The Met Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards has accepted
against Inspector Colin Edge’s illogical response to a complaint that Bexley officers
came to my door on 20th May 2016 only because a Councillor asked them to do so.
The police will never admit to doing Cabinet Member Don
Massey a favour because they know exactly where that would lead so they took the
alternative route instead. As is always the case if the whole truth is not
told, a degree of ingenuity and fact bending is required to make a case and Inspector Edge did not disappoint.
He made a statement that simply isn’t true and admits that his officers
knowledge of the law was lacking; not that that stopped him rejecting my
complaint. It is those two failings which form the basis of my appeal.
The blog in question did not reveal personal details of anyone
contrary to the Inspector’s clear statement and did not suggest that the
people blurred beyond recognition may have been related to Councillor.
Inspector Edge also said that he now knows that harassment by a blogger
must be “racist or extreme” to be an offence and by implication, that he did not
know at the time. It’s more than by implication really, I have several emails
from the beginning of this year in which he waffles on about the vagueness of the
law in order to justify what happened.
For the record you can see what the fuss was all about below. Doesn’t amount to much does it?
much has happened since the police harassed the family
living next door to Councillor Massey’s rented house in Sidcup. The householder had previously asked the police for advice on
a noisy all night party at the Massey’s place. As a
result of what the police could hear down the phone, they decided to pay a visit.
With the complainant’s consent the story was reported here and it seems reasonable to assume that
the police were asked to get heavy. Who do you think might indulge in such revenge?
Police procedures are clear enough; those accused of harassment must be told exactly what
they are accused of so that they have every opportunity to modify their
behaviour. The falsely accused neighbour asked Bexley police for a copy of the
complaint against them. They were made to fill in a request form three weeks ago and told they’d get a copy
of the complaint against them within a couple of days.
They are still waiting and the latest advice is that it will take 40 days to
provide a copy of the complaint the Massey’s were said to have made against their long-suffering neighbour.
All is now becoming clear. A properly executed Harassment warning requires the issue of a
Form 9993 and a written statement of what the alleged offence is.
How else is the accused supposed to know what the problem is?
No such form has been issued. It looks likely that someone reminded the police
that their first duty is to protect Bexley Council and suggested the
frighteners should be put on an innocent resident. This is how Bexley police has operated in
the past although I had hoped they had learned their lesson.
The 40 days is the period allowed for a Subject Access Request to be made under
the Data Protection Act. If no Form 9993 was issued Bexley Police will be hard
pressed to come up with any reason for putting the screws on the Massey's
neighbour. If they cannot provide evidence that the Massey's made a formal
complaint, albeit a malicious one, and there was nothing more than a word in a
receptive ear, it will become clear that Borough Commander
Jeff Boothe’s force is still in the business of jumping to Bexley Council’s
tune. The case will inevitably go to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
I’ve been down that path rather too many times. I was with
two police officers from the
Directorate of Professional Standards only last week pursuing a case of
Misconduct in Public Office against former Borough Commanders Stringer and Olisa.
Mick Barnbrook has a case outstanding against CS Ayling who followed them to Bexley
and it would be unsurprising to see the fourth successive Borough Commander go down the same route.
Police officers must be absolutely mad to leave themselves open to such serious allegations
just to protect their crooked Council friends.
The noisy party definitely took place, pictures of it were plastered all over social media.