Time after time I have written and rewritten the start of this blog and even now I can honestly say I’m not over happy with it. However, it is only recently that the media, the police and the courts are saying what victims have always said. The system is target based and therefore, not fit for purpose.
The present system of investigations and prosecutions by both the police and the Crown Prosecution Service is more than regrettable, it’s absolutely monstrous. It is only now the dam has burst that there is a flood of questions and accusations aimed at the fitness of our legal system.
No excuse is justifiable
I very much doubt that the excuse of funding cuts would be a valid reason for these recent failings but I firmly believe that it is the mindset of both the police and the CPS that if they have a “victim”, that victim needs justice and the only way to obtain that is to secure a conviction. This train of thought is also found within social services approach to accusations and claims but also within the health service when a victim is seeking medical help after an alleged assault.
No point investigating
It is evident that believing the victim now trumps ‘objective and thorough’ investigations. In effect it appears that there is no requirement for an investigation if they feel that the victim is being honest. Any educated person will know the dangers of judging people of stereotypes.
My complaints have been focused on this very point. Time and again I have highlighted and identified when the police and the CPS have cherry picked the evidence put before them. This has also been confirmed by my solicitor (he wishes to remain nameless) when he stated that the CPS and the police have been put under ‘unjustifiable pressure’ to obtain convictions that come under certain headings. These, namely being sexual assaults/rapes and domestic abuse. As a result, there has been no impetus to investigate every claim objectively as our legal system is now operating like a sales room aiming to hit targets by whatever means and at whatever cost.
With regards to my recent blog about Liam Allen’s case it appears that the investigating officer had not read all of the 40,000 messages proving his innocents. But after greater scrutiny by someone who is not a police officer it was proved that there was no crime. Liam Allen should never have been charged in the first place.
From the very beginning of his arrest 3 years previously Liam Allen had told the police that there was evidence held on a mobile phone to prove his innocents. It was finally investigated by the barristers dealing with the case that it was proven that Liam Allen was an innocent man, when, if the police had reviewed them properly, no charges would ever have been brought.
Therefore, If the lawyers had accepted what the police had told them, Liam Allen would have served 12 years wrongfully behind bars and life on a sex offenders register. But to an untrained eye, I can only draw one sickening conclusion, and that is that there will be individuals who’ve had trials where material wasn’t wilfully or knowingly, disclosed.
“The highest mode of corruption is the abuse of power.”
The Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders who has pushed hard the concept of ‘victim centred’ prosecutions seems to be (so far) untouchable. Time and again she has been accused of inflating rape conviction figures. It also transpires that this individual is also responsible for the catastrophe befallen crimes related to domestic abuse. The only comment she has made with – regards to this shambles is to make an apology to Liam Allan –but what about the potentially 100s of other victims of her indiscretions and erroneous policies?
One cannot help but notice that these crimes are female focused and therefore would not seek to help male victims of such crimes. As a result, Ms Saunders should do the honourable thing and resign from her position as all credibility for her and what she represents is now questionable. Is it not enough that innocent men have had their lives destroyed on the basis of spurious claims later rejected in court. Or worse, innocent men have been found guilty because there has been little interest to pursue the truth. As I have previously stated “The highest mode of corruption is the abuse of power.”
This ‘victim-centred justice’ now entrenched in the British legal justice system — has resulted in either unfair convictions or the life-long shame of being publicly accused of rape, despite an acquittal. This fact is further compounded by the re-opening of questionable convictions and/or the acquittal of so many so called ‘criminals’.
From my perspective I have supplied a vast array of evidence to the police. Yet, it has been clear to me and others involved in my case that these documents, texts and statements had been dismissed by the police without real considerations from the outset (and this consideration just gets better as you will need to read on to hear what the CPS had to say about this). Of course, this fact of recklessness has been handed to the IPCC to review. It has also compounded the fact that a female focus has been adopted because they based their whole prosecution attempts on one statement from her daughter that was not even in the room when the supposed assault happened.
