accompany the statistical tables contain the rider: "The National Crime Recording Standard was introduced in April 2002, although some forces adopted NCRS practices before the standard was formally introduced. Figures before and after that date are not directly comparable. The introduction of NCRS led to a rise in recording in 2002/03 and, particularly for violent crime, in the following years as forces continued to improve compliance with the new standard".  The effects of these changes (argued to provide the previous Government with an obfuscation tool to assist with their reducing crime spin) are covered in more detail in section 6.

Section 6 "The numbers game"  explores the statistical effects of "gaming" by examining recorded crime from 1997 to 2010 and highlighting the offences where manipulation is most prevalent and how the trends and patterns suggest that alternative recording methods are used to manipulate recorded crime and detection numbers. An extract from the section looking at recorded crime by offence 1997 to 2010 follows:-

The key offence groups have been extrapolated from the recorded crime statistics for each of the years from 1997, when the Labour administration began and the most recent complete recorded crime year up to 31st March 2010.

· The largest group of offences by far, is that containing property, Robbery, Burglary, Vehicles, Other Theft, Fraud & Criminal Damage (Volume Crime)
· This set represented 91% of total recorded crime in 1997, dropping to 70% by 2010
· The property group is most susceptible to gaming practices where a significant decline in crime can be represented. For example, the 10% decrease in property crime reported in 2009/10 amounted to 320,807 fewer offences. The total of all crime displayed 364,113 fewer offences, meaning that property crime represented 88% of the total decrease in crime. This illustrates the most likely area where gaming practices would have the most significant impact, by individual force and for the 43 force total.
· The property group is also the most likely to experience “cuffing” unless an insurance claim is involved, where a crime number is often required to validate the claim. However, even this is not insurmountable, as we have experienced many cases where cases are reported as an “incident” but not subsequently elevated to a “crime” so such cases never appear in the statistics. Burglary & vehicle crime are particularly susceptible to these distortive effects.
· Burglary offences where no property is stolen are frequently either not recorded as crimes or downgraded to minor damage (and only where damage is sustained).
· Batching of crimes remains a problem, where for example 20 caravans are broken into on a site and reported as one associated offence unless arrests are made when a crime per victim is generated as this produces an equal number of detections, thus distorting the true picture. This also applies with multiple damage incidents and offences against vehicles.
· Robbery offences involve theft with force. Where a prima facie case of robbery with force is not evident, these are commonly downgraded to other thefts to lessen the seriousness of the position.
· The rise in drug offences as a percentage of total crime from 1% in 1997 to 5% in 2010 is somewhat fallacious, reflective and supportive of officer comments that PND for cannabis possession have a perverse effect on overall crime. In the main, these offences come to light as a result of police activity and are over exploited for the purpose of reflecting improvement in detections.
· The steep decline in property crime as a percentage of overall crime is synonymous with one or more of the gaming activities being present, as this is the largest group and most susceptible for the big hit activities referred to earlier in the report. As outlined, whilst this has the outward appearance of reducing crime, in fact officer time is expended on the higher yield, less important matters at the expense of crime that requires greater effort, time and skill to resolve. 
 
Section 7 briefly touches on the recent introduction of Crime Mapping. Whilst considered a useful tool for public interaction and raising awareness about crime, the report observes that until recorded crime is cleansed of its present impurities, the excellent potential of this facility will be undermined and mistrusted.  

In section 8, the report outlines the terms of reference for the National Statisticians review of crime statistics & provides the detailed responses submitted by the Thin Blue Line. 

To view the full report in digital format click here, or the link above this article "Enlarge this document in a new window" (when the above link is removed, the report may still be accessed via the "View our reports" section in the side bar to the right of this page). Once the digital report is accessed, the pages may be enlarged reduced and the document downloaded in zip format to your computer should you wish). A pdf version of the report can be uploaded by clicking here or via the View Our Reports section to the right.

For readers familiar with police and criminal justice matters, you may wish to focus on the Executive Summary, the officers comments section, the numbers game effects and submission to the National Statistician. 

