Well, things have now got a little quieter at home and the weather has cooled. I have sorted through the documents sent to me recently, as a result of my subject access request earlier this year. As previously stated, the documents have been heavily redacted and names of all other police officers have also been redacted! (For some reason)!
It does make a little more sense of what happened and who made the decision to obtain the warrant and to criminally investigate me.
First I will take you back to (blog 14), 3rd December 2016 where I received the email with the false allegation of an affair. You will recall that I sent an email to Superintendent Susan THOMAS and DI Martin Taylor asking for assurance that the false allegation would be investigated. Does that sound like someone who had something to hide?
Then on 5th December 2016 when I was unlawfully interviewed by DI Martin Taylor. You will recall, I fully cooperated in the interview and answered all questions put to me. During the interview I told DI Martin Taylor that I wanted the false allegation of the second affair to be investigated fully by CID and his response, “ No we won’t. I don’t care about that”! (Blog 15). Immediately after this interview, (having been told I could not leave the police station), I wrote a statement answering all of the questions that I had been asked. Does that sound like someone who wasn’t going to cooperate?
My grievance submission after this unlawful interview where I am asking for what happened to be investigated. (Blog 16). Does that sound like someone who was trying to be underhanded?
The crimes of harassment that Jane and I reported to get the matter investigated properly……..and the reluctance of West Mercia Police to actually record and investigate those crimes until we insisted on it. Does that sound like someone who would refuse to allow his phone to be examined or someone who would obstruct the investigation?
And so, to the new documents I have received…..
And as you will recall, on 4th May 2017, Superintendent Kevin Purcell upheld my grievance against DI Martin Taylor saying that he was a danger to the organisation. (Blog 30).
Well, a month after my grievance was upheld against him, DI Martin Taylor sent this report to his DCI……!!!,
But DI TAYLOR, what about your phone call to PSD as above on 7th December? Surely this would ring alarm bells with his DCI, Superintendent Susan Thomas and Professional Standards, as he had just had a grievance upheld against him? What new information or evidence did he have? Hadn’t all of this already been looked at? Or perhaps…..this was just revenge!
But on 20th June 2017 an Operation Childer CIMM meeting was held to discuss it.
But, would I be served any notice to say that I was to be investigated yet again? Well, a further CIMM meeting took place to clarify that!!
A decision was made to commission an independent police review of the Operation Childer investigation and the allegations/concerns being raised by DI Martin Taylor about me. Inspector Justin TAYLOR of Worcester CID, (no relation to Martin) was asked to carry out this review. He was assisted by DS Craig Tennant of Kidderminster CID, who more specifically looked at the concerns regarding myself. On 20th July 2017 DI Justin TAYLOR sent the conclusions of his review in a report to Chief Superintendent Mark Travis.
Also worth noting is that it was in the above report to Mark Travis that DI Justin TAYLOR included the below information from blog 52.
As the matter was also being investigated as a potential conduct issue (not that I had been made aware)!!, DI Justin TAYLOR also sent his report to Professional Standards. On 4th August 2017 Detective Chief Inspector Dave Goosen sent the following report to Chief Superintendent Mark Travis.
‘If the force continues to seek avenues to discredit RBS or every single decision/action he took or question every movement/relationship with those involved in the investigation, then I believe we are not being proportionate or fair to RBS”.
The above sentence remember is from the Chief Inspector responsible for looking at professional standards within the police. So, what do you think Chief Superintendent Mark Travis’s response was?
On 11th August 2017 Chief Superintendent Travis sent this email out to what was obviously many recipients including Superintendent Susan THOMAS. It is heavily redacted but I believe he gave the instruction in this email to obtain warrants despite being told that obtaining warrants was ‘not justified, proportionate or necessary due to the passage of time’
Why did he ignore DI Justin TAYLOR who presumably had the accreditation and ability to review a criminal investigation? Why did he ignore DCI Goosen who had already reviewed the ‘case’ against me on at least two occasions? Why did he ignore the advice that obtaining warrants would not be justified? Why indeed!
Why didn’t any of the senior officers, including Superintendent Susan THOMAS and those on Professional Standards, point out that obtaining a warrant would be impossible, given the serious disclosure issues? And based on what you have read above, why oh why did DI Justin TAYLOR tell Birmingham Magistrates Court that there were NO disclosure issues?
