Lord Dear, whilst of the old school was no fool. Yes, there was controversy on his watch, but unlike so many other Senior Officers who were part of the problem, Mr Dear firmly positioned himself as part of the solution and stood visibly and strongly against corrupt and improper practices.
Sir Hugh will protest that he is a policeman first and foremost. Events and history suggest that he is more of a political animal than he cares to admit. As such he is well versed in the art of deflection. His response letter to the Times demonstrated just that.
Sir, May I correct the three main inaccuracies in the letter by Sir Hugh Orde (Feb 5)? He relied largely on highly personalised remarks when disagreeing with conclusions in my Opinion article (“Most wanted: new leadership for the police”, Feb 1) .
First, West Midlands Police will almost certainly emerge unscathed from the forthcoming inquiry into the Hillsborough Stadium disaster. For detail, see my address to the House of Lords during the passage of the Police (Complaints and Conduct) Bill —Hansard December 11, 2012.
I take some comfort from the fact that my postbag has grown considerably since Sir Hugh’s letter — all but one signal support for my recommendations.
Lord Dear House of Lords
Leadership and Corruption: The Facts Speak For Themselves
As recently as September 14th last year the Guardian printed an article that spelt out the crisis brewing at the top of English policing after another chief constable was suspended on suspicion of serious misconduct.
Stuart Hyde, the temporary chief of the Cumbria force, was suspended after the police authority examined what it said were allegations that may indicate a breach in standards of professional behaviour.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has been called in by the force and is making an "immediate and detailed" assessment of the allegations.
Hyde's suspension brings the number of the country's most senior officers who have faced or are facing disciplinary action or investigation by the police watchdog to NINE. It is unprecedented for so many senior serving officers to be the focus of investigations at the same time.
The Cumbria force called in Bernard Lawson, deputy chief constable of Merseyside, to take over the force on Friday, after Hyde's suspension was announced.
In a fortnight the chief constable of Cleveland, Sean Price, will face a closed disciplinary hearing into 11 allegations of gross misconduct. He faces claims he used "undue influence" during the appointment of the daughter of Dave McLuckie, the former police authority chairman, to a civilian post within the force. Price – who is suspended from his post – is also the subject of a criminal investigation. His deputy, Derek Bonnard, faces a disciplinary hearing for eight counts of alleged gross misconduct.
Both were arrested last year as part of the investigation led by the IPCC. The allegations against them include claims of the misuse of public funds and corporate credit cards. Both men deny wrongdoing and have made claims for wrongful arrest.
The police watchdog is also investigating four senior officers from three separate forces over allegations of misconduct and possible criminal offences during a major investigation.
- Adrian Lee, chief constable of Northamptonshire,
- and his deputy Suzette Davenport;
- Jane Sawyers, assistant chief constable with the Staffordshire force;
- and Marcus Beale, assistant chief constable with the West Midlands,
On behalf of the IPCC, Mick Creedon, Derbyshire chief constable, is examining claims that the officers withheld material and evidence from a murder trial. The four police chiefs have not been suspended from duty or arrested. Their forces have said the investigation does not imply any wrongdoing.
Last May Grahame Maxwell, former chief constable of North Yorkshire, who admitted gross misconduct for helping a relative get a job during a police recruitment campaign, left the force with a £250,000 "golden goodbye". Maxwell, 51, escaped the sack and was given a final written warning after a secret disciplinary hearing. But when the police authority refused to renew his contract it triggered a clause entitling him to £247,636 in compensation. His deputy Adam Briggs – who was also accused of helping a relative get a job during the same recruitment campaign – was disciplined and had a charge of misconduct upheld against him. He has since retired from the force.
AND THERE'S MORE ......
Even more recently, on December 21st 2012, the Telegraph wrote another article listing yet more instances of corrupt or improper practice from our highest qualified and paid police officers.
Saving the best until last .....
"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)"
For many years now, this site has sought to expose the greatest scandal of all, the "Crime of The Century" that is the pernicious and deceitful manipulation of crime statistics and detection numbers. Responsibility rises to the top, to the same Chief Officer rank discussed earlier in the article. Either by encouraging the activities detailed in 200 articles from these pages or condoning them, the Chiefs were and are responsible.
