Wednesday, 10 August 2011


Years of liberal dogma have spawned a generation of amoral, uneducated, welfare dependent, brutalised youngsters

By Max Hastings
10th August 2011

In an excellent article reprinted lower down this page, Max Hastings hits the nail on the head about the generation of yobs that have shown their tru colours on our city streets.

The only recommendation I would add is that surely the events of the last few days show us that it is time to bering back National Service.

Surveys have shown that the majority of Britons want National Service to be reintroduced. About 69 per cent think that compulsory military service would curb the country's growing yob culture and cut crime.

The survey, by GfK Media, found that 65 per cent of adults think National Service should be used to reduce overcrowding in prisons. National Service ran from 1945 to 1963, with 2.5 million young men conscripted. They were used as part of the 100,000-strong occupation force in post-war Germany, to police Palestine and protect Aden and the Suez Canal Zone. Some had an easier time in Singapore, Hong Kong and lesser military bases.

Although no politicians have called for National Service to be reintroduced to deal with youth crime and misbehaviour, similar style community work schemes have been put forward. Gordon Brown, when Chancellor, unveiled a multi-million government scheme, supported by industry, to fund gap years for young people to do voluntary work in Britain and abroad.

David Cameron, the Tory Party leader, recently suggested a compulsory period of up to four months' voluntary work for all school-leavers. According to this survey of 1,266 adults, carried out for ITV's Bad Lad's Army programme, 87 per cent worry about Britain's yob culture.

Only 19 per cent thought that a spell in the military would not stop youngsters behaving badly. When asked how long that spell should be, two years received the biggest vote, with 33 per cent, and 61 per cent saying that women should do their bit as well as men.


A few weeks after the U.S. city of Detroit was ravaged by 1967 race riots in which 43 people died, I was shown around the wrecked areas by a black reporter named Joe Strickland.

He said: ‘Don’t you believe all that stuff people here are giving media folk about how sorry they are about what happened. When they talk to each other, they say: “It was a great fire, man!” ’

I am sure that is what many of the young rioters, black and white, who have burned and looted in England through the past few shocking nights think today.

Manchester: Hooded looters with arm fulls of clothes run from a Manchester shopping centre yesterday evening
It was fun. It made life interesting. It got people to notice them. As a girl looter told a BBC reporter, it showed ‘the rich’ and the police that ‘we can do what we like’.

If you live a normal life of absolute futility, which we can assume most of this week’s rioters do, excitement of any kind is welcome. The people who wrecked swathes of property, burned vehicles and terrorised communities have no moral compass to make them susceptible to guilt or shame.

Most have no jobs to go to or exams they might pass. They know no family role models, for most live in homes in which the father is unemployed, or from which he has decamped.

They are illiterate and innumerate, beyond maybe some dexterity with computer games and BlackBerries.

They are essentially wild beasts. I use that phrase advisedly, because it seems appropriate to young people bereft of the discipline that might make them employable; of the conscience that distinguishes between right and wrong.

They respond only to instinctive animal impulses — to eat and drink, have sex, seize or destroy the accessible property of others.

Their behaviour on the streets resembled that of the polar bear which attacked a Norwegian tourist camp last week. They were doing what came naturally and, unlike the bear, no one even shot them for it.

A former London police chief spoke a few years ago about the ‘feral children’ on his patch — another way of describing the same reality.

The depressing truth is that at the bottom of our society is a layer of young people with no skills, education, values or aspirations. They do not have what most of us would call ‘lives’: they simply exist.

Nobody has ever dared suggest to them that they need feel any allegiance to anything, least of all Britain or their community. They do not watch royal weddings or notice Test matches or take pride in being Londoners or Scousers or Brummies.

Not only do they know nothing of Britain’s past, they care nothing for its present.

They have their being only in video games and street-fights, casual drug use and crime, sometimes petty, sometimes serious.

The notions of doing a nine-to-five job, marrying and sticking with a wife and kids, taking up DIY or learning to read properly, are beyond their imaginations.

Undercover police officers have arrest looters in the Swarovski Crystal shop in Manchester. One looter lies injured and blood can be seen on the wall
Last week, I met a charity worker who is trying to help a teenage girl in East London to get a life for herself. There is a difficulty, however: ‘Her mother wants her to go on the game.’ My friend explained: ‘It’s the money, you know.’

An underclass has existed throughout history, which once endured appalling privation. Its spasmodic outbreaks of violence, especially in the early 19th century, frightened the ruling classes.

Its frustrations and passions were kept at bay by force and draconian legal sanctions, foremost among them capital punishment and transportation to the colonies.

Today, those at the bottom of society behave no better than their forebears, but the welfare state has relieved them from hunger and real want.

When social surveys speak of ‘deprivation’ and ‘poverty’, this is entirely relative. Meanwhile, sanctions for wrongdoing have largely vanished.

When Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith recently urged employers to take on more British workers and fewer migrants, he was greeted with a hoarse laugh.

Birmingham: People wearing masks swig alcohol next to a burning car in Birmingham city centre last night

Ken Livingstone, contemptible as ever, declares the riots to be a result of the Government’s spending cuts. This recalls the remarks of the then leader of Lambeth Council, ‘Red Ted’ Knight, who said after the 1981 Brixton riots that the police in his borough ‘amounted to an army of occupation’.

But it will not do for a moment to claim the rioters’ behaviour reflects deprived circumstances or police persecution.

Of course it is true that few have jobs, learn anything useful at school, live in decent homes, eat meals at regular hours or feel loyalty to anything beyond their local gang.

This is not, however, because they are victims of mistreatment or neglect.

It is because it is fantastically hard to help such people, young or old, without imposing a measure of compulsion which modern society finds unacceptable. These kids are what they are because nobody makes them be anything different or better.

Rampage: We are told that youths roaming the streets are doing so because they are angry at unemployment, but a quick looks at an apprenticeship website yields 2,228 vacancies in London
A key factor in delinquency is lack of effective sanctions to deter it. From an early stage, feral children discover that they can bully fellow pupils at school, shout abuse at people in the streets, urinate outside pubs, hurl litter from car windows, play car radios at deafening volumes, and, indeed, commit casual assaults with only a negligible prospect of facing rebuke, far less retribution.

