Monday, 16 June 2014

DISHONEST POLICE OFFICERS TO FACE JAIL UNDER NEW CORRUPTION PROPOSALS. WHY NOT POLITICIANS THEN?

 


 
 
 
Dishonest officers could be jailed for 14 years under new proposals unveiled by the Home Office.
Details surrounding the new offence of police corruption, which are being introduced following the Ellison Review into the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation, have been revealed.

If passed through Parliament successfully, the new law will cover cases in which a police officer acts improperly to try to obtain an advantage for themselves or someone else – or if they cause detriment to someone else.

It could also be used when an officer “fails to act” for a corrupt purpose. An example of this is if they know a suspect did not commit a particular crime but hide that knowledge because they have a relationship with the guilty party.

And it will apply when an officer threatens to do something, or not do something, for an improper purpose.

It will carry a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment.

Policing Minister Damian Green (pictured) said: "The public expect the police to act at all times with honesty and integrity. That is why this government is introducing a range of measures to improve the integrity and transparency of the police.

"Where police officers fall short of the high standards we expect of them, it is right that the full force of the criminal law is available to punish and deter acts of corruption by police officers.

"We believe the best way to do this is to create a new offence of police corruption, solely applicable to police officers, to sit alongside the existing offence of misconduct in public office.

"Corrupt behaviour in the police should be deterred and punished so we can maintain their standing in the eyes of the public and underline the important work done by the overwhelming number of officers across the country."

The law would be used in addition to the existing offence of misconduct in public office and is being brought forward as an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

It will apply to all ranks and special constables in England and Wales, British Transport Police officers, Ministry of Defence police, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and National Crime Agency officers who have the powers and privileges of a constable.

THIN BLUE LINE COMMENT

There are two points of view we would consider.

1. The new law will cover cases in which a police officer acts improperly to try to obtain an advantage for themselves or someone else – or if they cause detriment to someone else. Chief Officers who orchestrated, condoned or merely overlooked the disgraceful manipulation of police recorded crime are guilty of this offence, so this would mean prison for a large number of senior UK cops. THEY benefitted from extortionate bonus payments, political and career advancement to the obvious detriment of the taxpayer. Case proven m'lud.

It could also be used when an officer “fails to act” for a corrupt purpose. An example of this is if they know a suspect did not commit a particular crime but hide that knowledge because they have a relationship with the guilty party. Knowing the figures were being fiddled, and it many cases causing them to be fiddled, Chief Officers failed to act by stopping the practice, for a corrupt reason, their own financial and career gain.

2. Lets make this an offence for all in Public office not just the Police. Politicians, judges, lawyers and many more are corrupt and many of those can do more damage to a country than the bobby on the beat. Corruption in a Public Office only seems to be used against the police - We didn't see any of the 'honourable' MPs charged with that offence when they took our money - even a previous Home Secretary was involved and that person is a 'Right Honourable'!

The public also expect politicians to act with honesty and integrity and we know full well that there is more corruption in political circles than in any other theatre of work. Yet what sentences have we seen for the corrupt (perjury) thieving(expenses) politicians. At worst a few months in jail then out with a tag because they are suffering from ill health !!!! We need a complete overhaul in Westminster first, to root out the criminals therein. Then start with others !! 

24 comments:

Old Plod said...

Well said Steve, here, here !!!!!!!!

Crime Analyst said...

From Linked In...
As a retired police officer I have a great interest in this particular piece of legislation. I believe that there is already sufficient legislation in place to tackle this issue. Corrupt officers are no good to their colleagues or society. Like the majority of police officers I believe there is one place for those kind of people and that is in prison.
However that being said it is not only the police who society should worry about corrupt practices. There are other professions namely Lawyers and Doctors who also should be subject to INDEPENDENT scrutiny.
There is also one other group who due to their dubious recent actions should ensure they are also subject to similar legislation and that is those who sit in. The Houses of Parliament both Lords and Commons.
I believe it is time we had an ombudsman to deal with complaints against Government/Local Authority organisations and professional bodies and their members/employees etc. .
By Shaun R. Rothwell

Crime Analyst said...

from Linked In...
What is Green talking about? Police officers have ALWAYS been subject to the laws of the Country and many, many officers have been jailed for dishonesty and corruption offences, going back to the corruption trials of the mid-Victorian era. What is Green saying? He wants officers jailed without proof of them committing any offences - merely because an allegation has been made?
By AIDAN LAVIN

Crime Analyst said...

