West Mercia Police under more pressure in 'Plebgate' row

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Former chief whip Andrew Mitchell denied calling officers 'plebs' Former chief whip Andrew Mitchell denied calling officers 'plebs'

AN investigation by West Mercia Police initially concluded that Police Federation representatives had a case to answer for misconduct over claims they made about a meeting with former chief whip Andrew Mitchell, it has emerged.

A letter, obtained by Channel 4 News, to police chiefs from Deborah Glass highlighted that the inquiry findings changed between the draft report and the final version.

The deputy chairwoman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) yesterday publicly called for a misconduct panel to decide if three police officers gave a false account of discussions they had with the Tory MP at the height of the so-called "plebgate" furore.

In an email, sent today, Ms Glass wrote: "I note that in the first draft submitted to the IPCC in July, the senior investigating officer did in fact conclude there was a case to answer for misconduct, although their final report, submitted in August did not."

Mr Mitchell met the Police Federation representatives after he was accused of calling officers guarding Downing Street ''plebs'' in a foul-mouthed rant as he was asked to cycle through the main gates on September 19 last year.

But the officers were accused of deliberately misrepresenting what the MP said during the meeting in his Sutton Coldfield constituency office on October 12 last year when they gave interviews immediately afterwards.

The IPCC questioned the ''honesty and integrity'' of Inspector Ken MacKaill, Detective Sergeant Stuart Hinton and Sergeant Chris Jones and concluded that the Police Federation representatives should have faced a misconduct panel.

Earlier today, Prime Minister David Cameron insisted Mr Mitchell was owed an apology by police and said the conduct of the officers, who were representing the forces of West Mercia, Warwickshire and West Midlands, was "not acceptable".

Ron Ball, police and crime commissioner for Warwickshire, told Channel 4 News he did not know until today that the conclusion of the investigation had been changed.

He said: "I don't know why the conclusions changed. As with any prosecution eventually a judgment has to be taken as to whether or not a threshold has been reached in order to raise a complaint."

Mr Ball said he would be carrying out an inquiry into the changes made in the report conclusions.

"The first thing I will be doing when I get back tomorrow is to find out exactly what happened there because until today I didn't know," he added.

The original incident, in which Mr Mitchell was accused of calling officers guarding Downing Street "plebs" as he cycled through the main gates on September 19 last year, is the subject of a separate Metropolitan Police investigation following claims that officers conspired against the politician.

Mr Mitchell met Mr MacKaill, Det Sgt Hinton and Sgt Jones on October 12 last year to "clear the air" following his clash with police in Downing Street.

A transcript shows Mr Mitchell apologised for swearing at the police officers but denied using the word "plebs", while in comments made after the meeting Mr MacKaill claimed the former Tory chief whip refused to provide an account of the incident.

West Mercia Police conducted an internal investigation into claims the three officers were trying to discredit Mr Mitchell but concluded there was no case to answer for misconduct or gross misconduct.

But West Midlands police commissioner Bob Jones said Ms Glass's comments had been "completely unjustified" and "very inappropriate", and called for the abolition of the IPCC.

"I cannot see the point of putting cases before misconduct panels if there is not any prospect of getting any action taken whatsoever," he said.

"I think that would be deceiving the public."

Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said the officers' behaviour had fallen below the standard expected, but their chief constables should be given the opportunity to explain their decision not to take further disciplinary action.

"It seems to me in this case there is no issue that the finding by the police service was the officers' behaviour fell below the standard," he said.

"The question is the quantum of seriousness and I think that's why the chief constables are clearly determined to explain that."


Comments (10)

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8:42am Thu 17 Oct 13

MikeA says...

As Ms Glass and Sir Hugh Orde clearly concur that “the officers' behaviour had fallen below the standard expected”, the Chief Constables need to demonstrate some integrity and leadership in this matter.

The quoted comments from Ron Ball and Bob Jones are not helpful.

If the Chief Constables fail to demonstrate the appropriate integrity and leadership, then Ron Ball and Bob Jones should look for replacements.