On 17th August 2017, DI Justin TAYLOR sent this email to DCI Mel Paley where, because of the ‘direction’, (Order I think) from Mark Travis, he made a complete U turn!
And on 22nd August 2017 DCI Paley sent the below email to DI Justin TAYLOR.
On 5th September there was a further CIMM meeting as follows.
And, of course on 18th September 2017 the warrants were executed, not only on our house, but that of one of the victim’s in this case, ‘Andy’.
And if you remember when I wrote about the warrant I said that DS Craig Tennant was apologetic, saying he didn’t feel comfortable but that they had been ‘ordered’ to do the warrant by Mark Travis! (Something that he has since denied)!
Where oh where are these officer’s integrity’s? Any one of them could be involved in the decision making of the next very serious crime that happens. This is extremely worrying. I believe that some of the officers, including Chief Superintendent Mark Travis has acted criminally in perverting the course of justice and that West Mercia Police have decided to ignore this/ cover it up.
But wait, someone told me that Mark Travis is no longer a Superintendent and he had left West Mercia. For one moment I thought he’d been asked to resign or been fired…..you guessed it, he’s been promoted to Acting Chief Constable of South Wales Police!!!!
Good morning. Please accept my apologies for the long break in updating this blog. Jane and I are still in temporary accommodation following the big flood in February and the last month, with one thing and another, has just been incredibly busy. Hopefully we will be back at home soon!! I have also been waiting for further documents and reports from West Mercia Police, following a subject access request I made some months ago. West Mercia Police have refused to release some of the important documents written about me claiming they fall within exemptions, which is somewhat frustrating. The documents I have been sent have been heavily redacted including the redaction of the names of every officer writing the reports. I am in the process of addressing this with the ICC. However, so far as most of the documents are concerned, it is fairly clear who wrote them and not surprisingly they only further go to strengthen my belief that certain senior officers have acted in a corrupt, if not criminal manner during this investigation.
I am also mindful that I may be coming across as a bit of a copper basher, as I don’t seem to have much good to say about many of the officers in my blog. I wanted to redress this by telling you that in my 30 years of service, most of the officers I worked with were fantastic people who genuinely wanted to make a difference to people’s lives. Many of them worked tirelessly to catch and bring to justice the right people, to keep people safe and making a real difference to people’s lives. Very often, this was at the expense of being able to have a ‘normal’ family life, missing important events, Christmas’s, Birthdays, Weddings and I couldn’t have been prouder to have served with most of these officers.
And that’s part of the reason why I am writing this blog. What happened to me and my family could have happened to any one of those officers who were just trying to do their job. I wouldn’t want that to happen and truly hope that this will go some way to implement change within the police so that decent officers feel safe in reporting wrongdoing.
I will be back, soon. Thank you for your patience.
What about this promise of my concerns raised to the CPS being taken seriously? I had received no update despite being told about the meeting taking place on 10th July. I didn’t want to contact the CPS unnecessarily due to being served papers for gross misconduct, having done so previously. I asked my ‘point of contact’ DS Husbands who told me that he had not heard anything.
Oh well, in for a penny………………………………….
Well…..that made me feel like a bit of a tit!!
What on earth was going on. It felt like I was being set up!
Understatement! And so, the below email was sent by David Elliott, a Senior District Crown Prosecutor to Assistant Chief Constable, Martin Evans. He too, clearly hadn’t heard of the 1996 Public Interest Disclosure Act and had a preferred ‘local liaison’ method of sweeping things under the carpet!!
And here it was. Senior District Crown Prosecutor, David Elliott’s attempt at protecting a fellow senior colleague’ actions………….
Quite frankly………utter tosh. I thought I’d better make my position clear and so I sent the below email!
