Sunday, 5 September 2010

The Standard of Wiltshire Policing?

Regular readers of the Team Voice Blogsites will be well aware of the investigation carried out on former Jersey Police Chief Officer Graham Power QPM by Chief Constable Brian Moore of the Wiltshire Constabulary.

You remember the investigation, where the investigation into the investigation took longer than the original investigation that they were investigating? The one that went hopelessly over budget and missed just about every deadline set? It cost the Jersey Tax Payer in excess of one million pounds, although it is strongly believed to have cost closer to two million pounds if not more.

Well despite all that, in certain circles, the Report that emerged from this Investigation is/was hailed as the "Holy Grail of all Reports." Some of us thought, who the Dickens do Wiltshire think they are, judging somebody’s investigation when there own investigation appeared to be so flawed? but more of that in a later Blog.

So one could believe that the Wiltshire Police set a very high standard of policing….right? I mean they investigated our highest ranking Police Officer’s involvement of probably the biggest and most complex case ever to hit our shores. They believe they found fault in our most Senior Policeman’s Policing and could face disciplinary charges (under UK Policing regulations).

Then let us have a look at one example of the kind of policing standards “dished out” by Wiltshire. Somebody’s going to need a “bl--dy” Holy Grail Report to explain this one away.

Submitted by VFC.


GeeGee said...

I read this story in my paper today and found it quite, quite sickening!

Good choice Mr Le Marquand.

A bit of deja-vu for you too Big Ian (Evans) I guess. Oh sorry, no, it could not possible happen in Jersey!

Anonymous said...

What was a male custody officer doing handling, or man handling, a female detainee in the first place?

Zoompad said...

"What was a male custody officer doing handling, or man handling, a female detainee in the first place? "


voiceforchildren said...

Without knowing the full picture there seems to be some basic breach of long established policing procedures here. Not the least of which is the forceful handling of a female by a lone male officer. Dangerous stuff. This is a role for female officers and staff. If in any way typical this indicates a force that has not got some of its front line basics right. And is not well placed to criticise others. Female prisoners can be very challenging and provocative, (although this doesn’t seem to be the case with the female prisoner in the video footage). That is when female staff earn their money. A custody officer should not be "losing it" in these circumstances.

Furthermore the force will seek to portray this as the actions of an individual rogue officer and distance the leadership from what happened, hoping that nobody will ask just what operating procedures they have in place for the management of female prisoners, and if the procedures are inadequate, who will take responsibility for that?

TonyTheProf said...

Let's be fair - Wiltshire is a huge area compared to Jersey - and they did tackle the problem. They have 16,000 people in custody a year. And the case was brought after another officer at the station reported his behaviour to a supervisor.

The Press release (by the ACC) said:

"We respect the decision of the court and the force has formally apologised to the injured lady for the assault she suffered while in our care. People have a right to expect that the police will always act by placing the safety and welfare of the public as their first priority. This is particularly so when in police custody when irrespective of the reason for their detention, people should feel and be safe. Despite the rigour and effectiveness of our systems and training, it will never be possible to provide a 100 per cent assurance that our guidelines, on occasions, will not be broken. Whilst that is unpalatable, the reality is that policing is complex and difficult and again we repeat, there can never be any excuse for excessive behaviour by police officers or police staff."

voiceforchildren said...


The question that I posed in my last comment still hasn't been answered......... or has it?

"Nobody will ask just what operating procedures they have in place for the management of female prisoners, and if the procedures are inadequate,, who will take responsibility for that?"

Anonymous said...

Or my question "What was a male custody officer doing handling, or man handling, a female detainee in the first place?

Anonymous said...

What happens to complaints made by victims of police brutality? when not witnessed by a honest cop?

Lesson for Jersey though, promote the whistleblowers do not sack or demonise them!!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we should be asking if such cameras exist in the Jersey police cells and who would blow the whistle if such abuses happened here?
Jersey now has a prisoner visiting scheme which does not just consist of Jurats (thanks largely to Deputy Bob Hill's efforts).
If such abuses were revealed in Jersey - which police force would be called upon to investigate?
Do such cameras now operate in Jersey's secure units for young people - or children's homes?
Does anybody issue guidance rules on such matters?

Anonymous said...

To be fair,

Problems happen in large organisations and small, due to actions of individual human beings.

The important facts are, that another officer felt she could complain about her superior named as Sargent Andrews. This event was laid before the IPCC ( Independent Police Complaints Commission ). They, after speaking with Wiltshire decided to let the force investigate itself.

I would suggest that after seeing the security tape, the IPCC took this decision partly because the cowardly bully, police Sargent Andrews had nowhere to run or to hide, therefore the criminal prosecution service ( please note an organisation not just one man as in Jersey) felt Wiltshire Police had little choice but to prosecute one of their own. The aggressive accredited media were going to print the story at some stage another which is another good reason not to hide the truth.

This underlines the importance of checks and balances in an organisation and of course Government. Checks and balances must be administered by independent bodies not people who are conflicted. The watchers and rule keepers must have the power to decide on their own remit and rules of forthcoming investigations, and not be hand-cuft, by those organisations or groups they are investigating, as regularly happens in Jersey.

Verita ( no disciplinary action against failed employees, or words to that effect, inserted by management ) and the WEB fiasco report, are just two that spring to mind both commissioned and supervised by management at tax- payers expense.


Anonymous said...

This must be one of the most desperate posts to attack the Wiltshire Police thats on the Net.

Rob Kent said...

@Anon, "This must be one of the most desperate posts to attack the Wiltshire Police thats on the Net."

It's an interesting post in itself but I think it smacks of desperation to link it to the Wiltshire Report.

Sorry, Voice - just don't ban me from further comments :)