John Stuart Mill wrote in his great 1859 essay On Liberty: ‘The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people.’

Yet every day up and down the land, this vital principle of civilised societies is breached with impunity.

Anyone who reproaches a child, far less an adult, for discarding rubbish, making a racket, committing vandalism or driving unsociably will receive in return a torrent of obscenities, if not violence.

So who is to blame? The breakdown of families, the pernicious promotion of single motherhood as a desirable state, the decline of domestic life so that even shared meals are a rarity, have all contributed importantly to the condition of the young underclass.

The social engineering industry unites to claim that the conventional template of family life is no longer valid.

Protection: Asian shopkeepers stand outside their store in Hackney that was battered by the looters. This time, though, they're ready to take them on
And what of the schools? I do not think they can be blamed for the creation of a grotesquely self-indulgent, non-judgmental culture.

This has ultimately been sanctioned by Parliament, which refuses to accept, for instance, that children are more likely to prosper with two parents than with one, and that the dependency culture is a tragedy for those who receive something for nothing.

The judiciary colludes with social services and infinitely ingenious lawyers to assert the primacy of the rights of the criminal and aggressor over those of law-abiding citizens, especially if a young offender is involved.

The police, in recent years, have developed a reputation for ignoring yobbery and bullying, or even for taking the yobs’ side against complainants.

‘The problem,’ said Bill Pitt, the former head of Manchester’s Nuisance Strategy Unit, ‘is that the law appears to be there to protect the rights of the perpetrator, and does not support the victim.’

Police regularly arrest householders who are deemed to have taken ‘disproportionate’ action to protect themselves and their property from burglars or intruders. The message goes out that criminals have little to fear from ‘the feds’.

Do rioters, pictured looting a shop in Hackney, have lower levels of a brain chemical that helps keep behaviour under control? Scientists think so
Figures published earlier this month show that a majority of ‘lesser’ crimes — which include burglary and car theft, and which cause acute distress to their victims — are never investigated, because forces think it so unlikely they will catch the perpetrators.

How do you inculcate values in a child whose only role model is footballer Wayne Rooney — a man who is bereft of the most meagre human graces?

How do you persuade children to renounce bad language when they hear little else from stars on the BBC?

A teacher, Francis Gilbert, wrote five years ago in his book Yob Nation: ‘The public feels it no longer has the right to interfere.’

Discussing the difficulties of imposing sanctions for mis-behaviour or idleness at school, he described the case of a girl pupil he scolded for missing all her homework deadlines.

The youngster’s mother, a social worker, telephoned him and said: ‘Threatening to throw my daughter off the A-level course because she hasn’t done some work is tantamount to psychological abuse, and there is legislation which prevents these sorts of threats.

‘I believe you are trying to harm my child’s mental well-being, and may well take steps . . . if you are not careful.’

That story rings horribly true. It reflects a society in which teachers have been deprived of their traditional right to arbitrate pupils’ behaviour. Denied power, most find it hard to sustain respect, never mind control.

Mob: A crowd of people rush into a fashion store in Peckham
I never enjoyed school, but, like most children until very recent times, did the work because I knew I would be punished if I did not. It would never have occurred to my parents not to uphold my teachers’ authority. This might have been unfair to some pupils, but it was the way schools functioned for centuries, until the advent of crazy ‘pupil rights’.

I recently received a letter from a teacher who worked in a county’s pupil referral unit, describing appalling difficulties in enforcing discipline. Her only weapon, she said, was the right to mark a disciplinary cross against a child’s name for misbehaviour.

Having repeatedly and vainly asked a 15-year-old to stop using obscene language, she said: ‘Fred, if you use language like that again, I’ll give you a cross.’

He replied: ‘Give me an effing cross, then!’ Eventually, she said: ‘Fred, you have three crosses now. You must miss your next break.’

He answered: ‘I’m not missing my break, I’m going for an effing fag!’ When she appealed to her manager, he said: ‘Well, the boy’s got a lot going on at home at the moment. Don’t be too hard on him.’

This is a story repeated daily in schools up and down the land.

Making a run for it: These four looters dash from the Blue Inc store in Peckham with looted goods
A century ago, no child would have dared to use obscene language in class. Today, some use little else. It symbolises their contempt for manners and decency, and is often a foretaste of delinquency.

If a child lacks sufficient respect to address authority figures politely, and faces no penalty for failing to do so, then other forms of abuse — of property and person — come naturally.

So there we have it: a large, amoral, brutalised sub-culture of young British people who lack education because they have no will to learn, and skills which might make them employable. They are too idle to accept work waitressing or doing domestic labour, which is why almost all such jobs are filled by immigrants.

They have no code of values to dissuade them from behaving anti-socially or, indeed, criminally, and small chance of being punished if they do so.

They have no sense of responsibility for themselves, far less towards others, and look to no future beyond the next meal, sexual encounter or TV football game.

Behind bins: Rioters in Hackney stand in front of a makeshift barricade
They are an absolute deadweight upon society, because they contribute nothing yet cost the taxpayer billions. Liberal opinion holds they are victims, because society has failed to provide them with opportunities to develop their potential.

Most of us would say this is nonsense. Rather, they are victims of a perverted social ethos, which elevates personal freedom to an absolute, and denies the underclass the discipline — tough love — which alone might enable some of its members to escape from the swamp of dependency in which they live.

Only education — together with politicians, judges, policemen and teachers with the courage to force feral humans to obey rules the rest of us have accepted all our lives — can provide a way forward and a way out for these people.

They are products of a culture which gives them so much unconditionally that they are let off learning how to become human beings. My dogs are better behaved and subscribe to a higher code of values than the young rioters of Tottenham, Hackney, Clapham and Birmingham.