If you take the time to research what it is a police officer supposedly does you can find a range of explanations. To put it simply, police officers should maintain law and order: protect members of the public and their property; and prevent, detect and investigate crime.
Police Code of Practice
Whilst investigating the Police Code of Practice, I found a very good example held within the West Midlands and Cleveland Constabulary Codes of Practice (of which are in bold below) (http://www.clevelandpf.org.uk/regulations/discipline.pdf) (http://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/media/185119/code-of-conduct-for-pcc-dpcc-board-members.pdf)
Within the said documents I found some key points;
Honesty and integrity
It is of paramount importance that the public has faith in the honesty and integrity of
police officers. Officers should therefore be open and truthful in their dealings; avoid being
improperly beholden to any person or institution; and discharge their duties with integrity.
Fairness and impartiality
I have discovered that the police had not handed my evidence to the CPS as they claimed to have had no knowledge of my counter claim or evidence against my ex. Therefore, my initial complaint to the CPS of lack of consideration for counter evidence made no sense to them. This is counter to the CPS code of practice called the ‘Full Code Test’ when it states in sections 4.2 and 4.5
4.2 In most cases, prosecutors should only decide whether to prosecute after the investigation has been completed and after all the available evidence has been reviewed…
4.5 The finding that there is a realistic prospect of conviction is based on the prosecutor’s objective assessment of the evidence, including the impact of any defence, and any other information that the suspect has put forward or on which he or she might rely. It means that an objective, impartial and reasonable jury or bench of magistrates or judge hearing a case alone, properly directed and acting in accordance with the law, is more likely than not to convict the defendant of the charge alleged. This is a different test from the one that the criminal courts themselves must apply. A court may only convict if it is sure that the defendant is guilty.
- Police officers have a particular responsibility to act with fairness and impartiality in all their dealings with the public and their colleagues.
There has been no fairness or impartiality when the attempted prosecution is ‘victim focused’. As stated, when all the evidence had been supplied it was cherry picked to fit their presumptions. Hense the CPS did not have the full facts to hand.
West Midlands Code of Practice, also states
Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
As stated it has now transpired that the CPS had not seen my evidence supplied to the police by myself. This does not meet the police standard of impartiality, fairness and merit. Furthermore, there is no evidence from the police actions that the best evidence was used without discrimination or bias
Most professionals (I would like to include myself in this category) work to the expected standard. In fact, many professional I have met often exceed the minimum but get no extra thanks for this. Many of these people know what is expected but do that little bit extra to secure a greater level of satisfaction for the people of whom they are serving.
I am a member of two professional bodies. Firstly, I am a member of the General Teaching Council (GTC) and the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).
If we take a look at the GTC Standards of Practice for example. Within its constitution it clearly states;
The GTC could make the decision to remove from their register or restrict any teacher who had ‘compromised the public confidence of the profession’ or who had put ‘the safety and welfare of children at risk’
In fact, this is a common feature with the HCPC, The Nursing & Midwives Council (NMC), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), even The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA). In fact, the list is endless for any occupation claiming to be both legitimate and professional. But, as stated, they all profess to hold the principle of ‘public confidence’ with high esteem.
If I look at the discipline policies of both teachers and health professions (it is easier for me as I have a good working knowledge of these professions) there is a process.
At the first stage one would be interviewed by a superior (usually within the same profession) and then it can be referred to the governing body who are not necessary within the professions frame work. This gives an air of comfort as it implies a sense of independence or at least a relative distance from senior managers of whom the individual maybe in conflict with.
Yet, if I analyse my complaints to the police of which there have been two. I have ultimately been referred to the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission). Yet, even at this higher level I have found it is the police policing the police (it has only gone higher because I have raised my issue with a senior police officer following a revelation from the CPS). In my eyes this would be like seeking a reference for a child minders job from Josef Fritzl. How on earth is this independent, fair or truly objective? In effect, it is the police policing the police of which I now consider to be of questionable quality.
