Assumptions, stereotypes and prejudice
‘We all carry assumptions, stereotypes and prejudices; they are part of our natural make up and relate to attitudes and the way we make sense of things. It is not unlawful to be prejudiced or to make assumptions or to carry stereotypes It is impossible not to!
The danger of applying these stereotypes, however, is that we use the minimum amount of information to make a number of assumptions.
The important point about our assumptions, stereotypes and prejudices is that they are related to our values. They are not unlawful. We are allowed to think what we like about anyone.
However, once we start taking action on our prejudices, we may be behaving in a discriminatory way and we might be breaking the law or working against our organisation’s policies’.
On Thursday 11th January 2018 I received this letter.
And……within the bundle of papers accompanying this letter was a copy of the application to obtain the search warrants. I will refer you back to blog 39 as you read through this application!
Ok, so let’s go through this to see if you think the court was deliberately mislead into issuing these warrants. Because, if the court was deliberately mislead then surely the officers concerned would have to be dealt with for perverting the course of justice……..wouldn’t they?
So the application was made by Detective Inspector Justin TAYLOR, who, (possibly unlawfully) interviewed me on 20th September 2017. (Not to be confused with DI Martin Taylor who definitely unlawfully interviewed me in December 2016.
At the bottom of page 1, the criminal offences under investigation were (1) Malfeasance in a Public Office and (2) Breach of the Data Protection Act.
So my first question is, what evidence did they have for me breaching the Data Protection Act? Let’s look again at the history to date.
28/10/16 senior CPS Prosecutor Stephen Davies made a complaint to DI Martin Taylor about my conduct. (Disclosing confidential information). This was following information DI Martin Taylor claims he was given on 11th August 2016
08/11/16 DI Martin Taylor submits a report to Professional Standards Department asking them to review issues about me, including that I had disclosed ‘sensitive’ information to ‘Andy’
14/12/16 Wendy Elliott, (PSD), served me a notice for misconduct which stated, ‘If proven this would be a breach of the Data Protection Act’. (And so at this point PSD deemed that it was not criminal, but a misconduct issue. If they were looking at it criminally, I would have been served a notice for Gross Misconduct and not just Misconduct).
29/12/16 Having been cautioned, I sent my response to the allegation of misconduct to Wendy Elliott.
Late December Wendy Elliott phoned ‘Andy’ to ‘question’ her about this as well as whether or not I had met ‘Andy’ prior to her attending Ross Police Station on 28/05/16. When ‘Andy’ said that we had not met before this day, apparently Wendy Elliott made it obvious that she didn’t believe this!!
19/01/17 Civilian PSD Investigator, Wendy Elliott completed her report regarding this.
09/03/17 PSD Detective Chief Inspector Dave Goosen made an Appropriate Authority Determination that there was no case to answer for misconduct.
Stephen Davies appeals DCI Goosen’s decision to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
12/07/17 Christine Power from the IPCC recommends that under paragraph 27(3) of Schedule 3 of the Police Reform Act 2002 that I have a case to answer for misconduct in relation to a breach of the standard of professional behaviour regarding confidentiality, the case to answer to be determined at a misconduct meeting. (So again, not determined to be criminal).
Why on earth is there NO mention of the above in the warrant application and why was it being treated as a criminal offence when neither the DCI on PSD or the IPCC thought that it should be?
Now, let’s go to page 2. The Investigation. Again, interesting use of the ‘Anti-Hunt Investigation a Team’ from officers that had thoroughly reviewed the whole case! Having reviewed the case they should have known it was the Hunt Investigation Team!
And, again, nowhere does it mention that I had already been interviewed and given responses to the questions posed, including in a written statement. It makes it sound as though neither ‘Andy’ or I had been spoken to about the investigation before this time. This was crazy. I couldn’t believe it.
‘Evidence would suggest that the officer was in contact with the Anti- Hunt Investigation Team prior to the date of reporting to the Police, (Yes, it’s in my bloody pocket note book, which you had a copy of. I phoned ‘Andy’ on 26/05/16).…and may have been involved in the tasking and organising of the covert video recordings’. Where is there any evidence whatsoever of this? This is a lie.
