This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Ultrabole & police conduct

It seems as if yesterday's court case ( Plebgate row: PC Keith Wallis admits misconduct over lies about Andrew Mitchell) has stirred up another whole new level of frothing tweets and debates concerning trust in the police. It seems to me that hyperbole is no longer an adequate word to describe the 'conclusions', claptrap and political point scoring this whole incident (which lasted but a few minutes) has generated. Hence the title of this blog.

In amongst the hoohah there are some wise words being spoken by the likes of Irene Curtis. You can see her interview on Channel 4 last night here. As I think I have said before: this story looks set to run and run, at least for a while yet until the court case between Mr Mitchell and the Police Office concerned happens (I understand they are both suing each other and the two actions will be heard at the same time).

And of course, the news yesterday followed on from the discussions concerning the Mark Duggan inquest verdict where more questions were raised about police trust.

The conduct of police officers remains in the spotlight which is one of the reasons why I embarked upon my research into the development of ethical practice in the police service. (You can see my blogs about this here and, a few days ago, here)

So far I have had 26 replies which have been inside or within a day or two of the Freedom of Information deadline. I wrote to 46 police services. So only just over half have replied on time. And a couple of those who have replied have said that since they cannot answer one of the questions, they need me to resubmit the other 7, which will take another 20 working days. This seems like a rather cunning wheeze to me (what do you think?) that, arguably, sits outside a fair interpretation of the law.

So I will be chasing the remaining 20 police forces next week although I wish I did not have to...

The results so far are interesting in that they highlight, I think, the need for an even greater focus on ethical practice in the police service. But I will be writing more soon.

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