Date: 13 August 2018 at 07:19:48 BST To: “Husbands,Nicholas” <firstname.lastname@example.org> Cc: Anna 0101 Middleton <email@example.com>, Amanda Blakeman <Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com Subject:Complaint to Crown Prosecution Service
DS Husbands, Thank you for forwarding this response from the CPS to me and I completely understand how the error occurred. Having read the response from David Elliott I am concerned that obvious misconduct by Public Prosecutor, Stephen Davies is being ignored and a proper investigation into his behaviour has not been carried out. I am also concerned that the tone of his letter is deliberately dismissive and attempts to belittle what is a genuine public interest concern. I feel that if not investigated properly a miscarriage of justice could occur in relation to Operation Childer. Our Code of Ethics sets out in detail the principles and expected behaviours that underpin the Standards of Professional Behaviour for everyone working in the policing profession in England and Wales.The standards of professional behaviour, as reflected in the Code of Ethics, are a statement of the expectations that the police and the public have of how police officers should behave. I wish to make it clear that in reporting my concerns, I do so with the above at the forefront of my motivation and for no personal gain whatsoever. As stated, this is a Public Interest concern.Indeed, the decision to send this report is certainly not the easy route and I fear many officers would simply be silenced by Mr Elliott’s response. My concerns are as follows: The issues in relation to Stephen DaviesMr Elliot states that it was in his capacity as Lead for Wildlife and Heritage issues that Mr Davies attended the meeting at Hereford Police Station in July 2016 and that he is regularly consulted for advice by all four police forces in his area.As previously stated, the police did not seek his advice. Mr Davies saw the article on the news following which he contacted Police Inspector Emma Whitworth, in her capacity as Wildlife crime spoc raising concerns over the national and regional reputational issues that the case could bring forward. It was Mr Davies that wanted the meeting. (What is also worthy of note is that in the early part of 2017 an assault was reported during a hunt in the Malvern area. This was nothing to do with a wildlife crime but again the National Press reported on it. Mr Davies apparently contacted the police in a similar way and wanted to become involved. I understand that his ‘intervention’ was rejected and the crime was updated accordingly). Mr Elliott goes on to say that although Mr Davies provides advice, particularly at an early stage in investigations, he does not necessarily handle final charging decisions or conduct the preparation or prosecution of those cases. He says that Mr Davies’s involvement was very limited in this case, that it was never allocated to him and he had no further involvement beyond this initial meeting with the police in July 2016. This is a lie. Mr Davies was very much involved in Operation Childer at least until the end of October 2016. He was at a case conference in Birmingham on 24th October 2016 attended by Martin Taylor and PSD have documents proving this.Within this documentation he quotes the URN number. The case conference was to discuss the evidence for Operation Childer.If the case was never allocated to him, what was Mr Davies doing holding a case conference about it?Would he not have handed over his advice/ paperwork/ involvement to The Complex Case Unit?Please note that Mr Elliott states that the case was allocated to The Complex Case Unit following the meeting in July. That being the case, Stephen Davies must have been working with them as he held the case conference in October. Mr Elliott states that the victims are in fact the animals which were the subject of the investigation! I beg to differ and believe the case at court will show ‘Regina’ as the victim.In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary defines a victim as being a ‘person’ harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action. No mention of animals. More worryingly is that the victims who reported this cruelty to me in the first place, are evidently not being treated as such! The Ministry of Justice Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (October 2015) is clear. https://www.cps.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/legal_guidance/OD_000049.pdf At the ‘Introduction’, Section 4 it states:‘For the purposes of this code, a “victim” is:A natural person who has suffered harm, including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss which was directly caused by a criminal offence’. I took statements from two of the persons reporting this crime and can assure you that they both suffered emotional harm as a direct result of this offence.I find it, at best, very disappointing that this code has obviously not been adhered to and, this too may be an example of how they are being discriminated against. Even if they are being treated as witnesses, Standard 1 in the Code of practice states that they will be treated with dignity and respect at all times by each of the service providers in the criminal justice system. I want to be clear about what Stephen Davies said in that meeting of 25th July 2016.“Have you had any experience in dealing with these sort of people before”I said, “what sort of people”?He replied, “Animal rights people”. Is this type of language really still acceptable. If he had said the same about black people, Jewish people, Gay people would it be acceptable?
IPCC.GOV.UK states, Making Generalisations,
5.39 Speaking in generalisations may be an indication that a person is making judgements based on assumptions rather than individual circumstances and the evidence and intelligence available to them.
5.40 Examples include making generalisations about non- descript groups such as “those people” or “people round here” or “people like you/him/her” as well as in relation to specific groups such as black people, Gypsies, gays etc. It is important to consider the context in which the language is used and the nature of the generalisation. Particular attention should be paid to generalisations that have negative connotations or that indicate an ‘us and them’ divide.
5.41 Even if it is unclear whether the language is discriminatory, the use of such generalisations should flag concerns that should be explored further. For example, questions put to the officers or staff members involved might include’ who were you referring to when you mentioned ‘those people’?, ‘what did you mean’?, ‘how did this impact on the approach you took’?
Reference to a characteristic which is irrelevant to the policing purpose.