Unless or until those who run Britain introduce incentives for decency and impose penalties for bestiality which are today entirely lacking, there will never be a shortage of young rioters and looters such as those of the past four nights, for whom their monstrous excesses were ‘a great fire, man’.
Every firm in the land knows that an East European — for instance — will, first, bother to turn up; second, work harder; and third, be better-educated than his or her British counterpart.Who do we blame for this state of affairs?

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


Dr Aric Sigman
We make no apology for reproducing this article almost two years after its original publication. In light of the frightening scenes we are witnessing in our major cities around the country, it seems most appropriate.

In a book published almost two years ago called "The Spoiled Generation" psychologist Dr Aric Sigman explored the erosion of discipline, respect and civility in the youth of the UK and the negaive effect it is having on society.  We first posted an artcle about this in September 2009.

Dr Sigman accurately captured the growing sense of unease felt by a large percentage of the UK public. He said “Children of the spoilt generation are used to having their demands met by their parents and others in authority, and that in turn makes them unprepared for the realities of adult life. This has consequences in every area of society, from the classroom to the workplace, the streets to the criminal courts and rehabilitation clinics".

He suggested that children & young people’s rights must be curtailed and a firm hand is urgently needed if they are to be properly guided into adulthood.

Dr Sigman, a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, continued: “Authority is a basic health requirement in children’s lives. But, while children have become increasingly ‘empowered’ in terms of legislation and rights, far from being protected, they are actually suffering in ways that could never have been foreseen.”

The police see the consequences of the "Spoiled Generation" every day on the street of the UK. - A 44% rise in assaults on police by children is surely a symptom of a much greater disease that will follow if not treated fast.

Respect for law and order and authority is fading rapidly as parents and schools fail in their duty to their children. The criminal justice system including the police are then just one of the groups of agencies that deal with the fall out. The empowering of children, however well intended, has served to undermine the authority of parents, teachers, police officers and other authority figures.

If the Government are to start the task of fixing our society, then surely there is no better place to start than here. By instilling some firm handed forgotten disciplines within the "spoiled sector" of our youth, there will at least be a glimmer of hope that the UK may once again be a pleasant place to live.


His words were indeed a wise prohecy of what was to come and what we are witnessing is a direct result of the spoiled youth among our communities, lawless and totally lacking in respect.

What we are witnessing is the result of a society in complete decay as a result of a small minority of our community. I wish it were as simple as saying they have lost their moral compass. In fact the have not just lost it, they have smashed it to smithereens and now happily grind the broken pieces into the faces of the hard working, law abiding folk with their wanton, greedy criminal activity. We are in the midst of frightening times. The global economy is in ever greater danger, with billions of pounds wiped from the value of Britain’s top companies on a daily basis over the past week.
 On the streets of London, mobs engaged in a third day of looting and arson, with the violence fast spreading across the capital and to other major cities.

What began in Tottenham has spawned an orgy of wanton greed where opportunistic thugs smash shop windows in broad daylight for a pair of designer trainers or a flat-screen TV.

Arrest figures indicate many of those involved are mere teenagers, who view looting as a game to be played out over the internet and Twitter. They have zero respect for the law or the livelihoods and homes they are destroying.

Sadly, for all the bravery of the officers sent out to confront these hooded mobs, the police face many worrying questions. Why, in the obviously tense aftermath of Mr Duggan’s shooting, were officers so unprepared and easily overwhelmed on the streets of Tottenham? Most disturbingly, just where were the police while buildings burned in London?

There can be no worse time for the Met to experienced the resignation of Scotland Yard’s two most senior officers over phone-hacking – a matter that history will record as piffling compared with the violence and criminality we are witnssing. 

To her great credit, Home Secretary Theresa May immediately returned from her summer break to confront the crisis, but London Mayor Boris Johnson had to be dragged home late last night, with the damage to his reputation already done.

Meanwhile, the handwringing apologists on the Left relish the opportunity to try to blame the violence on poverty, social deprivation and a disaffected black youth. The ex-Labour Mayor Ken Livingstone risibly – and damnably – claimed ‘the economic stagnation and cuts being imposed by the Tory government’ were responsible – despite the fact the austerity programme has yet to begin in earnest.

Inevitably, the BBC is helping to peddle this myth – seeking out community leaders who blame a lack of youth clubs for the looting, and revelling in footage of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg being harangued by residents blaming ‘Coalition cuts’.

To blame the cuts is immoral and cynical. This has nothing to do with cuts. This is criminality – pure and simple – by yobs who have nothing but contempt for decent, law-abiding people.

Regardless of the propaganda being spewed out by the Left-wingers, this is not a repeat of the political riots that scarred the early 1980s, which were sparked by mass unemployment and alleged police racism. If anything, it was Labour’s nurturing of a benefits culture, in which youngsters believe there is no need to work to have a comfortable lifestyle, which sowed the seeds of the riots – not any ‘Coalition cuts’.

Ministers must make sure there is an adequate police response to ensure the thugs responsible are properly detained and get the punishment they deserve. If David Cameron want to restore order, he must keep the niave and utterly stupid views of Ken Clarke out of public earshot.

A firm judicial hand is required now. Arrest those responsible. Get them before the courts quickly. There can be no molly coddling justice for these yobs. Prison, and a good long hard dose of it is the only result that will restore the confidence of the law abiding majority. Magistrates and Judges, after these events more than ever, MUST demonstrate that our justice system CAN work. Worry about reoffending rates after they've served the full sentences for these atrocities. Speak to an average member of the public. You will find their views mirror those of the police officers, police bloggers and their contributors. They are not interested in theories about whether jail works or not. All they want is to be protected from the threat they face at the hands of these yobs. They want to see robust effective policing. They want to see this sort of behaviour punished to the full extent of the sentence for the offence. They want to see the offenders having a hard time of it in jail, deprived of the comforts and benefits they currently enjoy. 

The rest of us can only watch events and pray the savagery and criminality spreads no further and quite simply, that justice is done for us all and IS SEEN TO BE DONE!


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

On Police Chiefs: "Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.".

"40% detections, brilliant lad! Now off you go . . . "
"Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power."

