Monday, April 11, 2011

Our wonderful British bobbies

While our dedicated police in Wales are targeting Mr Owens for his heinous crime, we decided to do a quick romp through the cuts to see what they were up to elsewhere. And what a wonderful job they are doing.

All within the last month, we have "Merseyside cop sacked after punching Formby man who later died". The widow of a taxi driver who was punched by a policeman and later died spoke of her relief after the officer was sacked.

Merseyside Police constable Andrew Jackson, 27, smacked Christopher Shackleton in the Freshfield Hotel, Formby, in a row over a spilled pint last July. Mr Shackleton, 42, stumbled outside before collapsing in the arms of his brother, Francis. He was taken to Southport hospital but died five days later from a stroke.

Then we have: "Police officers arrested for 'selling stolen property on eBay'". Three police officers are facing an investigation after allegedly selling stolen goods on eBay. The officers, from Merseyside Police, are said to have been arrested on suspicion of theft and misconduct in a public office.

All of them have been suspended from their duties. The arrests reportedly took place after complaints property taken during police raids ended up on the internet auction site.

To complement this, we have: "Hertfordshire PCSO convicted of leaking stories". A Hertfordshire police community support officer has been convicted of leaking information to the press. Emma Smiter, 26, of Welwyn Garden City, was found guilty of misconduct in a public office and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The ex-journalist passed on information gleaned from police computers to the news agency INS, Basildon Crown Court heard. The information appeared in newspapers such as The Sun and Daily Mirror. Smiter's illegal tip-offs included one which related to an allegation of attempted murder.

The material, gleaned from Hertfordshire Police computers, was passed to a news agency journalist and then on to the wider media.

Real people, of course, are left to fend for themselves, giving us this: "Police 'Left Woman To Be Stabbed And Scalded'". Six Lancashire police employees are facing misconduct proceedings after a "shocking catalogue of errors" left a vulnerable woman at the mercy of a violent attacker.

Computers features again here: Lancashire Police computers misuse probe. Several Lancashire police officers have been disciplined for using the constabulary computers to run searches on neighbours, family and local area.

In one allegation, which is currently being investigated by the Professional Standards Department, a PC in eastern division covering Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley, misused the Sleuth system to run criminal checks on neighbours and schools near his home.

Then this one happened up in Scotland: "A North East police officer is facing court charges relating to indecent images of children". Neil Shand, 48, appeared on petition at Banff Sheriff Court in January. He made no plea or declaration and was released on bail.

Grampian police said he had been suspended and faces an internal investigation. A Grampian Police spokesman said: "The force will undertake a misconduct investigation at the conclusion of criminal proceedings.

That is followed by this doozy: "Bungling detective let 'drug baron' escape". A detective has been jailed for tipping off a suspected heroin kingpin – allowing him to flee to Ibiza before he was arrested. Disgraced Detective Constable Matthew Reed, 32, wrecked a secret surveillance operation just as it prepared to bust a multi-million-pound heroin smuggling ring.

Police ultimately seized 23kg of heroin with an estimated street value of £2.3m, but only after the suspected ringleader had boarded a plane to the sun-soaked Balearic island. Cardiff Crown Court heard Reed admitted giving vital information about the investigation to a contact who then passed it on to the suspected drug baron.

But, when they get caught and turned over, its nice to see them taking it like men: "Married police officer howls in anguish as he's jailed for having sex on the beat". A policeman who had sex with a vulnerable woman while he was on duty, has been jailed for 12 months for his "abuse of power".

But the trial judge slammed the way his superiors dealt with the incident calling it "perfectly shameful". PC Nicholas Stone, who was working in the Devon and Cornwall force, howled like a baby as he was led to the cells from the dock by security officers.

These are just the ones that get caught and reported, that we have picked up during a very quick scan of the net. And there was this one last year, which had us wondering – even more so with this one. But hey! Don't forget that the police have got real crimes to deal with.

Just don't anyone say these are a "few bad apples". This is a vast barrel of apples. And that's one of the advantages of being a little bit older. I've been around a while, seen things done things. I've worked with cops professionally, been on the receiving end – too often. Needed them, far too often. I've, watched them, listened to them, studied them, and got some good friends who are ex-cops.

And yes, we know the Courts are just as bad, the CPS doesn't do its job, and all the rest, and the poor little plods don't get the back-up they feel they deserve (which is why, of course, they insist on alienating their natural supporters). But even when you take all that into account, you have a police force which is going down the pan. The more honest cops admit it, and I've had serving officers tell me much the same.

The BIG question is, though, what are we going to do about it? What CAN we do about it?