5.42 In some circumstances, describing a person’s race, religion, gender, age, disability etc will be relevant to a legitimate policing purpose-i.e. to help identify a suspect or victim, or to provide a service that takes account of a person’s individual needs. However, reference to clearly irrelevant details about a person that distinguish them as ‘different’ may suggest a discriminatory approach. Mr Elliott states that Stephen Davies has not acted in contravention of the CPS Code of Conduct or contrary to CPS values.I strongly disagree with this. Kier Starmer QC, Director of Public Prosecutions in 2009 endorced the Statement of Ethical Principles for the Public Prosecutor. In it it states they must ‘strive to be, and be seen to be, consistent, independent, fair and impartial’. ‘Respect the right of all people to be held equal before the law – Prosecutors must never act in a way that unjustifiably favours or discriminated against particular individuals or interests’. ‘Prosecutors must not knowingly participate in, or seek to influence, the making of a prosecution decision in regard to any case where their personal or financial interests or their family, social or other relationships would influence their conduct as a prosecutor. They should not act as a prosecutor or advise in cases in which they, their family or business associates have a personal, private or financial interest or association’.Mr Elliott states that he does not consider the questions I raised regarding Mr Davies’s personal life and friendships are pertinent. I didn’t write the above, Kier Starmer did. Mr Davies said that ‘he shoots’ but this was not in the context as described by Mr Elliott.Also, it has been stated that Mr Davies does not have any financial interest in hunting. I can only assume from this that he does have a personal interest in hunting. Certainly, as previously stated, in 2016 he spent Christmas Day with DS Wells who has previously hunted and was/ is an investigating officer in this case.What would the Public think of this?
In her letter to me dated 26/07/18, DCC Blakeman said that it was agreed that CPS would record my complaint and address the issues I raised in accordance with their complaints policy.My complaint has clearly not been recorded and Stephen Davies has merely been spoken to by his Line Manager. In an email sent to me by Mr Elliott on 10/08/18 he stated ‘The issue is not covered by our complaints procedure, as you will see from that letter’. In his letter dated 24/07/18 (in attached email), Mr Elliot states that Suzanne Llewelyn had liaised with ACC Teds in April 2017 to discuss this issue. ( I received no feedback from this and so was unaware that this took place). Mr Elliot states that the CPS Complaints and Feedback Policy does not apply in my particular circumstances as I am not a victim of crime but complaining in my Professional capacity. I raised this concern, both with senior officers in the police and then, having failed to have it addressed, directly with the CPS. I did so as a Whistleblower and wish to continue to make this clear. The ‘local liaison arrangements’ apparently in place for engagement between senior police officers and senior CPS Managers do not appear to be conducive with The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. (Principles of good complaint handling and Principles of good administration.This states, ‘ Public bodies should do what they say they are going to do. If they make a commitment to do something they should keep to it, or explain why they cannot. They should meet their published service standards, or let customers know if they cannot’ https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/sites/default/files/page/0188-Principles-of-Good-Complaint-Handling-bookletweb.pdf https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/sites/default/files/page/0188-Principles-of-Good-Administration-bookletweb.pdf Also of note is that the ‘local liaison arrangements’ sits on a one way street.Stephen Davies was able to make a complaint about me in October 2016 which was dealt with by Professional Standards. When they made a decision that there was no case to answer Mr Davies appealed the Decision with the IOPC.Where is the parity in him being able to do this and yet at the same time CPS telling us that I cannot make a direct complaint? The CPS published their annual report and accounts for 2016-2017.https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/628968/CPS_annual_report_2016_17.pdf One of the four strategic objectives in 2016-2017 was: ‘Ensuring public confidence in our ability to deliver justice through being effective and making fair, open and transparent decisions’ We will be independent and fair. We will prosecute independently, without bias, and will seek to deliver justice in every case.We will be honest and open. We will explain our decisions, set clear standards about the service the public can expect from us and be honest if we make a mistake. We will treat everyone with respect. We will respect each other, our colleagues and the public we serve, recognising that there are people behind every case.We will behave professionally and strive for excellence.We will work as one team, always seeking new and better ways to deliver the best possible service for the public. We will be efficient and responsible with tax payers money.