- George Bernard Shaw

As yet another set of Home Office Crime Statistics are released, with more than a passing resemblance to a story from the brothers Grimm, those creative Home Office statisticians have appended another masterpiece of deceptional fiction in the form of the report entitled Crimes detected in England and Wales 2010/11.

Peter Fahy, Chief of GMP has denied police corruption is widespread – he is unconvinced corruption is a ‘major problem’. His comments might turn out a little premature now that the Prime Minister has ordered a review of all forces’ media relationships and in particular with News International.

It would be naive to believe that the extent of the problem is restricted solely to the Met. Chief Constables and senior officers up and down the country must be fearing who the spotlight will fall on next, many seriously considering if they should jump first and save their gold plated pensions before being pushed.

The morale of decent officers had been damaged by claims which have emerged during the scandal. However, it is not the decent, honest officers that need worry about the fall out from this saga, it is those who have acted inappropriately, even criminally.

So Mr Fahy is not convinced that corruption is a major problem?

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?

Similar views have been expressed many times by experienced and respected serving, former or retired police officers. Have a wander over to Bankside Babble, the author of which is a respected voice on the subject. Others worth a visit are our friends over at the Surrey Constabulary blog, Inspector Gadget, 200 weeks, All Copped Out, PC Bloggs, and others too numerous to mention, all of whom have scant regard for the integrity of the statistics they are forced to fudge.  

I’m not talking of mass individual corruption here, but institutional corruption, in the formation and/or condoning of strategies that force lower ranks to compromise their integrity with fallacious crime reporting and detections? Worse, when the faeces strikes the oscillating mechanism, who will end up being held accountable? Certainly not the teflon coated ACPO ranks I’ll wager.

Police corruption comes in many guises, from accepting bribes to fabricating evidence in order to secure the conviction of a suspected criminal. Such a wide variety makes it difficult to formulate a definition which encapsulates all forms of the behaviour. Earlier studies tended to concentrate on the more obvious forms of illegal behaviour, which are adequately legislated for in criminal law:

“Police scandals are of three predominant varieties: corruption, such as accepting bribes; procedural abuse that perverts the course of justice; and the excessive use of force against suspects.” (Waddington 1999:121)

However such a definition does not extend to behaviours designed to give the impression of improved performance by perverse means. Such practices are referred to within the service as ‘fiddling the figures’, ‘massaging the books’ or more recently ‘good housekeeping’ (Chatterton 2008:46). In academic circles the phenomenon is referred to as ‘gaming’ and has recently been much associated with Performance Management Loveday (1994 & 1999),De Bruijn (2001 & 2007), Bevan & Hood (2006).

The evidence to suggest the involvement of senior officers in ‘gaming’ behaviour is not surprisingly limited. Kappeler et al (1994) noted that senior officers entered into an ‘unholy alliance’ with junior officers, tolerating illicit activities as long as they were effective while Diez (1995) suggested senior officers manipulated performance information to give a favourable impression of the organisation.

Chief Officers and SMT’s clearly take the view that probity comes at the cost of reduced performance. So, Chief Constables and some SMT’s have been fiddling the stats for donkeys years. However, most are cute enough to force the muck downhill, either saying they only encouraged ethical practices or they were simply ignorant of what’s been going on. In fact, all the evidence we have accumulated indicates the problem is more of an institutional nature than individual. Fudging crime statistics and detections for career and financial gain cannot be right. Peter Fahy says that corruption within the service is not endemic. Should the full story about crime be finally revealed, there will be many that will take the opposing view, particularly regarding the ACPO ranks who are ultimately responsible for the processes.

The facts remain:-

• Forces are fiddling TIC’s something rotten (still). Offenders serving custodial sentences admit 40+% of the burglary and vehicle offences detected this way. There is no come back as the system allows (with the authorisation of a Guvnor) the admissions without court attendance or any punitive measures. I thought this practice died years ago, but all they’ve done is adjusted the framework. In return for inducements, or a nice ride out from clink, scrotes will admit 1000 ‘s of offences, many of which they didn’t commit. Have a looks at oneof our colleagues posts at  to witness one of many examples we have on file illustrating the extent of the problem.

• False reporting strategies (well intended initially for false mobile phone theft reports) have been extended to all volume acquisitive crime in lots of forces, suppressing the crime levels dramatically.

• Abuse of cautions (20% of detections) Fixed penalties (7%), TIC’s (6%) and cannabis warnings (7%) is rife. The burden of proof principle seems to have been ignored in ’000′s of such instances, whereby cases that would never go the distance at court due to weak evidence, are all too often disposed of by these methods as an attractive alternative for the offender to avoid the court process. In such cases, abuse of discretionary powers results in poor policing practice.

• Cannabis warnings account for 7% of national detections. Whilst no fan of “whacky backy” ‘000’s of police man hours are consumed at the direction of SMT’s just to perpetuate the myth of 28% national detection averages. The same applies to the minor public order and threats offences, (playground & mobile phone threats etc). Literally ‘000’s of them driving up detection rates fallaciously and diverting officer attention away from the more serious, harder to resolve crimes.

SMT’s up and down the country screen out ‘000’s of harder to detect crimes, in favour of the middle class “Quick Win” offences, what we used to call domestics that have been allowed to be upgraded to technical criminal matters. Teams of officers redeployed to tick boxes rather than acquire the investigative expertise to resolve crimes that matter most to the public.

• Forces discovered during HMIC Inspections to be keeping unofficial crime registers to keep the numbers down. (We knew them as occurrence books MK47). HMIC discovered forces using these for crimes that never hit the books.

• Forces abusing the incident reporting process, issuing incident numbers that never elevate to crime numbers.

• Re classifying burglaries as damage to dwellings/commercial properties (thousands of them!!)

• Re classifying vehicle offences downward so they appear in larger lesser offence groups.