Serious Crime Squad
If I recall, the question of honesty with regards to the police (specifically West Midland Police) was raised in 1989.
The West Midlands Serious Crime Squad was a police unit which operated from 1974 to 1989. It was disbanded after an investigation into allegations against some of its officers of incompetence and abuses of power unearthed serious questions about the credibility of such a unit. Several resulting miscarriages of justice were later overturned on appeal, including the cases of George Glen Lewis, Keith Twitchell the Birmingham Six and on 17 October 2014, Martin Foran who had been wrongly convicted in 1978 for four counts of robbery. As of January 2017, a total of 64 appellants had their convictions involving the squad overturned.
I can also recall my great grandmother telling me a story about police corruption during the first world war. She would recount how they profited from black market deals and would expect to be able to sit in the back of her shop on rainy days (whilst they hung their coats up outside). And that is without discussing pimping and theft. Okay, fair enough, one may argue that principles and codes of practice were not in operation during this period but I’m afraid to announce that the apple never falls far from the tree. And as previously stated; “The highest mode of corruption is the abuse of power.”
Consequences of the status quo
This is a five-fold concern. With the publicly known failings of the present system it will affect the whole of society
- Criminals – I still stand by the fact that it is better to let off a true criminal rather than send one innocent person to prison. This is view is held that, the truth will eventually come out and the criminal will face justice at some point. However, with the new-found doubt of the integrity of our present legal system, an element of doubt will cloud the principle of ‘proof beyond reasonable doubt’. Hence prosecutions may indeed drop thus allowing criminals to walk our streets unhindered by the chance of a real prosecution pending.
- Jury – The role of the jury is described as that of a finder of fact, while the judge is seen as having the sole responsibility of interpreting the appropriate law and instructing the jury accordingly. The jury determines the truth or falsity of factual allegations and concentrates on a verdict on whether a criminal defendant is guilty or not. But how can a jury be able to decipher the facts of a case when the conduct of the police and CPS be questioned from the outset? It had been assumed that the legal system was incorruptible, honourable and moral. But to allow the principle of cherry picking evidence over shadows that assumption.
- Public perception – the principle of law is the back bone of a decent and civil society. Alas, public perception of the police and the CPS will be shattered by the recent revelations. Both the public and the law are dependant upon each other for their own survival. Yet, if one side is seen as not playing by the rules then the rules can be broken on both sides of the fence. And this is a worrying concept to comprehend.
- Victims – from a male point of view there seems little benefit of reporting a crime. The evidence I supplied did not fit into the category of which the police and CPS seem to operate in. Being a white, male heterosexual they perceived that I could therefore be perceived as a victim, thus, my points and facts were given no more consideration than being filed away. From a female point of view, a victim may now fear not being believed.
- Trump card – having said all of this I am now pleased to consider that the ‘Trump-card’ that has been used against men for so long now be nearing the end. As you may recall, when I told my ex I was leaving she used the female victim card and got what she wanted. If the police and CPS really do start to investigate themselves more forensically then this victim centred approach my now have the life blood squeezed out of it. Thank god for that. These liars can no longer depend upon the law to sew their seeds of unwarranted destruction.
I would argue that it is now time that anonymity for defendants accused of sex crimes unless proven guilty should be re-introduced. Perhaps it is also fair to suggest that that two police officers should be assigned to every case — one to investigate the complainant’s account and another to investigate the defendant to ensure objectivity, and a senior officer or a member of the CPS to then review all the evidence.
All of this…
I suppose all of these revelations have come at a good time for me. I have stated my claims of dismissal by the authorities and these recent news stories have proved my case.
From this I have been told that an inspector will be questioned about his justifications with regards to my case – both my wrongful arrest and the dismissal of my counter evidence. Furthermore, the CPS will now get the chance to actually see what I supplied to the police in the first place.