Chief constable under investigation… what, just the one?

11/07/2014

Nick Gargan, the chief constable of Avon and Somerset police, is under investigation for data protection breaches. His alleged misdeeds came to light after 2 whistleblowers revealed that Gargan was constantly making inappropriate comments and generally being a lech towards younger female police officers. The IPCC checked out his computer and discovered he had been emailing details of police business to “individuals unconnected with the force”. So he’s been suspended and is going to be interviewed under caution.

Gargan was a bit of a police star – he used to be head of the national policing improvement agency and was once tipped as a possible Metropolitan police commissioner. So, does this mean that no copper is untouchable? All officers have to be on their best behaviour, even the bosses?

Of course not. Gargan may have made enemies amongst other senior cops (like Stevens was, long ago); or this may all come to nothing. It might just be a publicity stunt. It’s always nice to see cops fall on their stupid faces, but it doesn’t mean that the police have suddenly become law-abiding. And worse: if the top boy can’t be trusted, what does that say about what his colleagues and underlings are up to?

So, Gargan: in or out? Watch this space…


Cop cleared for using taser on suspect in cell?

29/04/2014

Well, what a shock (pun intended)!  A police officer tasered a naked man in a cell because the suspect threw his underpants at him… and his brutality has been vindicated by a court!

Wiltshire PC Lee Birch, the cop who shot the man was cleared of assault and misconduct.  He must have acted in self-defence, as everyone knows that underpants are dangerous weapons… And the victim, Daniel Dove, hadn’t even committed a crime.  He had been arrested for being “drunk and disorderly” but was later released with no charge (except for the electrical charge he got from the stun gun of course). Which makes me wonder: if throwing his underpants at PC Birch was such a vicious attack that warranted use of a taser, how come he wasn’t charged for that attack?  And why was Dove being strip-searched anyway?  He was arrested for being drunk and disorderly, not suspicion of possessing drugs or carrying concealed weapons.  It’s not routine procedure to strip-search suspects.

My guess is that Dove was pissed off for being nicked for no reason.  He probably got mouthy, so the police decided to put him in his place and humiliate him by strip-searching him.  Dove was naked when he threw the underpants, but police rules state that during a strip-search the suspect should never be completely naked at any one point.  He should have been wearing a shirt or t-shirt when removing his underpants. Birch was deliberately humiliating him.  If it happened to me, I’d probably throw more than my underpants at the cop.

taser-in-cell

Cop about to taser a suspect in Burnley police cells

 

Unfortunately, police are using their tasers without proper reason all over the country. Lancashire Police constable Scott Fairclough used the electro-shock weapon on the 20 year old man after he had refused to be strip-searched.  The whole incident was captured on CCTV.  And Fairclough’s colleagues thought the whole thing was funny! One PC was heard saying the 50,000 volt weapon would make him “glow in the dark” and produce “blue flames coming out of his eye sockets. ” And another officer commented: “Ahh did you make him cry? Couldn’t happen to a nicer person.”

The Mirror reported:

In an interview, PC Fairclough said he asked the man to remove his clothing and was met with the reply: “Don’t come in here, you’ll regret it.”

He then said that he heard a deep inhalation of breath from the man and took that as a sign he was about to attack him and activated his Taser.

However, in its report, the IPCC said the CCTV footage it had seen showed the man arrested was not showing signs of being volatile towards officers before the Taser was used.

Guidelines state officers may use the weapon “when faced with violence or threats of violence of such severity that force is needed to protect the public, themselves or the individual concerned”.  I don’t see how any of these cases meet that criteria. And there are cases where taser use has been ridiculously cavalier.  Another Lancashire Police officer Stuart Wright tasered a63 year old blind man, Colin Farmer, because he supposedly mistook Farmer’s white stick for a samurai sword!  And Farmer clearly posed no danger to PC Wright at the time, as Mr Farmer was walking away from the cop and Wright shot him in the back.

The home office has reported that the police also use their tasers on children.  Every  day kids as young as 11 are being tasered!

Rachel Baines, chair of the Lancashire Police Federation, said there were “always lessons to be learned” where tasers were involved. She said: “The public still find it odd. We are under a lot of scrutiny, but it’s worth remembering that it is a less lethal option than using a baton and causes less injuries to people. We are pleased with the IPCC findings which say the uses were justified.”