• Re classifying robberies. No offender caught = no mens rea = lesser “other theft”

• Serious offences cautioned or PND issued

• HMIC have been particularly reluctant to open up on the subject, despite a number of force inspections revealing clear evidence of gaming activity, no senior officer has been brought to account. In 2007 HMIC carried out an audit of detections for the years 2005/6 and 2006/7 (Home Office Nov.2006 & 2007). The results of this audit were not made public, although Police Authorities were provided with a copy of the results on their own force only. This was a deviation from the policy of publication pursued by HMIC since 1991. However HMIC did subsequently publish a summary of the results on their web site in response to a request made under the provisions of the Freedom Of Information Act. The audit showed 33 out of 44 forces were graded ‘poor’ on non-sanctioned detections, made up in the main of informal warnings. This audit uncovered cases where offences had been recorded as detected without the suspects' and the victims' knowledge. We wre granted access to copy correspondence between ACPO and the IOC obtained lawfully by FOI requests. The extracts below are a contemporaneous record of what was contained in the correspondence. This Association of Police Officers wrote to the Information Commissioner to inform him of the breaches of the Data Protection Act stating:

“The nub of the issue faced by the service is that a proportion of the offences detected by non-sanction means fail the ‘administrative test’ in that they do not comply with HOCR.
The most frequent errors are:

• The sufficiency of evidence (this is a judgement issue with the HMIC and forces coming to a different view) to justify/support a non-sanctioned detection.

• A failure to record whether the victim has been informed that the offence has been detected through non-sanctioned means, and

• A failure to record that the suspect has been informed.”
(ACPO letter to the Information Commissioner 13.2.2007 unpublished)

The Information Commissioner articulates the crux of the matter in his response:

“From my perspective I am most concerned that individuals were not being informed that they were considered to be the perpetrator of an offence even though this did not involve a legal process, especially if such information could be used in future Enhanced Disclosure relating to them. This clearly breaches the requirement of the first data protection principle that the processing of personal data must be done fairly. I am also worried by the sufficiency of evidence used. If a police force is going to label an individual as the de facto perpetrator then they must have a good objective reason for doing so. Not having this could lead to a record being viewed as inadequate or inaccurate (breaches of the third and fourth principles respectively).”
(Information Commissioner 26.3.2007: Unpublished)

However, he declined to take any proactive action to alert the public:

“I would prefer to work with chief officers to ensure compliance. I would like to know more detail about how this has come about and what action is being taken to ensure future compliance” (Information Commissioner 26.3.2007: Unpublished)

Further correspondence from ACPO dated 10.4.2007 provided further assurances:

“Please rest assured that the issues that have come to light as a result of the recent Association of Chief Police Officers’ and HMIC audits have been taken extremely seriously by the police service. To this end a series of meetings have taken place in fast time with all relevant parties, including the Home Office, to consider how best to address the concerns that you raised to which we are alive”
(ACPO letter to the Information Commissioner 10.4.2007: Unpublished)

This correspondence demonstrates that ACPO, together with HMIC, their principal regulator, and the Home Office, to whom they are politically accountable, as well as the Information Commissioner, decided to deal with a major failing without making the public aware of the nature or scale of the issue. However ACPO were particularly vague on the nature and scale of the problem:

“ACPO has reviewed a snapshot of disclosures for the period 2003 – 2005 (for a range of ‘high risk’ offences). Whilst the process has (but for a handful of cases) worked effectively.” (ACPO letter to the Information Commissioner 13.2.2007 unpublished)


• Bear in mind that over the 15-20 or so years that the numbers have been fiddled so astronomically, there were Chiefs and SMT’s receiving between 10-15% of their £100k basic as bonus for successful performance management. So, in short, manipulate the numbers disgracefully and perniciously beyond recognition, satisfy the police authority targets were met, get paid thousands as a bonus for hitting targets! As previous articles on this site reflects, if this isn’t corruption in public office, we would have to ask "what is???".

• Much of this information was passed onto the National Statistician (Jil Matthieson) after she was commissioned by Theresa May to review crime statistics and detections. Whilst pleased to get a mention in the acknowledgements of her report (under the company name), she too has thus far failed to take the bull by the horns. When push came to shove, all she proposed was that the presentation of the data should be independently processed through her office. It remains to be seen whether she will have the courage for the job.

• In view of the fact that a considerable number of high powered police chiefs may turn out to be implicated in doubtful practices, it may well be that other means to bring the information to the surface may need to be considered.

All in all, a real can of worms. My greatest concern for the service (a view shared with Federation Chairman Paul McKeever) is that this fallacious picture of success on reducing crime and increasing detections, played its part in the inclusion of policing in the comprehensive spending review. Which minister in his/her right mind would have authorised cuts with rising crime and downward spiralling detections? The allocation of funding is partly arrived at through assessment of performance criteria. So, the conclusion we must draw from this, is that the deceptive practices have come back to bite the backsides of the Chief Officers that introduced or at the very least condoned them. “Authors of their own misfortune” springs to mind.

The fact remains that there is plenty of evidence to indicate that the crime statistics and detections scandal pales the MP expenses saga into relative insignificance. I would not wish to see any unnecessary obstructions placed in the path of honourable, honest policing. However, unless and until this mess is exposed fully, public confidence cannot be expected. I have little or no confidence that MP’s of any colour would have the courage or motivation required to take this forward.

Finally, I would commend anyone interested in the truth about police detections to read  a report commissioned by the Joint Central Committee (JCC) of the Police Federation of England and Wales. The JCC, having become increasingly concerned by a barrage of reports it was receiving from the Detectives' Forum and Joint Branch Boards around the country that the resilience of General Office CID was being severely diminished and that there was a debilitating shortage of trained and experienced detectives. The reported
consequence was that some serious crime was not being properly investigated and

The JCC therefore commissioned Dr Michael Chatterton to conduct an independent study into General Office CID to examine the issues of resilience, workload and training and to identify the consequences.

Mike Chattertons commissioned report is attached, which is well worth a read. I refer to it frequently in my reports and on the site as it contains substantial evidential content from rank and file officers and SMT’s alike, none of which contradicts the views mentioned here.
Chatterton opens the report by identifying the detrimental effects of the sanctions detection regime and the excessively rigid and bureaucratic approach to targets and performance management. A combination of these is having a pernicious and perverse effect on police operations.

