Saturday, 12 May 2007

Jean Charles de Menezez

The family are calling it murder, and they're probably right, but the Police Federation are one of the most powerful lobby groups in the country and usually have defended their members even to the point of bullying Chief Officers. That is why you can't sack a sub-standard officer. Any allegations have to be proved to a criminal standard before disciplinary action can be taken, so, even in the unlikely event of his partner admitting to seeing an offence by an officer, it is unlikely there will be corroboration so there will be no action taken.

If that system applied to the rest of us no-one could ever be sacked. So we are left in the ludicrous situation where a young man lies dead, and a surveillance officer is going to be given 'management advice'. Presumably that will consist of someone telling him he should manage to point out the right guy.

This man was not mistaken for a suicide bomber. There was no suicide bomber there for him to be mistaken for. It was a cock-up plain and simple and the cover-up swung into operation before the body was cold. The lies that were told as to the young man's appearance (bulky clothing), and whether he was running away (he wasn't) were designed to add to the considerable confusion while a believable lie was found or constructed. If there was another reason for the lies let them come out and say so.

The truth (at least in part) was only told when it was obvious that the papers, and particularly the international press, were on to the story and it was clear that the game was up.

So, for all involved, it isn't too late to do something decent for the mans family and accept your responsibility for his death. 'Management Advice' is either a joke or an insult, and the Independent (another joke) Police Complaints Commission and the Crown Prosecution Service should be ashamed. As accessories after the fact they are as guilty as the trigger men if justice is suppressed..


Surreptitious Evil said...

But the requirement for corroboration is a Scots law thing not an English one?

red mist said...

S-E I agree, but the standard of proof for a police disciplinary offence is the criminal standard 'beyond reasonable doubt', rather than the civil standard 'on the balance of probability'. The English courts place a much higher value on police evidence than the more realistic Scottish courts, so that where police evidence is led against an ordinary member of the public in England it is taken to be true. If, however, police evidence is led against another officer then there could be issues of personal malice. The fact that another officer has broken ranks and 'grassed' a fellow officer is enough, in the canteen culture of the police force, to make his word and his motives suspect. So it may well be that on the balance of probability, in any other occupation there would be a disciplinary action, but in the police discipline code there would be reasonable doubt, so no action is possible on either side of the border.
The police federation have fought long and hard to ensure that this remains the case.