I first reported my concerns about Mr Davies in 2016. It is my view that any further delay in properly investigating this matter could leave West Mercia Police and West Midlands CPS open to allegations that the Prosecution has manipulated the court process in order to avoid disclosure issues. That could result in an application to stay any prosecution as an abuse of process. As previously stated, writing this report has not been the easiest option and I do it on public interest grounds. I now seek the support of West Mercia and Warwickshire Police in doing the right thing and challenging what is quite clearly an attempt to cover up wrongdoing. Respectfully submitted for your consideration at attention. Richard Barradale-Smith
Sent from my iPad
Would DS Husbands or any of the other senior officers I had copied into the report have the integrity to do something about it? Mr Elliot was clearly lying about Stephen Davies’s involvement in this case after 25/07/16. There are earlier reports in this blog proving his involvement after this date irrefutably. We’re they all happy for West Mercia Police to be working alongside people who would lie and cover up wrongdoing…..no matter what?
Mr Elliott did not write to me in a balanced and rational way, having carefully considered the evidence presented to him. It was clearly a ‘get back in your box/ who do you think you are/ I am completely dismissing you/ don’t darken my door again letter to protect a ‘senior prosecutor’.
How might the attitudes of such senior people affect the potential outcome of this court case? Did they even really want the case to go to trial?
And you, the public, police officers, friends. Is this the behaviour you would expect from two professional organisations responsible for ensuring justice is served?
And so…after some considerable time away from work, on 01/08/18 I returned hoping that West Mercia Police were genuinely working towards getting to the bottom of what happened and providing the long overdue answers that Jane and I, (as well as ‘Andy’) deserved. Oh……and a long overdue apology!! I was ,by no means, completely well again but naively had some faith that West Mercia Police were fully intending to do the right thing and that would considerably help me on the road to ‘recovery’!
Do you think that was going to happen?
On 23rd July 2018 PSI Gill FRANCIS (PSD) emailed Jane…….
Dear Mrs Barradale-Smith
In relation to the complaint I am dealing with CO/186/18 refers I am still awaiting a response from Birmingham Magistrates Court concerning copy documents that are required for this investigation. Once these have been received I will update you and the investigation will then be able to progress further.
Gill FRANCIS PSI 5079
And Jane replied on the same day…….
Thank you for your reply,
Hopefully the documents from Birmingham Magistrates Court will arrive soon and your Investigation can continue.I am happy to meet with you and so is Richard if at any time you decide that it would be beneficial.
And I received the following from Detective Inspector Graham Farren, (PSD) on 2nd August 2018.
Are you free any time from Tuesday 14/08/18 to Friday 17/08/18? This is the first chance I’ll have to conduct a meeting with you to debrief your experiences taking into consideration your potential status as a whistle-blower.
Ooooh. That sounded promising………………,I told him I was free on any of those days and the meeting was arranged for Friday 17th August.
They were starting to take us seriously………………..weren’t they?
Following my emails to DCI Middleton, on 9th July 2018 DS Nicholas Husbands emailed me to clarify his position.
And so………It would appear from what DS Husbands had said that DS Wells had not been spoken to about Christmas Day with CPS Prosecutor, Stephen Davies, despite me reporting this a year and a half earlier!
And also, he states the decision to execute the warrants was not made at a CIMM meeting and PSD were not present or part of the decision making process! This, quite frankly, astounds and shocks me. Surely, any decision to obtain a non urgent search warrant on a police officer’s home address would have to be made, having consulted Professional Standards………………wouldn’t it? Because Professional Standards would have important information regarding disclosure to the court. The results of all grievances are kept at Professional Standards and so my grievance, which stated there was no evidence of me having inappropriate relationships was documented with them! How could this be?
And on 10th July 2018 I received the following email which DCI Middleton had sent to DCI Dean Jones on 26th June.
My simple interpretation of point 2 above was that Force Legal Services advice to DCI Middleton was, (a), that I was a whistleblower, (b), if the force admitted this then I would definitely have grounds to commence legal proceedings against them and, (c), because of (b), they shouldn’t under any circumstances be honest enough or have the Professional integrity to admit (a) to me……….I think that sums it up!!
But was DCI Middleton really naive enough to believe that West Mercia Police could ‘learn from its mistakes’ in tandem with attempting to deny them?
And, why oh why was it taking so long to get answers from the Crown Prosecution Service about the concerns I had raised about Public Prosecutor, Stephen Davies?
Does it give you ANY faith in the integrity of either of these organisations?
Anyway, I sent the above report from DCI Middleton to Fed Rep 3 with the following email.
And received an immediate response…..