You don't have to stray very far from this sentence to find the evidence. It's all here, in the 200 articles, in recent posts and in the view our reports section to the right, where you will find evidence documented in detailed reports, showing the extent and the methods used to manipulate crime and fool the public.
evidence of “Cooking The Books Of Crime” ……. Chief Officers will of course
refute any such allegations. However there is plenty of front line officer
evidence that confirm that the statistics are not to be trusted.
Rodger Patrick, a retired Detective Chief Inspector from the West Midlands Police and good friend of this site, claimed in the Telegraph as long as three years ao, that manipulative methods are tacitly approved of by senior officers, police watchdogs and the Home Office.
The techniques – dubbed “gaming” – are used to create the illusion that fewer crimes are being committed and that a bigger proportion are being solved.
The claims will inflame the debate about crime statistics after recent figures suggested that crime continues to fall.
The techniques identified by Dr Patrick include:
“Cuffing” – in which officers make crimes disappear from official figures by either recording them as a “false report” or downgrading their seriousness. For example, a robbery in which a mobile phone is stolen with violence or threats of violence is recorded as “theft from the person”, which is not classed as a violent crime.
“Stitching” – from “stitching up”, whereby offenders are charged with a crime when there is insufficient evidence. Police know that prosecutors will never proceed with the case but the crime appears in police records to have been “solved”.
“Skewing” – when police activity is directed at easier-to-solve crimes to boost detection rates, at the expense of more serious offences such as sex crimes or child abuse.
“Nodding” – where clear-up rates are boosted by persuading convicted offenders to admit to crimes they have not committed, in exchange for inducements such as a lower sentence.
Dr Patrick, who researched the subject for a PhD, said: “The academics call this ‘gaming’ but front line police officers would call it fiddling the figures, massaging the books or, the current favourite term, ‘good housekeeping’. It is a bit like the police activities that we all thought stopped in the 1970s.”
The article cited lots of real life examples and one detective, who declined to be named, said: “Name any crime and I’ll tell you how it can be fiddled.”
As a retired Police Officer, I am the author of this blog that specifically exposes the fallacious recording of crime statistics and crime detections over the last twenty years.
I have written many detailed reports and articles exposing the scandal of crime statistics in the UK and have had many exchanges with Senior Police Officers, Government Ministers, including the former Policing Minister Nick Herbert on the subject of manipulated crime statistics. Unfortunately, no-one seems to have the courage to publicly prize the lid off this can off this particular can of worms for fear of reducing public confidence in the police still further.
Do I believe we are enjoying the lowest levels of crime? Definitely not. Do I believe that Chief Constables and Senior Command Teams have suppressed and manipulated crime statistics AND detections for many years …. without doubt.
Adding to the corrupt pernicious manipulation of statistics, with practised deceptions worthy of the criminal fraternity, under Labour administration with performance rewarded targeting, many Chief and Senior officers massively benefited financially from the practices.
Authors of their own misfortune, the Chiefs then had to deal with slashing of budgets and officer numbers as a result of 20 years of alleged crime decreases.
43 forces in England & Wales. Until Labour introduced financial incentives for Chiefs, the 43 forces, as you would expect performed differently, good, bad and middle of the road. Shock of all shocks, Chief Officers were paid 15% bonuses to reflect crime reductions and within a few short years, ALL 43 forces reported consistent drops in crime and increases in detections, using many if not all of the practises referred to earlier.
In come the PCC. It can be no co-incidence that more Chief Officers are currently under suspension or on their way out of the door than has been witnessed previously.
So finally, returning to the exchanges between Lord Dear and Sir Hugh Orde.
Sir Hugh, who are you trying to fool now? There is enough evidence on this page alone to make nonsense of your response to Lord Dear and the personal attacks directed at Mr Dear are merely further evidence of deflection in action. Face up to it, the service needs a root and branch shake up, starting with the leadership. Years of practised deception will make Tom Winsors job at HMIC an unenviable spiders web to disentangle. We doubt he will ever arrive at the complete truth.
The honour and distinction of achieving a high rank in public service has been replaced with greed, with a convenient blindness to the immorality of their actions.
What is the pernicious, deceitful manipulation of recorded crime and detections over a 20 year period, where Chief Officers knowingly accepted 10-15% performance bonuses related to fudged numbers if it isn’t corruption?
The Chief Officers who have perpetrated, organised, condoned or turned a blind eye to these and the other scurrilous practices on this and previous pages must be held finally to account for their parts, for it seems that they have smashed their moral compass to pieces.
And finally, Sir Hugh vs Lord Dear .... whose view do I prefer?