It is that simple.
As Ms Glass and Sir Hugh Orde clearly concur that “the officers' behaviour had fallen below the standard expected”, the Chief Constables need to demonstrate some integrity and leadership in this matter. The quoted comments from Ron Ball and Bob Jones are not helpful. If the Chief Constables fail to demonstrate the appropriate integrity and leadership, then Ron Ball and Bob Jones should look for replacements. It is that simple. MikeA

1:33pm Thu 17 Oct 13

Keith B says...

There appears to be something terribly wrong with West Mercia Police. It is very close to corruption and shows an institution that believes it is above the law it is supposed to enforce. Either David Shaw gets hold of it or he has to go - along with the illusive Bill Longmore, who will be removed at the next PCC election, but who should have the grace to stand down on the grounds of inability to carry out the functions of the job.

Ball, Jones and Longmore all seem to have gone native in representing the police establishment - not doing their job and representing the public who elected them.
There appears to be something terribly wrong with West Mercia Police. It is very close to corruption and shows an institution that believes it is above the law it is supposed to enforce. Either David Shaw gets hold of it or he has to go - along with the illusive Bill Longmore, who will be removed at the next PCC election, but who should have the grace to stand down on the grounds of inability to carry out the functions of the job. Ball, Jones and Longmore all seem to have gone native in representing the police establishment - not doing their job and representing the public who elected them. Keith B

1:54pm Thu 17 Oct 13

Doogie 46 says...

It was a big risk from the start that any PCC who was an ex police officer would stand fully behind the police force over something like this.
Perhaps when the next bout of elections come around the rules should be amended to preclude ex police officers from standing - the fact that they should understand policing better than other candidates seems to be outweighed by serious failings in other directions - notably impartiality in cases such as this.
It was a big risk from the start that any PCC who was an ex police officer would stand fully behind the police force over something like this. Perhaps when the next bout of elections come around the rules should be amended to preclude ex police officers from standing - the fact that they should understand policing better than other candidates seems to be outweighed by serious failings in other directions - notably impartiality in cases such as this. Doogie 46

2:34pm Thu 17 Oct 13

bmoc55 says...

If it look like a rat and smells like a rat then it is.

The Chief Constable should wake up to reality that there is an urgent need to investigate this issue. Or is he closing ranks "looking after their own kind"?

Also Bill Longmore is a busted flush. He buckles and waivers on the first main issue to hit his office. He must go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If it look like a rat and smells like a rat then it is. The Chief Constable should wake up to reality that there is an urgent need to investigate this issue. Or is he closing ranks "looking after their own kind"? Also Bill Longmore is a busted flush. He buckles and waivers on the first main issue to hit his office. He must go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! bmoc55

3:32pm Thu 17 Oct 13

dropkick55 says...

Keith B wrote:
There appears to be something terribly wrong with West Mercia Police. It is very close to corruption and shows an institution that believes it is above the law it is supposed to enforce. Either David Shaw gets hold of it or he has to go - along with the illusive Bill Longmore, who will be removed at the next PCC election, but who should have the grace to stand down on the grounds of inability to carry out the functions of the job.

Ball, Jones and Longmore all seem to have gone native in representing the police establishment - not doing their job and representing the public who elected them.
There appears to be something terribly wrong with West Mercia Police.
Yes they are corrupt, as I know first hand, as I was sent to court on collaborated evidence but they were found out because I had good solicitor
and case was thrown out
[quote][p][bold]Keith B[/bold] wrote: There appears to be something terribly wrong with West Mercia Police. It is very close to corruption and shows an institution that believes it is above the law it is supposed to enforce. Either David Shaw gets hold of it or he has to go - along with the illusive Bill Longmore, who will be removed at the next PCC election, but who should have the grace to stand down on the grounds of inability to carry out the functions of the job. Ball, Jones and Longmore all seem to have gone native in representing the police establishment - not doing their job and representing the public who elected them.[/p][/quote]There appears to be something terribly wrong with West Mercia Police. Yes they are corrupt, as I know first hand, as I was sent to court on collaborated evidence but they were found out because I had good solicitor and case was thrown out dropkick55

9:03pm Thu 17 Oct 13

Andy_R says...