As per DS Husbands email of 9th July, ‘There will be some cross over, but we will deal with that between us’ ( him and DS Power). I thought I would try and give them a helping hand. I couldn’t see how the two investigations could remain completely separate.
‘To ensure there is no confusion or crossover’! Were these sergeants talking to each other at all? Did anyone know what they were doing?
And Jane received a copy of what was apparently her complaint. This clearly wasn’t the document sent to the IOPC!
Allegations. (1) – Fair enough but not clear enough. (2) – Jane never made a ‘complaint’ about DI Justin TAYLOR or DS Craig Tenant for apologising or saying they had been told to do it. Yes, of course she told DS Husbands that’s what happened but she never said that she wanted to complain about that. Someone else obviously made a decision to treat that point as a complaint! (Jane did complain that DI Justin TAYLOR said that he he had her life in his hands, but that wasn’t even included in the worthless statement that DS Husbands had written)!
Jane and I seemed to be in this impossible situation where, we knew in our hearts this would be a coverup by West Mercia Police, but had to give them a chance to show they were going to investigate it fairly………..Do you think they were going to?
Time was quickly moving on. DI Martin Taylor had retired as a police officer but returned immediately into a civilian role, no doubt ‘given’ to him by the same senior officers who had given him ‘Protection’ during the course of these events.
During the whole process of this fiasco that had taken place, it was on the forefront of my mind that the Whistleblowing issue had been sidestepped by senior officers in West Mercia Police and this really needed to be addressed to protect not only myself, but my work colleagues.
On 29th June 2018 I sent the following email to Fed Rep 3.
And he responded……
And Jane had a response to her request to see a copy of her complaint. But PSD seemed hell bent on making sure she didn’t get to see the actual complaint to the IOPC which they wrote on her ‘behalf’!
On 30th June 2018 I received an email from DS Nicholas Husbands which made me all the more confused!!
So DS Husbands still wasn’t clear about what my concerns were! Really?
On 4th July I received this email from DS Husbands.
Seems like I was going to have to spell this out for him ……….all over again!!!
And so……….it appeared to me that DCI Middleton, who had originally appeared to be the sort of genuine, honest and helpful officer that the reasonable members of the public and police officers would be proud to see on our Professional Standards Department had been….got to……for want of a better phrase. She had somehow lost her professionalism and integrity. Was she comfortable with what she was saying?
Now I think of myself as being a fairly patient person. I had waited a long time to have my name cleared of any wrongdoing during this investigation. Why were Professional Standards so reluctant to give me the information I was entitled to see. Surely they would want to show that their actions to date were justified in all of the circumstances…….wouldn’t they? What we’re they hiding? In the last blog I had emailed DCI Middleton for an update. It was now nearly a month later and I had received no response! On 27th June 2015 I emailed her again.
And at last……..
It looked like I’d have to be patient for a bit longer!! But hang on, neither Stephen Davies or Suzanne Llewelyn of the Crown Prosecution Service were being investigated so I could be shown their complaints surely? And it would also be very important to know where the decision to obtain the warrants was made. If it was Chief Superintendent Mark Travis alone that would be one thing, but regular Critical Incident Management Meetings (CIMM) we’re being held in respect of this case. I suspected that an important decision, such as obtaining warrants, would have to have been made at one of these meetings, attended by many people…….including Professional Standards. If that were the case, PSD would definitely be investigating themselves. In these circumstances wouldn’t West Mercia Police have a duty to get an independent police force to investigate my concerns?
I responded to DCI Middleton and copied in DS Tony Power (PSD) and Katherine Grasby in the force legal department.
And on 28th June 2018 I spoke to DS Tony Power on the telephone. Because surely he would need to speak to both Jane and I if he was now investigating our complaints/ concerns? But, despite what DCI Middleton had written the day before he, rather abruptly told me that he wouldn’t speak with me because he was not investigating the concerns that I had raised, only that of Jane’s! Now, obviously even more concerned, confused…………………and somewhat annoyed, I again emailed DCI Middleton copying in DCC Blakeman.
And DCI Middleton responded, copying in DCI Rebecca Love and DI Graham Farren. (Both on PSD).
Left hand, right hand!!!
And then an email from Deputy Chief Constable, Amanda Blakeman.
So, hopefully, things would get back on track!
Jane had been informed that a civilian PSD Officer, Gillian FRANCIS was assisting DS Tony Power with his investigation. Jane phoned to speak with her, following which she received this email.