‘The Officer has stated that the first time he met the Anti-Hunt Team was on the day of reporting the incident to the police however statements obtained from parties involved would suggest that he was in contact before this date bringing his honesty and integrity into question’. The clue is in this sentence. Just because you’ve contacted someone, that doesn’t mean you’ve met them!!! Again, I refer to my pocket note book entry, which these officers would have had.
‘In particular evidence of contact between the officer and Anti-Hunt Member ‘Andy’ is most concerning’. This would be the ‘evidence’ from Malcolm Watkins of Ross NFU, who sponsored the South Hereford Hunt and friends with one of the suspects at the time, Hunt Master Alex Price. He didn’t, in fact, have any evidence to support this accusation at the time, didn’t even name me and didn’t want to get involved any further. Is this the ‘reliable’ information that Code B of PACE requires?
‘The Officer has also shown members of the SHH the video recordings and given them details of the post mortem results’. I had already explained all of this and put it into a statement for court.
And DI Justin Taylor used the above information to obtain a warrant! Really!!
And they were looking for Telecom and electronic equipment capable of communicating with members of the Anti-Hunt Team or Hunt Masters. Well you’ve seen how many emails so far had gone back and forth to sergeants, Inspectors, Chief Inspectors, Superintendents, Professional Standards etc………..and every one of them from me or Jane had a message at the bottom………..’sent from my iPad’.
Guess which was the only device they let us keep, having seized my phone and all of our other computers? That’s right….the iPad!!!!
Now look at the bottom of page 3. ‘At least one of the following four access conditions must apply’ (to get the warrant).
So DI Justin TAYLOR has stated to the court that, ‘entry to the premises will not be granted unless a warrant is produced’ and ‘the purpose of a search may be frustrated or seriously prejudiced unless a constable arriving at the premises can secure immediate entry to them’ He goes on to explain in the last sentence at the top of page 4, ‘Communications with persons in control of these items may result in the destruction of these items’.
So, what he is telling the court is that he believes I would be obstructive, refuse police entry to my house and destroy my phone and computers. Well, again DI TAYLOR, where the hell is your evidence for this. Anyone who has read this blog and seen all of the emails and meetings documented, will, I hope agree that I have cooperated fully throughout the process, remained professional despite everything that happened, have let officers into our home and more crucially I have ASKED for investigations to take place which were refused!!
Furthermore, did DI TAYLOR not think that, had I in fact done anything wrong and had I been the devious, bent copper he was portraying, that I might have got rid of any incriminating evidence following the unlawful interview in December 2016. Again I will unfortunately remind you good people that he and his colleagues are trusted with investigating incredibly serious crimes!! Does it give you ANY faith?
And remember Code B of PACE. The information to obtain the warrant has to be recent. 12 months old is not recent DI TAYLOR and you had a duty to tell the court this. You deliberately chose not to.
On page 5, section 8 you will see that the duty of disclosure section has simply been answered with, ‘No’. Underneath in section 9, DI TAYLOR has signed the declaration, ‘To the best of my knowledge and belief, a) this application discloses all the information that is material to what the court must decide, including anything that might reasonably be considered capable of undermining any of the grounds of the application, and b), the content of this application is true.
The last paragraph is fairly self explanatory.
Do you think the court would have granted the warrant, had DI Justin TAYLOR told the truth in this section and listed all of the disclosure issues?
Do you think DI Justin TAYLOR deliberately mislead the court in order to get the warrant, no matter what?
Do you think DI Justin TAYLOR perverted the course of justice?
We’re West Mercia Police just going to protect him, as a senior officer?
Remember, a warrant was also served on one of the victims in this case, a victim who had exposed serious criminal activity at the South Hereford Hunt kennels by hunt staff. A victim, who was hoping that on THIS occasion, she and her colleagues would not be stereotyped and discriminated against by the police and CPS!