A Canadian View Of The IPCC

I cam across this while looking at Taser related gubbins and it’s interesting to see in an article about the lack of oversight of the Canadian police how our IPCC is described-

On Tuesday, the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP issued a report that looked at the broad issue of how the federal police force investigates itself. Commission chairman Paul Kennedy told a news conference, “We sought to answer the following question: Can the current process of the RCMP investigating itself legitimately engender confidence in the transparency and integrity of the criminal investigation and its outcome?

“Based on the results of our research and analysis, the informed commission answer is that it cannot.”

There is an alternative. In 2004, the Independent Police Complaints Commission began work in England and Wales. According to its website (www.ipcc.gov.uk), “The IPCC can choose to manage or supervise the police investigation into a case and independently investigate the most serious cases.”

The IPCC argues it is a chance for the police to increase public confidence and trust of the service.

The U.K. commission’s investigations take an average of 183 days, and in 2006/2007 it tackled 64 serious cases out of more than 2,000 complaints. That might not seem like many inquiries, but there were only five deaths from police shootings and 21 deaths in custody.

The process is not without flaws. There is no internal or external measure of quality control, and the commission’s recommendations can be rejected by police. Still, this national commission goes much further than the protections offered to the public in Canada.

The IPCC argues it is a chance for the police to increase public confidence and trust of the service.‘ Hmmm. Well one, it has failed and two, because we need an oversight body not a PR flak. Canada should aim a lot higher than their own version of the IPCC.

Posted in Human Rights. Tags: , . 2 Comments »

Institutionally Criminal

The Metropolitan police officer being investigated for an assault on Ian Tomlinson before he died had a chequered history which should have barred him from the force, it has emerged.

Investigations have revealed that the officer, who was in the Tactical Support Group during the G20 protests, had previously been accused of using unnecessary force while serving with the Met.

Vetting blunders meant that this was never identified and he managed to leave the force and rejoin.
Details of the past of the officer at the centre of the IPCC inquiry into Tomlinson’s death emerged yesterday. He had been on a disciplinary charge and facing a misconduct hearing earlier in his Met career.

The charge related to an incident while he was on sick leave with a shoulder injury when the officer became involved in a road rage incident. It is understood he tried to arrest the other driver involved in the incident, who later complained that the officer had used unnecessary force.

Before the discipline board convened, however, the officer took early retirement from the Met on medical grounds, and was awarded a medical pension.

Some years later he rejoined the Met as a civilian. He then applied to join Surrey police as an officer. When he was vetted the unresolved disciplinary matter should have shown up but does not appear to have done so. The officer was recruited to Surrey police with no blot on his disciplinary record. He later applied for a transfer to the Met, which again did not reveal the unresolved disciplinary charge.

In his career at the Met he was moved to the TSG, the elite public order unit within the force. It seems that at no point was his history flagged up during interview and vetting for this role.

Report on Kingsnorth Policing Buried

Chris Ames, Index on Censorship:- The Home Office and Kent Police have buried a report on the policing of last summer’s climate camp at Kingsnorth power station, provoking suspicions that it was critical of the controversial police tactics at the protest.

 During the protest last August, activists complained of aggressive policing, including violence against peaceful protestors, excessive use of stop and search powers, arbitrary arrests and mass confiscation of personal property. A number of MPs called for an inquiry.

 Last December, policing minister Vernon Coaker told MPs that the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) was “considering the lessons to be learned” from Kingsnorth. He said he would discuss its report with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and would then “be happy to share those conclusions” with Liberal Democrat Shadow Justice Secretary David Howarth.

But the report has been shelved, apparently because Kent Police did not like its findings, despite sending it back to be revised. Soon after receiving a “final” version, Chief Constable Michael Fuller commissioned a second review, on the grounds that the NPIA report “was not an evaluation of the operation overall or whether or not strategic and tactical objectives were achieved”.

 The force also refused to hand the report to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). Kent Police have declined to say what the report’s findings were, in spite of a claim that its policy “has always been to be open and transparent in everything we do”.

The Home Office is now presenting the second review, which is being carried out by an assistant chief constable of South Yorkshire Police, as a “report by the NPIA”, even though both the NPIA and South Yorkshire Police have stated that the NPIA are not involved.