Baines is missing the point here, even though she said it herself: tasers are allegedly “less lethal” but they have a horrific effect and can kill. Wikipedia says:

Tasers and other high-voltage stun devices can cause cardiac arrhythmia in susceptible subjects, possibly leading to heart attack or death in minutes by ventricular fibrillation, which leads to cardiac arrest and—if not treated immediately—to sudden death. People susceptible to this outcome are sometimes healthy and unaware of their susceptibility.[citation needed]

Although the medical conditions or use of illegal drugs among some of the casualties may have been the proximate cause of death, the electric shock of the Taser can significantly heighten such risk for subjects in an at-risk category. In some cases however, death occurred after Taser use coupled with the use of force alone, with no evidence of underlying medical condition and no use of drugs.

 

The taser is an  awful weapon.  The British police allow only highly trained officers to use firearms, but cops have to do little training before being issued with so-called “stun guns”.  Can you imagine what it would be like if the British police were armed with guns?
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Racial profiling is alive and well, goddammit… and that’s with the public, never mind the police!

10/04/2014

Do you think police profiling works?  You think racial profiling works?  You think racism is a good way to spot criminals?  Check this out, then tell me in Comments what you think.

 
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CPS drop case against Iceland skip-divers as “not in public interest” anymore…

29/01/2014

In my original post on this issue I wrote “you couldn’t make this stuff up!” And reality goes on to prove I’m right!

The Guardian reported that the CPS was going to prosecute 3 men for “stealing” out-of-date tomatoes, mushrooms and cheese from a skip round the back of a branch of Iceland, after a member of the public told the police he’d seen them climbing over the wall. The Crown Prosecution Service were intent on prosecuting the “thieves” even though Malcolm Walker, the chief executive of Iceland, had asked the CPS not to continue with the case. In a statement, Iceland said “We are currently trying to find out from the Crown Prosecution Service why they believe that it is in the public interest to pursue a case against these three individuals.”

One of the men, freelance web designer Paul May was going to say that he was taking the food because he needed it to eat and does not consider he has done anything illegal or dishonest in removing food destined for landfill from a skip.

This is hardly the first time the CPS have tried to prosecute people for taking out-of-date food from supermarket skips. Many years ago, two of my friends were arrested with chickens they had taken from a Leo’s (now the Co-operative) supermarket bin. They were charged with theft, elected for trial by jury at Crown Court as was their right, and the presiding judge threw out the case, angry that the court’s time was being wasted in such a way.

In this latest case, the CPS originally said there was “significant public interest” in prosecuting the three men caught last year taking tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese and Mr Kipling cakes from the dustbins behind a branch of Iceland. But a public furore persuaded them to see sense.

The case would have brought to the public eye the fact that poor members of society have to go through bins of rotten food looking for something to assuage their hunger, in scenes more reminiscent of the 19th century rather than the present day.

The case has prompted new focus on the phenomenon of “skipping” – taking discarded supermarket waste to cook and eat – and reopened the debate over how much supermarket food is still discarded. Several online petitions were launched, calling on the CPS to reconsider its decision to prosecute.

Baljit Ubhey, the chief crown prosecutor for CPS London, said: “This case has been reviewed by a senior lawyer and it has been decided that a prosecution is not required in the public interest.”

He added: “In reconsidering this case, we have had particular regard to the seriousness of the alleged offence and the level of harm done. Both of these factors weigh against a prosecution. Additionally, further representations received today from Iceland Foods have affected our assessment of the public interest in prosecuting.

“We hope this demonstrates our willingness to review decisions and take appropriate and swift action when necessary. The Crown Prosecution Service is committed to bringing the right charges to court when – and only when – it is proper to do so.”

But of course Ubhey’s explanation is a load of crap. As I reported before, the CPS have considered it correct to prosecute hungry poor people for taking out-of-date food from shop waste bins. The CPS originally valued the food “stolen” from Iceland at £33! And they would no doubt have carried on the case if online petitions hadn’t been produced.

All this case demonstrates is that the police and Crown Prosecution Service are happy to oppress the very poorest members of society.

EDIT: Since posting this, a couple of my friends suggested I might like to see the Daily Mail’s take on this story.  I don’t usually bother reading the Mail (it makes me so furious sometimes, there have been occasions in the past where I have actually shouted at a copy of the paper) but my friends’ comments intrigued me so I had a peek.

I was just about to type “Unbelievable!” but then I remembered: this is the Mail.  The story’s headline reads

A licence to steal? Let off, the ‘freegans’ who raided supermarket bins for £33 of cakes, cheese and mushrooms

The Mail clearly has a problem with “freegans” (their term for the criminals who blatantly steal unwanted garbage out of bins); their angle on the story is horror that such evil crooks are being set free to continue their crime sprees.  They mention that 15 million tons of food are being thrown away each year in the UK, Tesco alone generated 28,500 tons of food waste at its stores and distribution centres in the first 6 months of last year alone, but the Mail’s major problem is the fact that people are being “encouraged” to steal by the CPS’s decision to drop the charges.