And….Jane wrote back
Because we obviously didn’t know what West Mercia Police had told the IOPC. Giving Jane a copy of her complaint would at least reassure her that the full facts and details had been forwarded. Gillian’s email to Jane states, ‘The application for the warrant and whether appropriate information was supplied to the Magistrates’. Well, that in itself is so wish washy. Why didn’t Gillian say anything about the breach of code B of PACE or serious disclosure issues? Why didn’t Gillian say that there was a potential criminal offence of perverting the course of justice? Why didn’t Gillian say that they had served/ would be serving conduct notices on officers involved…….because of course they would………………wouldn’t they? What do you think?
You may remember in blog (58) I wrote to DS Husbands asking for the PSD investigation reports in line with the Home Office Guidance. I also wanted full copies of the actual complaints which I had never been given. I then wrote to DCI Middleton on 2nd May, 2018 as I had been told that she would be forwarding it to me. I received no response. On 29th May I wrote to her again.
Jane also chased up DS Husbands about the concerns she had raised.
On 30th May, 2018 he responded.
On 6th June Jane emailed DS Husbands and DCI Middleton.
So why didn’t they get the ‘independent’ DS Power to take the statement from Jane?
On 1st June, 2018 I had a meeting with DCC Blakeman to discuss my return to work. I had a new Federation Representative, (Fed Rep 3), present as well as DCI Dean Jones and Jonathan Edmondson. Part of the result of that meeting was the following email sent to all police officers and staff in Herefordshire.
Not an apology but the nearest thing I would probably get to one!!!
Good afternoon. I hope you are all well and keeping safe. Apologies for the break but it’s been a busy few weeks with one thing and another!
So, where were we? DS Husbands was being allowed to investigate himself by the IOPC. How was that going to work?
Following the above press releases, on 11th May 2018 Jane wrote to the Chief Constable and the Duluth Chief Constable.
And Jane wrote to PSD to ask about West Mercia Police’s response in the article in the Telegraph.
And so on 16th May, 2018 Detective Sergeant Nicholas Husbands attended our address once more and he took the following statement from Jane. This statement would form the basis from which he and others on Professional Standards would investigate Jane’s concerns. When you read the statement, remember that Jane did not write it, DS Husbands, an experienced detective did, while speaking with Jane. Jane had no knowledge of the detail and clarity that needs to be in a statement. The truth was that PSD and DS Husbands already had all of the detail they needed to complete the statement and investigate. I had given it to them. But of course…………………I couldn’t make the complaint! And so it would have been incumbent upon DS Husbands to detail Jane’s concerns raised over the previous one and a half years meticulously in order for a professional investigation to take place. Well……this is what he wrote!
The quality of this statement was nothing more than shocking. Never mind the dreadful grammar and spelling, it lacked any detail, continuity or context. It lacked EVIDENCE!!
So, how do you think this non-impartial investigation was going to turn out?
And so now, after nearly two years, were the police going to charge the suspects in the animal cruelty case?
Well, not just yet apparently!
Following Jane’s email to DS Husbands on 7th March 2018, asking for her complaint about the warrant to be reviewed by the IOPC, on 04/04/18 she received this email from him.
And Jane replied……..
And then DS Husbands sent this.
And on 11th April, 2018 I wrote to DCC Amanda Blakeman…..
On 12/04/18 I also emailed DS Husbands. Now the investigations into me were over there was surely no reason why I couldn’t be told the truth!
And on 23/04/18 Jane wrote again to DCI Middleton and DS Husbands.
On 24th May DS Husbands emailed Jane to say he was chasing up the IOPC for an update……but nothing! So on 1st May 2018 Jane wrote again.
And finally, on 2nd May 2018, Jane received the following letter from the IOPC………
And I again chased up my previous email to DS Husbands on 12/04/18.
And Jane chased up a previous request to see what DS Husbands had sent to the IOPC on ‘her behalf’!
But DS Husbands clearly didn’t want Jane to see what he had written to the IOPC.
How could it be that DS Husbands was going to be allowed to investigate this? You have read the disclosure issues in blog 52. DS Husbands was never going to find conduct issues with anyone else, knowing that he had been a part of the problem by not raising the disclosure issues surrounding the warrant that he was aware of.
Of course, he wouldn’t have informed the IOPC about this….well, we don’t know what he informed them because he refused to let Jane see what her complaint actually said!!!