& Chris Ames in the Guardian, (ht2 Indymedia)

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The IPCC’s Inexhaustible Supply Of Whitewash

The police officer, who was granted anonymity at the inquest (because who wants an accountable non secret police force) did these things-

Before he gave evidence, he revealed that he had made a note on the Metropolitan police computer in late July 2005, before he made his original statement in November 2005. He had then accessed and altered the note in October 2008 before handing it to the Met’s lawyers.

Owen had been present in New Scotland Yard’s room 1600, which was under the direct command of Commander Cressida Dick on 22 July 2005, although he was not within the nucleus of senior officers commanding the operation, the IPCC said.

The text he deleted read: “Management discussion. CD [Cressida Dick]: can run onto Tube as not carrying anything. Persuaded otherwise by UI [unidentified] male amongst management”.

The independent investigation found Owen had acted alone both in failing to disclose his note, as required by the IPCC in 2005, and in redacting it on 7 October 2008.

So today the IPCC concluded-

But the IPCC said today there was no evidence of deliberate deception in this instance by the Met as a whole or any individual within it.

Bear in mind he is a Special Branch officer, they liaise with the intelligence services, they are literally secret police, he gave evidence anonymously and is now found to be blameless while Dick has been promoted. What does this note suggest? That prior to Jean Charles de Menezes being shot at point blank range multiple times the officer in charge was thinking he was not carrying anything, ie. not a bomb threat. The common refrain of the killers (the coached and rehearsed testimony they were able to collude on) was they were acting in self defence because they claim to have believed he could have been a suicide bomber.

That she was dissuaded or failed to communicate her judgement to the armed personnel means the ‘UI [unidentified] male amongst management‘ bears great responsibility for the killing, as does Cressida Dick who is shown to make weak & faulty judgements and bad communication shows up these professional paramilitaries to be utter chumps. Clearly evidence was concealed then altered to protect senior officers. But no such issues will be addressed because the IPCC doesn’t think it important or that any malfeasance has occurred in relation to the note. They are as capable at investigating abuses of power by the police as Tony Blair is at not lying a country into war.

Best case: The armed security forces, licensed to employ state violence couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery.

Worst case: Execution by state paramilitaries protected from legal responsibility by the establishment.

Yasmin Khan, spokeswoman for the Justice4Jean campaign, accused the IPCC of failing to hold police officers to account. She said: “It doesn’t matter if you are a policeman fiddling notes after a shooting or a politician fiddling expenses on the sly, no-one should be above the law. This latest decision is one of a long line of IPCC decisions which have led every police officer involved in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes off scot-free. This weak and woefully poor excuse of a watchdog must now be overhauled and replaced with a robust body that can actually hold police officers to account.”

Posted in Lockdown, War on Terror Scam. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on The IPCC’s Inexhaustible Supply Of Whitewash

Eye Pea See Sea

Harpymarx recounts her experience of going to the IPCC to give evidence, a great read (and better than a shed load of the tat on CiF) as she reflects on how she feels when dealing with powerful institutions that can’t necessarily be trusted to be doing the right thing- Art of powerlessness

Whiny Authoritarians Of The Police Federation

The Police Federation the tame right wing company -fake- union for police has displayed the sure sign of authoritarians everywhere: Going apeshit when even a scintilla of their authority is questioned. Hysterically they call Nick Hardwick the head of the IPCC  ‘witchfinder general‘, no really. I think what must of really riled their entitled egos was-

He also said police needed to remember they were “servants, not masters” of the people.

Wow, such radical anti-police campaigning! Of course they are also trying to create a narrow band of acceptable discourse, if the IPCC (which has failed in its remit, a catalogue of delays, rejections and basic failures by Nick Davies of Flat Earth News fame) can become the ‘anti’ police side, then the police have very little to worry about indeed.

I Don’t Think Independent Means What He Thinks It Means

This is Nick Hardwick, head of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) giving evidence to the Commons Home Affairs committee-

He said the severity of the G20 complaints and injuries alleged is greater – although the difference may be accounted for by the presence of “citizen journalists” with mobile phone cameras at the G20 protest. “One of the consequences of this exposure through citizen journalism is that we will all see much more clearly what it is – and sometimes it looks ugly – what we expect the police to do,” he told MPs.