Interestingly, they also mention that the three men involved (Paul May, Jason Chan and William James) were held in police cells for nineteen hours before being released!   I hadn’t seen or heard that anywhere else.  It shows how petty and arrogant the police can be, and is another reason why the police do not automatically deserve the respect they think they are due.  Basically, the police stink.  And to think, I wouldn’t have learnt this particular fact but for the Daily Mail’s website.  Keep an eye out for low-flying pigs ha ha!!!

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So the police lied about Plebgate… what a surprise…

04/11/2013

Well, whaddaya know? When Tory ex-Cabinet Minister Andrew Mitchell was accused of swearing at Downing Street cops and calling them “fucking plebs”, I thought it was probably true. That’s a classic Tory attitude isn’t it: “The police officers won’t open the main gates for me and my bicycle. Who are they to disobey their Lords and Masters? Fucking plebs.”

But now, it appears that the police were lying – and that is equally feasible. We’re not just talking about the cops who were actually there at Downing Street, in all the hoo-hah and police “investigations” into themselves and their mates, the police including the chief constables of West Mercia, Warwickshire and the West Midlands constabularies, have all been lying about the affair.

The police in Britain usually investigate themselves when there has been complaint of wrong-doing, and they generally don’t believe anyone who isn’t a copper. I have personal experience of making a complaint against the police and the “complaints department” have dismissed my complaint even though there was documentary proof that the officers in question were lying.

Well, the cops who apparently made up the “pleb” story are now to be recalled to Parliament to apologise for lying to a committee of MPs, and if they don’t do it they will be “in contempt of Parliament” which hopefully means they’ll get sent to the Tower of London to be beheaded. There would be plenty of folk volunteering for the executioner job; in fact I wouldn’t mind taking a swing at it myself!

Ben Jennings cartoon 4.11.2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Plebgate: ‘lying is good’, say the police.

15/10/2013

Remember when Andrew Michell, the then-Government Chief Whip in the House of Commons, was forced to resign in the aftermath of the “Plebgate” row, where police officers claimed he had called them “fucking plebs”. The insinuation was that Mitchell was a liar: after a meeting a year after the Plebgate affair with Police Federation representives from the West Mercia, West Midlands and Warwickshire forces, Ken Mackaill, chairman of the West Mercia federation, said Mitchell’s position was untenable. He resigned a week later.

But it was later alleged that they lied about what went on in the meeting – which had been taped – in order to support their colleagues in London. They were accused of deliberately misrepresenting the meeting and calling Mitchell’s integrity into question. There are even murmurings about a conspiracy to get rid of Mitchell.

IPCC deputy chair Deborah Glass said on Tuesday (15 October) the officers should face disciplinary panels to decide whether they lied. She said:

“In my view the evidence is such that a panel should determine whether the three officers gave a false account of the meeting in a deliberate attempt to support their MPS (Metropolitan police service) colleague and discredit Mr Mitchell, in pursuit of a wider agenda.

“In my opinion the evidence indicates an issue of honesty and integrity, not merely naive or poor professional judgment.”

If the IPCC has elected to investigate the case themselves, they would have the power to direct the forces to convene misconduct proceedings but have chosen not to exercise these powers. The Crown Prosecution Service is to review the relevant proof; but no officers are going to be prosecuted, are they? If the police can get away with murdering innocent bystanders (think Jean Charles de Menezes or Ian Tomlinson, or any victim of police brutality) what chance does Mitchell have? Very little. Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, said at the weekend prosecutors would come to a decision on whether any officers or members of the public should be charged “as soon as we can”. I think we can all assume what that means.

Please comment on this story, it would be good to know what public opinion is about police dishonesty. There’s a Comment button below. 😉

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Camover revisited…

02/10/2013

Previous readers of I HATE HATE!!! may have seen my post of 27 Jan about the German sport “Camover” – an multi-player offline game that consists of destroying CCTV cameras. It’s a good idea, but unfortunately the puny, cowardly ISPs have been closing down sites thst are connected to it.

But never fear: here is a FAQ on a site about Camover: http://camover.noblogs.org/faq/faq-in-english/. Unfortunately, vlosing date for the original Camover game’s closing date was in February, and as far as I can tell, it’s now gone.

But why can’t we resurrect it? Make it international. CCTV is evil, and I live in the UK, a police state with probably most cameras in the world. So let’s do it!! Anyone interested, leave Comments or get me via Contact Form. CCTV is EVIL. So let’s kill the thing!!

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