From Linked In...
If we are looking at dishonest sections of society I believe that the politicians are regrettably fairly high on the target list. Perhaps we should call it the Police, Political Corruption and Fraud Act and it should be made clear to politicians that they, just like any other sections of our society, are not above the law.
By Andrew Fleming FAP, SoFI, ICA

Crime Analyst said...

From Linked In ..

First the public do not view politicians as anything but corrupt. Police for the most part have always enjoyed public trust but have to constantly earn it by exemplary conduct. A little distrust of those who enforce laws is ruinous where even a little distrust of a politician seems to work towards his/her's re-election, in their case the more the better it seems. I agree that Politicians should be held to as high a standard as they are ELECTED officials and carry as great a responsibility to serve the public good. One bad officer can do more damage to himself that he can to the force but one bad official can cause untold harm to thousands that will carry repercussions for years due to taking bribes and passing corrupt special interest bills/laws. A number of politicians are lawyers/barristers who have passed laws that make it a felony to impersonate a lawyer. reason is to protect their image and as a result their income. Impersonators of Law Enforcement Officers on the other hand do not face such stringent laws. The issue is that Politicians want to "police" the Police but do not want anyone policing them.
By William Manson

Crime Analyst said...

From Linked In...
If any police officer, politician, or any other person in public office who is able to influence peoples' lives and livelihoods, are found guilty of misconduct and dishonesty without reasonable doubt, then of course they should be subject to the same laws and punishments. I would extend this to local politicians as well as national ones.
By Patricia Wiltshire

Crime Analyst said...

From Linked in...
Bernard Sheridan
Lecturer
Hmmm, would have been interesting to see this happening during the politicians expenses scandal. A further example of the pot calling the kettle...

Crime Analyst said...

AIDAN LAVIN

Independent Law Enforcement Professional

Oh? In the early 1990's police officers were being sacked hand over fist, up and down the Country if they had 2 or even 3 complaints of racism made against them, whether proven or not. The reasonable doubt' test became the 'no smoke without fire test'. The High Court eventually put a stop to it when they called a halt to certain senior officers attempting to display their anti-racist credentials by effectively railroading officers merely on the say so of so-called complainants. Hard to believe, I know, but some villains will get their heads together and conspire to work it to police officers! Recent evidence? Today's (June 17th 2014) Daily Mail - no longer supporters of the police - reporting the case of PC Jonathan Johnson. By all means get rid of the corrupt, lazy and racist (and everything-ist) officer. But that officer needs and demands at the very least, the same standard of proof against him as the wormiest, nastiest most vicious toerag criminal is entitled to!

Crime Analyst said...

Patricia Wiltshire

Forensic ecologist, botanist, palynologist, mycologist at University of Aberdeen

Well, the original question was whether we should treat politicians in the same way. I would say that no-one should be convicted of anything unless proof (without reasonable doubt) were provided. We certainly have plenty of proof of the dishonesty of politicians in recent years, but many seem to have got away with it. I think that many of us find this reprehensible.

Crime Analyst said...

Police officers in my experience generally take up their role to assist the community, to address the bad guys, and to be a constructive part of society. My experience of politicians is somewhat different, there are many who engage in public politics to fight for their community, alas I have seen far more who engage in politics (and other public bodies) to enhance their status, and their financial situation.

I agree with Aiden the police have always been subject to the law, the wriggling worminess of political life tends to see many politicians squirm away from the robustness of scrutiny and audits and in so doing gain a level of protection from the legal process. I've often seen council officers frightened of bullying councillors, and many local and national politicians in positions where they can be influenced and abuse authority. Yes catch them if you can...but remember we put them there in the first place.
By Kevin Rigg

Crime Analyst said...

Yes, this has always puzzled me too. And, some politicians have been to prison and yet seem to get treated like celebrities rather than be damaged. I am still appalled at the behaviour of so many politicians who fiddled their expenses. If you went into a shop and stole anything, you risk prosecution and conviction and yet these MPs actually stole money from us. The man in the street would not be allowed to give back the stolen goods and then be let off, so why should politicians be allowed to do this? I dread to think what goes on with the MEPs. I understand that they don't even have to record their expenses but are given a fixed sum to spend. Isn't that just peachy? I certainly agree with Kevin Rigg about the problem in local councils too.
By Patricia Wiltshire

Crime Analyst said...