• diverting police priorities from serious crime to chasing minor offences;
• criminalising members of the public who are not criminals in the accepted sense;
• giving the public a false sense of security that serious crime is being detected with increasing effectiveness by the police;
• undermining the discretion necessary for the impartial discharge of the office of constable.

To quote Mike Chatterton … “There is no change in Government and senior police management policy which is at once more urgent and important than this”.

"Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophecies come true, but they can also lie and make their lies come true".
Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) American philosopher and author

Saturday, 16 July 2011


As readers of these pages will know, the main topics of my articles centre around policing and the criminal justice system.

However, applying the principle of "cause and effect", it is clear that the problems that exist within our society today do not rest entirely with the police or the judiciary. When looking for causes, the problems and challenges our communities face are both "bottom up" and top down".

The root cause of many of our problems actually starts with the corrupt practices prevalent within hieracrch of the sectors that influence our lives most, politics, banking education, health, media and yes the criminal justice arena.  

"Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition" Thomas Jefferson.

Venality Definition: "Prostitution of talents or offices or services for reward. The condition of being susceptible to bribery or corruption. The use of a position of trust for dishonest gain".

In an excellent recent article, Max Hastings tells it as it is. To read the article at source click here, or read on below.

Our great institutions are becoming tainted by venality and incompetence.
Where are leaders of integrity when we need them?

The resignation of Rebekah Brooks as chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s News International represents a new eruption in the phone-hacking scandal that has damaged the media, police and the Cameron government.

Not impressed with "Curruption UK"
Yet this is only the latest in a long series of blows that have struck almost every major national institution in Britain in recent years: the bank bosses were exposed in 2008 as greedy incompetents, and both Houses of Parliament were rocked last year by revelations of systemic expenses fraud.

The British have always liked to see people at the head of their society to whom they could look upwards with a little respect, and I do not mean footballers or TV celebrities.

Yet today we find ourselves searching almost despairingly for leaders in politics, in the Church, in the professions, in corporate business and in public service who seem deserving of trust.

The historian G.M. Young asserted complacently in the 1930s that ‘the four most efficient institutions in England are the police, railways, trade unions and joint stock banks — all founded 100 years ago by the same Conservative government’. Not only would Young find it hard to applaud any of those bodies today, but he would struggle to find any national institution that looks untarnished.

When the dust settles from the phone-hacking row, the most serious reputational damage will almost certainly prove to have been sustained by the police. The public is justly cynical about Britain’s media underworld. People may be disgusted by the revelations of the past fortnight, but I doubt they are shocked.

The police, however, are a different kettle of fish. We need to believe that Britain’s law enforcers are honest and efficient. Yet this saga deals a body-blow to any such presumptions.

Whatever the findings of the judicial inquiry into phone-hacking and bribery, we can already see that some of Britain’s most senior officers had close and almost certainly improper relations with News International.

Some of us, including successive Home Secretaries, have believed for decades that the police culture is rotten.

An intelligence official told me recently how shocked he was by systemic and malicious police leaks about an important case in which the Secret Intelligence Service was involved.

The police record as catchers of criminals is patchy, to say the least. Yet their bosses close ranks to deny any shortcomings — except, of course, in their financial resourcing — and fight reform tooth and nail.

Some years ago, speaking at a conference of the Association of Chief Police Officers, I suggested that the breakdown of the traditional alliance between the police and the middle class was a tragedy.

When I sat down, a succession of angry chief constables rose to rubbish my remarks. A senior BBC executive with whom I had shared the platform observed afterwards he could not decide whether I had been brave or foolish. But almost everything I said would be taken for granted by any ordinary citizen.

The police will never regain our trust until they get decent leadership and smash the so-called ‘canteen culture’ that pervades the force. Now, surely, the game is up. The decent officers, of whom there are many, deserve much better than they have got, and so does the British public.

Radical change must be forced on the police, for their sakes as well as ours. Because I am a historian, I hesitate before damning the current membership of the House of Commons because it is easy to catalogue shockers from the past.

Consider, for instance, a survey of MPs between 1790 and 1820: among 658 Members, 50 acknowledged having fathered illegitimate children; 220 were financially ruined and 35 died in exile abroad in consequence; five were expelled for fraud; and at least 19 committed suicide, while six went mad.

By that standard, today’s MPs are no worse than many of their predecessors.

But many people are deeply dismayed by the manner in which all the political parties and indeed this Government are dominated by people who have never done anything. That is to say, they have never held proper jobs, or served in the Armed Forces, or learned how businesses are run.

Few have ever been tested in the fires of conflict or even commerce. Their whole adult and even adolescent lives have been devoted to politics, unlike the Denis Healeys and Michael Heseltines, the Ernie Bevins and Willie Whitelaws of former generations.

They have exhaustively studied polls and focus groups, TV interviewing techniques and speech-writing, but they know next to nothing about what most of us would call real life. Moreover, ministers no longer have top-flight officials to cover for them: there has been a grave decline in the Civil Service.

Much as we love to mock Sir Humphrey Appleby, the devious under-secretary in Yes, Minister, he was jolly clever. So too were some of his real-life counterparts, men such as Sir Frank Cooper and Sir Michael Quinlan at the Ministry of Defence in the Eighties.

Do the police need a top down clean up?

Old Whitehall mandarins might frustrate ministers by running rings around them, but they had the brains to save them from their mistakes and keep the machine running.

I remember Quinlan sighing to me about the Ministry of Defence when diarist, serial adulterer and career scoundrel Alan Clark was a minister: ‘We’ve only got one politician here with any brains — and he’s mad.’

But most of today’s senior Whitehall officials are nothing like as bright as Quinlan and other big figures of past generations. A headmaster of Eton remarked a few years ago that, when he first went to the school, every autumn a handful of the best leavers joined the Home Civil Service.

Not any more. Nowadays, if they want fun they join the media; if they crave money they head for the City. In David Cameron’s shoes, I would recognise a priority to get better people into the top Whitehall jobs if he is to have any hope of getting anything done.