Officers contributions (anonymously) continue to arrive and are most welcome as these will be encapsulated in a further report in due course.

CONCLUDING COMMENT

Crime statistics have sunk to the depths where they are ridiculed, mistrusted and laughable. Frontline police officers have long since tried to raise public awareness about he scurrilous strategies engaged by Chief and Senior Officers in the pursuit of declining crime and increased detection targets.

Home Secretary, Theresa May has clearly recognised the suspicion and doubt that surround crime statistics, by announcing a review led by the national statistician to decide which independent body should have future responsibility for the publication of crime statistics and to oversee the implementation of recommendations last year from the UK Statistics Authority.

To quote her speech in the House of Commons :  "I am concerned that our existing measures of crime are confusing and offer the public only a partial picture of the true level of offending. It is in the public interest that we have measures of crime that are clear, meaningful and in which the public can have confidence. While the UK Statistics Authority saw no evidence of political interference in crime statistics published by the Home Office, (perhaps they knew not where to look!) I believe bolder action is needed to more clearly demonstrate their political independence. For that reason, I have decided to move future formal responsibility for the publication of crime statistics to an independent body".  

Theresa May has scrapped all performance targets for policing, replacing them with a single measure, to cut crime. To date, many Chief Officers have disobeyed her  instruction, (30+ forces still promote the scrapped policing pledge), perhaps in fear that without a yardstick to be measured by, they will be unable to demonstrate how effective their force is. And for those forces where Senior Officer bonuses are still being paid (15%on top of the 100k+ basic salary for Chief Constables, 12.5% for Deputy and Assistant Chiefs, and 10% for middle management) it is likely grounded in the fear of financial loss. It is clear that not until and when crime statistics have been cleansed of its current malaise, will any subsequent successes be treated with respect.

On page 94 of the report, there appears a very damning chart which illustrates most clearly, the pattern that has developed within each of the 43 police forces of England & Wales, becoming increasingly unbelievable over the last six years. Starting with the recorded crime totals for each force from 2003 (the first year where such detailed data was available), it was possible to determine the percentage variance in crime by force year-on-year.

· In 2004 27 out of 43 forces experienced an increase in crime
· In 2005 7 out of 43 forces experienced an increase in crime
· In 2006 14 out of 43 forces experienced an increase in crime
· In 2007 12 out of 43 forces experienced an increase in crime
· In 2008 1 out of 43 forces experienced an increase in crime
· In 2009 1 out of 43 forces experienced an increase in crime
· In 2010 (to March 31st) 1 out of 43 forces experienced an increase in crime
· In 2010 (to September 30th) By now NOT ONE force experienced an increase in crime
· If you were the CEO of a 43 branch company, you would expect to see a variance in performance, between branches, month to month, year on year. Yet, we are expected to swallow the pill that not one force experienced a rise in crime for the year end 30/9/2010?

Looking further back, you will see from the gold boxes in the chart that there is an overwhelming pattern for nearly every force to experience crime decreases, particularly over the latter 4 years. No doubt forces will have a plausible explanation, but we doubt it would stand closer scrutiny.
· The steady decrease in forces experiencing crime increases, arriving at what is presented as a state of “perfection” by September 2010, lends further support to the belief that there has been a large scale manipulation of the statistics through gaming
practices.
· The uninterrupted decline of overall recorded crime between 2005 and 2010 as shown in the recorded crime by offence report, is mirrored by the decrease in the number of forces experiencing increases in crime. Whilst this seems an obvious statement, that the number of forces experiencing crime increases has fallen to zero is indicative of large scale gaming and manipulative practices with volume crime which needs to be investigated. Similar discrepencies appear in the report that details detected crime.

Even at 122 pages, the report contains summary information and evidence. Further conclusive evidence supprts the information and data presented which necessitates a thorough and transparent review of the current processes if true public confidence in crime statistics is to return.

Comments and contributions are welcome, anonymously if preferred.

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