Politicians are no different from other citizens. If they are found guilty of criminal conduct then they deserve punishment commensurate with their guilt. They should be subject to the due process of investigation and consequent judicial process. This also applies to Police officers. During my service I had no hesitation in investigating police corruption and indeed if necessary proceed to the courts. Likewise if I was confronted with political
criminal conduct then my values would direct that appropriate action is taken. At the national level Parliment needs an independent body neutral and devoid of political influence to investigate allegations of criminality and yes that means intrusive criminal scrutiny of for example expenses themed incidents. The majority of politicians like police officers are in my experience hard working and focused on community delivery. Corrupt politicians and police officers belong in one place and publicly should be named and shamed. However I present this situation, why does the national media seek to use previously convicted politicians to offer comment on various political issues when their honesty and integrity in the eyes of the public is seriously damaged?
By Martyn Jones

Crime Analyst said...

Police are usually more visible than other representatives of authority such as politicians and economists.So ,they, may become more vulnerable to attack.
In today's unstable and uncertain world many "ordinary" members of the Public feel uncertain and somewhat impotent to bring about change and retribution for those conditions. The message has broadcast by the media and celebrity culture, that Money and fame is the goal to aim for. Since Police are recruited from within regular communities, that accept these standards...is it surprising that some Police officers will also be open to corruption?
By Pat Vanderveer (Ban)

Crime Analyst said...

Police officers should know right from wrong irrespective of the era they live in. They become corrupt for the age old same reason. Greed. Once you reach for the Buck's shilling, you become Buck. No longer a police officer. We expect politicians to be greedy, vain, arrogant and self-serving. The media now routinely portray the police in the same light
By AIDAN LAVIN

Crime Analyst said...

Police are open to all of the temptations of the human race. I do however feel that the criticism of the police is ideologically motivated within a wider attack on the public sector that the government sees as being too expensive and a good way to address the economic situation by cutting costs. This together with aspects of' Plebgate', 'Hillsburgh', and the on-going scandals of the Met, add to the notion of an anti police government.

In the north east, the area of the country where poverty, unemployment and deprivation continue to increase, a huge raft of redundancies within the public sector led to an added increase in long-term unemployment and where replacement jobs have been found they have usually been part-time, utilised less skills, for a good deal less money.

We have also seen increases in university fees and when we add this together it seems as if it is a case of smothering the expectations of the working classes and enforcing an ideology of the rich 'enslaving' the poor. hence this overview of the public servant being seen as a servant, in other words servile. This I find very sad as someone who worked within the community to improve their situation.

It's almost as if the ordinary person was to blame for the economic crisis, rather than those bankers who took reckless risks with others investments. All my years as a police officer I made strides to be independent of politics, however in the past few years I have found it difficult to remain on the fence, and as such get annoyed at the criticisms of government on those who have struggled to do the best for the wider population. I'll get off my soap box now!
By Kevin Rigg

Crime Analyst said...

Could not agree more Steve. The corrupt stats really turned round to bite the police in the rear end. Just as most of us DC's who wouldn't get involved in it predicted.
By AIDAN LAVIN

Crime Analyst said...

Even if the crime statistics published showed a more realistic outline of crime I doubt that it would have saved the police from the budgetary cuts. I am also aware that many senior police managers receive a cash bonus when targets including crime reductions are met. Targets in my opinion should stress qualitative not quantitative issues.
By Kevin Rigg

Crime Analyst said...

Philip WATERS

Owner, Executive Guidance Ltd

I can't help thinking there is quite a lot of deflecting going on here. The issue is about dishonest police officers. If an officer is dishonest then I would not want to have served with them. I don't see what harm a new specific offence will do. It could focus the mind just a little. Being honest is key to the reputation of individual officers and the service as a whole.

Crime Analyst said...

There is no deflection Philip, just rather irritated professionals looking at individuals in a glass house throwing a lot of stones. I investigated corrupt officers in Westminster and was more than happy, along with the majority of officers, to see them prosecuted. Proportionally we have more corrupt politicians and it looks like the latest one is the Mayor of Tower Hamlets yet I don't see them clamouring to have an equivalent offence relating to their nefarious activities.