Revitalising the upper reaches of the Civil Service could do more than almost anything else to make us a better-governed country.

As for our religious leaders, we should acknowledge that the Church of England has always been an object of mockery.

A century- and-a-half ago, Anthony Trollope found plenty to laugh at, in his great tales of the clerical world of Barsetshire. Does anybody remember the Seventies TV comedy series All Gas And Gaiters?

But until recent times, the teasing was affectionate. Decent local vicars, of whom there were many, commanded the regard and gratitude of their communities.

Yet in the space of a generation, respect for the C of E has almost evaporated. It is racked by rows about gay and women priests. Nobody any more sings Onward Christian Soldiers, which we all used to love belting out, because prelates are terrified it might suggest enthusiasm for the war in Afghanistan.

Fewer people regularly attend Britain’s churches than Britain’s mosques.

Gaffe Prone Dr Williams
The tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury of that absurd druid Rowan Williams has been embarrassing: he cannot open his mouth without inserting a ski boot in it. Most recently, he questioned the democratic legitimacy of the Coalition, claiming that ‘no one’ had voted for its flagship policies to reform welfare, health and education, which he said were causing ‘anxiety and anger’.

What most of us look for in a spiritual leader is wisdom. In Williams, instead, we see ineffable silliness. The C of E has lost its dignity, without discovering a role.

Britain’s judiciary is still full of clever people, but its reputation has been severely damaged by its assumption of powers that most citizens think far beyond its rightful competence, and often insulting to common sense.

Court decisions, often deriving from judges’ personal interpretation of the doom-laden human rights laws, make effective immigration control almost impossible, leave terrorist sympathisers at large in the community, and make Britain the world’s haven for both foreign benefits claimants and Islamic militants.

Respect for the medical and teaching professions has ebbed. NHS GPs now earn six-figure incomes for doing less work than ten years ago, but still they have their hands out for more.

After asking a local doctor to counter-sign an official form for me recently, I was amazed to receive a bill for £25 for doing so. I responded that the practice could sue for the money if it chose, then changed GPs. The demand reflected an attitude of mind wholly alien to that of service to the community.

As for teachers, I feel less cross with them for striking in protest about their pension changes than for refusing to teach our children what they need to learn to survive in the 21st century, and for their bitter resistance to reform.

The entire profession remains in denial about the debasement of exam results and university degrees. Where once the local teacher in a street or village was a figure to admire, today teacher training colleges turn out jobsworths clinging to Leftist ideologies even a Cuban might think outdated.

Not much more need be said about bankers, save that their armour of greed and complacency remains proof against shame or social pressure to change their ways.

Chancellor George Osborne and Bank of England Governor Mervyn King are bent upon reforming British banking. But, tragically, the Americans refuse to move in step.

Meanwhile, the British Army and the monarchy remain almost the only national institutions that still command solid regard, the latter chiefly because of the personal conduct of the Queen and Prince Philip. I doubt whether either has accepted an unsuitable ‘freebie’ in their lives. They simply know how to behave — as too many of their family do not.

The Prince of Wales seems increasingly detached from planet Earth. Yet he’s determined to impose his highly controversial views on the nation — and its government — and in a constitutionally ill-judged, if not improper, fashion.

Prince Andrew’s dalliances with foreign dictators and gangsters seem repugnant, while Prince Edward’s recent appearances in military uniform have made him seem ridiculous to the British Armed Forces from whom he once fled.

Many of us tremble for the monarchy’s prospects when the Queen goes — as, with luck, she will not for many years yet — unless Prince William and his new bride can revive the ethic of discipline and discretion which his grandmother has wonderfully sustained.

To preserve the crown, the Royal Family as a whole need to behave with grace, avoid unsuitable company and keep their mouths shut. Only if their advisers can reconcile them to these three things will this vital institution be secure.

There seems a common strand in the decline of respect for almost all the others: so ubiquitous has become the worship of money, and those who make most of it, that the old ideal of public service is close to collapse.

In former times, many good and clever people made a conscious choice to adopt careers in which they would not earn a fortune, but where they felt they could make a worthwhile contribution and enjoy the regard of society.

In other words, they made sacrifices in order to serve. This was true of parsons, doctors, teachers, civil servants, service officers and indeed MPs.

Yet not long ago, I was dismayed when a brilliantly clever middle-aged teacher at a great school said to me ruefully: ‘My pupils assume I do this job because I couldn’t find anything that paid better.’

We have conditioned ourselves to a grotesquely exaggerated respect for wealth, and those who achieve it.

Britain’s public services and institutions were for centuries the envy of the world, not least because they were untarnished by the corruption endemic in the U.S., much of Europe and, of course, most of Africa and Asia.

I do not suggest that today Britain has become a very corrupt place: the rest of the world laughs at how cheaply one can buy a few British MPs and government officials. But the recent flood of scandals represents a wake-up call.

The public must feel assured that public servants, from Downing Street to the humblest beat copper, are working to serve the interests of the State, rather than being in it for what they themselves can make out of it.

The people who run and influence our society need to preserve their dignity and command our respect. Too many have recently done too much that diminishes these qualities. We shall all be the poorer if we cannot win them back.

Ends . . . .

I can't think why an article on corruption should link so naturally to the release of the latest crime figures, but it does!  (I like the word veniality better than corruption, thinking of senior police chiefs prostituting themselves seems highly amusing and appropriate).

The latest work of fantasy from the Home Office Crime In England & Wales 2010/11 can be reached by clicking the link.

This year, the Home Office madarins thought detections deserved a seperate publication, such is the wealth of fantasy contained within the document, it is deserving of a place alongside messrs Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson on bookshelves everywhere. The detections publication can be read here.

For those of you with a particular interest in the numbers, (or in need of a cure for insomnia) the data files can be downloaded by starting here, and clicking the links for what interests you.

Now that the crime fgures are finally released, and having had the opportunity to examine the bulk of the documents and datasets, very little has changed. Recorded crime is still being wickedly suppressed and detections perniciously and fallcaiously exaggerated. Strong stuff you might think . . .  Our latest analysis of crime and detections has taken many months to complete and exposes the facts behind the "Cooking of the crime and detection books". The arrival of this final piece of fiction from the Home Office will enable us to complete and publish the report on this site over the net few weeks.