He said there was a need for police to explain better so-called “distraction” techniques they are trained to use in violent confrontations, which he said was a “euphemism” for “kicking, hitting, punching”. It “looks ugly” on the television – but police are trained to use these techniques as long as the force used is reasonable and proportionate and they should not “wash their hands” of this fact.

Mr Hardwick said he made the decision to do a “rigorous, hands-on” assessment of Mr Tomlinson’s death to see if he came into contact with the police before he collapsed. The evidence initially was that there was not any contact, so at first the IPCC decided not to conduct an independent investigation.

He said the police should not have rushed out a statement under media pressure to say there had been no contact with Mr Tomlinson but he was not surprised they did as “they have done it before”. He also owned up to a “mistake” when he said there was no CCTV in the area where Mr Tomlinson collapsed.

So there you have it, no such thing as an assault it’s someone just being a bit distracting. But really does this read like a man who is independent of the police, who investigates them on our behalf? Actually better was Chief Inspector of Constabulary Denis O’Connor who had the weary sardonic air of a supervisor fed up with feckless crooked coppers trying to get away with all sorts-

He was investigating reports some officers had removed their numbers or even refused to give them when asked by members of the public “when it’s the last thing you would expect to occur, particularly in those particularly circumstances”. He said he would look into media reports officers were worried about false “career ending” accusations being made against them if they could be identified, but warned: “I have heard that rationale before. I wasn’t impressed with it then. I doubt if I will be impressed with it now.” And he said his probe would look at whether all officers should be forced to wear name badges, which are currently not compulsory.

The hiding of identifying markings is a very old tactic when they are up to no good, from eleven years ago-

A retired police inspector beaten by baton-wielding riot officers while drinking in a pub has received £10,000 in compensation from Greater Manchester police. Russell Grayson, 55, an officer with Northumbria police for 30 years, yesterday labelled his attackers “thugs in uniform” who were a disgrace to the service.

The Manchester force accepted their actions were “despicable”. But none of the masked riot officers responsible for the attack on Mr Grayson and other football fans near Piccadilly station, following a 1998 FA Cup semi-final between Newcastle United and Sheffield United, has been charged or even disciplined, because they wore no identification numbers.

So let’s not pretend this is a rare rotten apple phenomenon when it is a practiced, long standing means of criminal individuals within the police service to get away with crime.

[And to be fair I do know of -some- police who are just as exasperated with the force’s ‘inability’ to deal with dirty coppers in their ranks as we are, however the omertà, peer pressure & tribalism at play and the ususal financial pressures combined with the lack of a proper progressive union make it a non-starter.]

Whither The CCTV IPCC?

I asked this last week as I couldn’t believe there were no CCTV cameras in that area, I looked on Google streetview and flickr to see if any pics proved it but none were conclusive and as the last time I was in that locale was about ten years ago filming I needed a more up to date knowledge. Anyway, there are and the IPCC um, well it’s incompetence or lying, take your pick, and whether either was in the service of helping the police, again make up your own mind. Of course if the IPCC are relying on the police to obtain the footage…well looks like they steadfastly wish to avoid learning anything from past disappearances of CCTV footage where police killings were concerned.

Hardwick said on Thursday there was no CCTV evidence of alleged police assaults on Tomlinson. “We don’t have CCTV footage of the incident,” he told Channel 4 news. “There is no CCTV footage – there were no cameras in the locations where he was assaulted.”

This morning the IPCC initially stood by Hardwick’s claims. “Mr Hardwick said there was no available CCTV footage of the incident and we stand by that. Any footage that is available, whether taken by police or by the public, will be fully investigated as and when it becomes available,” it said.

However, at 10.30am, after pictures were published showing cameras in the area, the IPCC changed its stance. “At this point, Mr Hardwick believed that he was correct in this assertion – we now know this may not be accurate,” the IPCC said in a statement. “There are cameras in the surrounding area.”

The IPCC would not comment on why, almost two weeks after Tomlinson’s death and one week after it said its investigators had pieced together his last moments by looking at “many hours of CCTV”, Hardwick had been mistaken about the locations of cameras.