The reality is we don't need a new offence, as Shaun to eloquently pointed out above, theft, fraud, perjury and bribery are well catered for and we have ample legislation to deal with those offences without a new act. This then begs the question why do we need a new act and the answer that springs to mind is that a political party is trying to make a political point and look hard in the process.

The British public has never held politicians in such low regard, yet here we see them chasing a profession that cannot strike, has limited industrial rights and massive restrictions on their personal lives being targeted, when the reality is that crime within the ranks is actually quite low.

No one wants to serve with corrupt officers but unlike other professions, we regularly lock up our members who commit criminality. If you want a comparison just try and investigate a Judge, a lawyer an MP or a member of the House of Lords and watch what happens. No one is investigated to the same degree as the police, so why do we need a new law when the IPCC and the DPS are doing rather well at removing the rotten apples already?

No deflection, just honest anger.
By Andrew Fleming FAP, SoFI, ICA

Crime Analyst said...

There is a school of thought that the current waves of attacks against the police are revenge for the police having the temerity to investigate the fraud and theft which constituted the expenses scandal.
By AIDAN LAVIN

Crime Analyst said...

Guys- Politicians HAVE gone to jail for fiddling expenses in Parliament and quite rightly too! My own view as a former police officer is that the Government will wish to see corruption and misconduct separated out and indeed the Police Integrity and Corruption inspection by HMIC is now under way and will do just that. It is clear that the police service needs to look very closely at how it tests for and weeds out and prevents corrupt practices. There have been far to many instances in recent years - particularly of those at the top of the service - who have used their power and influence for personal interest and the interest of close associates.The public DO NOTregard the police as highly as they did 20 years ago and it is our own fault!! We have brought this on ourselves.
By Gareth Bryon MBA FCMI FinstLM

Crime Analyst said...

Andrew Fleming FAP, SoFI, ICA

Director at Financial Security Solutions Ltd

Corruption and misconduct can be dealt with effectively under the Fraud Act 2006, the Bribery Act 2010 and the Theft Act 1968. The powers are there already and there are more that we can call on if needed.

I have had the joy of investigating MPs, MEPs, police officers and our judiciary and I can tell you plainly that although the police do have thieves inside the walls and do have officers who collude with serious criminals, their acts don't compare to the scale of corrupt practises by politicians, nor do they have the same impact. Furthermore it is more likely that the book will be thrown at a police officer and that he will be charged because of how efficient the investigation process is. Recent examples regarding MPs/Minister suggest however that they can just pay the money back and all if forgiven.

Recently at a lunch with an MEP he explained that a number of the MPs charged were deliberately fed to the police during the investigation into expenses fraud because they were trouble, yet others were deliberately excluded. I can't prove definitively if that was true or not but how many MPs were prosecuted for flipping houses and why did the house of Lords change its definition of what a home address was?

The public do not regard the police as highly as they once did, however they are still held in far higher esteem than any politician or political party. So lets speak the truth, the police are investigated internally by the DPS and externally by the IPCC and the HMIC, they hold no political power and are made up, in the majority, by decent law abiding individuals who want to serve the public and make personal sacrifices to do so. They are routinely sacked or prosecuted depending on the offence and Judges when sentencing ive them far longer sentences because of the breach of public trust.

Isn't it about time that we had an independent body out with political control that could investigate and prosecute our politicians? After all if we can do it for the police, why can't we do it for the people who hold all the power?

I am all for new laws to stamp out corruption and malfeasance in a public office but lets include MPs, the Judiciary, the legal profession and medical professionals, as well as the police.

Crime Analyst said...

There is clearly more than enough existing legislation to deal with corrupt officers (or politicians, or indeed any other calling). This smacks of a government attempting to exploit opportunities to cash in on the current trend of police-bashing to attract the populist (if not particularly well-informed) vote. The point regarding senior officers is, however, well made. Punishment should always consider the position of the defendant. Public opinion has been eroded by a succession of scandals orchestrated and supported by senior officers intent on furthering their own careers at any cost.
By Peter Barron

Crime Analyst said...

Additional legislation is unnecessary. There are already significant pieces of legislation that subject to proper investigation can be used to deal with corruption. It is no good targeting the Police Service, the vast majority of whom are honest, by introducing something that reflects on a few bad apples. What I would prefer to see is an all embracing offence for all those in public service beyond malfeasance. This would include some of the categories highlighted in previous comments.
By John Boylin

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