Sunday, 26 June 2011


Apparently, Scotland Yard has issued guidance to Officers instructing them not to arrest people who verbally abuse them in the streets, as the courts don’t convict them and the force may have to pay out compensation claims.

Reported in the Mail and the Telegraph today, Scotland Yard has issued a card to its officers, telling them to do nothing if they are subjected to a torrent of obscene abuse.
The card, which the police are told to keep on them, secreted behind their warrant badges, says: ‘The courts do not accept police officers are caused harassment, alarm or distress by words such as ‘f**k, c**t, b*****ks, w*****s’.

For the non legal reader, the common legislation applied falls under section 5 of the Public Order Act, which states that a person is guilty of an offence under the act who:-

There must be a person within the sight or hearing of the suspect who is likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress by the conduct in question. A police officer may be such a person, but this is a question of fact to be decided in each case by the magistrates. In determining this, the magistrates may take into account the familiarity which police officers have with the words and conduct typically seen in incidents of disorderly conduct. (DPP v Orum [1988] Crim LR 848).

Although the existence of a person who is caused harassment alarm and distress must be proved, there is no requirement that they actually give evidence. In appropriate cases, the offence may be proved on a police officer's evidence alone.

Police officers are aware of the difficult balance to be struck in dealing with those whose behaviour may be perceived by some as exuberant high spirits but by others as disorderly. In such cases informal methods of disposal may be appropriate and effective; but if this approach fails and the disorderly conduct continues then criminal proceedings may be necessary.

Whether behaviour can be properly categorised as disorderly is a question of fact. Disorderly behaviour does not require any element of violence, actual or threatened, and it includes conduct that is not necessarily threatening, abusive or insulting. It is not necessary to prove any feeling of insecurity in an apprehensive sense on the part of the member of the public (Chambers and Edwards v DPP [1995] Crim LR 896). The following types of conduct are examples, which may at least be capable of amounting to disorderly behaviour:
  • causing a disturbance in a residential area or common part of a block of flats;
  • persistently shouting abuse or obscenities at passers-by;
  • perstering people waiting to catch public transport or otherwise waiting in a queue;
  • rowdy behaviour in a street late at night which might alarm residents or passers-by, especially those who may be vulnerable, such as the elderly or members of an ethnic monority group;
  • causing a disturbance in a shopping precinct or other area to which the public have access or might otherwise gather;
  • bullying.

The Civil Actions Unit is a secretive body within the Metropolitan Police Authority, which handles legal claims brought against Scotland Yard.

More than 200 actions against the Met are settled every year – usually discreetly to avoid attracting negative publicity for the force – involving claims such as wrongful arrest, assault or discrimination. The unit is part of a chain of command headed by a detective chief superintendent who decides whether to defend an action or settle, and provides summaries of ongoing cases to the Metropolitan Police Authority on a weekly basis.


Here are a few examples of how common sense coppers responded to these headlines. 

Inspector Gadget 

"We totally ignore all this nonsense when it arrives in our inboxes, on plastic cards or those wretched e-learning packages. Senior Management know this, but they issue the instruction anyway to show they have ‘done something’ if the wheels come off later.

We know the law allows us to arrest abusive yobs and we know we have the legal power to use handcuffs if we think it is necessary. If any officer on my team is reluctant to stand firm in the face of the withering, violent and foul abuse we suffer every day from the public, I send them to CID. It’s that simple. The other officers on the team expect me to protect them by only allowing membership to those who can cope.

If police officers stopped arresting for offences simply on the basis that the Courts are failing to do anything about it once the defendant arrives there, we wouldn’t nick anyone for anything. We know the law, we know our powers of arrest and we understand who is a threat and who is not. Sometimes officers get it wrong, but we have tens of thousands of these kinds of interactions every day and almost all of them are dealt with satisfactorily".

And a few more . . .

What's next it's ok to assualt officers
Section 5 is so last summer
C**t is no longer a fou letterword
What a load of blks

"The thin end of the wedge is something small and seemingly unimportant that will lead to something much bigger and more serious".
Were it not for the common sense application of the law by rank and file officers, (many using Common Law Breach of The Peace powers to support their Section 5 arrests), the risk averse senior officers and departments within the service would render the working copper powerless, left only to tick boxes like their seniors. Thankfully, there are many committed officers who think like Inspector Gadget. 
One of the earliest artcles from these pages looked at "The Spoiled Generation" where psychologist Dr Aric Sigman explored the erosion of discipline, respect and civility in the youth of the UK and the negaive effect it is having on society. He suggests that children & young people’s rights must be curtailed and a firm hand is urgently needed if they are to be properly guided into adulthood.

Dr Sigman accurately captures the growing sense of unease felt by a large percentage of the UK public. He said “Children of the spoilt generation are used to having their demands met by their parents and others in authority, and that in turn makes them unprepared for the realities of adult life. This has consequences in every area of society, from the classroom to the workplace, the streets to the criminal courts and rehabilitation clinics".

The police see the consequences of the "Spoiled Generation" every day on the streets of the UK.  Britain now has the highest rates of child depression, child-on-child murder, underage pregnancy, obesity, violent and anti-social behaviour and pre-teen alcoholism since records began. A 44% rise in assaults on police by children is surely a symptom of a much greater disease that will follow if not treated fast.

Respect for law and order and authority is fading rapidly as parents and schools fail in their duty to their children. The criminal justice system including the police are then just one of the groups of agencies that deal with the fall out. The empowering of children, however well intended, has served to undermine the authority of parents, teachers, police officers and other authority figures.

If the Government are to start the task of fixing our society, then surely there is no better place to start than here. By instilling some firm handed forgotten disciplines within the "spoiled sector" of our youth, there will at least be a glimmer of hope that the UK may once again be a pleasant place to live.

If it is down to politicians to start the ball rolling, we'll not hold our breath.

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