I realise this isn't going to be be a popular comment, and I'm certainly no fan of Bill 'jobs for my mates' Longmore, but on this occasion, he (and the Chief Constable) are right not to get involved. The whole idea of the Independent Police Complaints Commission is that it's supposed to be independent. This means that it should not be influenced by the Police, and that the Police should not *try* to influence it.
I realise this isn't going to be be a popular comment, and I'm certainly no fan of Bill 'jobs for my mates' Longmore, but on this occasion, he (and the Chief Constable) are right not to get involved. The whole idea of the Independent Police Complaints Commission is that it's supposed to be independent. This means that it should not be influenced by the Police, and that the Police should not *try* to influence it. Andy_R

9:52pm Thu 17 Oct 13

MikeA says...

Andy_R wrote:
I realise this isn't going to be be a popular comment, and I'm certainly no fan of Bill 'jobs for my mates' Longmore, but on this occasion, he (and the Chief Constable) are right not to get involved. The whole idea of the Independent Police Complaints Commission is that it's supposed to be independent. This means that it should not be influenced by the Police, and that the Police should not *try* to influence it.
Andy_R,

The IPCC is mostly a back-office and a hands-off organisation – completely ‘independent’ of making any difference in the real world except in high profile cases such as former Cabinet Ministers, etc.

The investigation was conducted by West Mercia.

A draft report was sent to the IPCC – for comment and filing.

In the final report sent to the IPCC, the conclusions were changed.

The Chief Constable is responsible for holding his Officers to account.

Bill Longmore on our behalf should dismiss the Chief Constable should he fail to maintain discipline.

This issue appears to be a matter of discipline rather than criminal deception and / or misconduct in a public office.

If the Officers were paid for their time during their meeting with the former Cabinet Minister from the public purse, then perhaps it should be a criminal matter.

If Officers are prepared to be dishonest regarding a meeting with a former Cabinet Minister, then what chance do the rest of us stand?

The fact that Senior Officers within West Mercia Police are demonstrating themselves to be less than honest and accountable is extremely serious.

The former Cabinet Minister has apparently successfully conducted an integrity Entrapment exercise against the Police, demonstrating their dishonesty and corrupt culture.
[quote][p][bold]Andy_R[/bold] wrote: I realise this isn't going to be be a popular comment, and I'm certainly no fan of Bill 'jobs for my mates' Longmore, but on this occasion, he (and the Chief Constable) are right not to get involved. The whole idea of the Independent Police Complaints Commission is that it's supposed to be independent. This means that it should not be influenced by the Police, and that the Police should not *try* to influence it.[/p][/quote]Andy_R, The IPCC is mostly a back-office and a hands-off organisation – completely ‘independent’ of making any difference in the real world except in high profile cases such as former Cabinet Ministers, etc. The investigation was conducted by West Mercia. A draft report was sent to the IPCC – for comment and filing. In the final report sent to the IPCC, the conclusions were changed. The Chief Constable is responsible for holding his Officers to account. Bill Longmore on our behalf should dismiss the Chief Constable should he fail to maintain discipline. This issue appears to be a matter of discipline rather than criminal deception and / or misconduct in a public office. If the Officers were paid for their time during their meeting with the former Cabinet Minister from the public purse, then perhaps it should be a criminal matter. If Officers are prepared to be dishonest regarding a meeting with a former Cabinet Minister, then what chance do the rest of us stand? The fact that Senior Officers within West Mercia Police are demonstrating themselves to be less than honest and accountable is extremely serious. The former Cabinet Minister has apparently successfully conducted an integrity Entrapment exercise against the Police, demonstrating their dishonesty and corrupt culture. MikeA

1:05am Fri 18 Oct 13

PDonalds says...

DoD study on random polygraphs for personnel. http://t.co/Tr7uafTd

"the polygraph is the single most effective tool for finding information people were trying to hide." - DIA, NSA.

CBP could require current employees to undergo polygraphs. http://t.co/MpPsmq2p


Make policy that polygraphs for all new hires expire every 2-5yrs. http://shar.es/epfm2

California laws strengthened wall of silence among officers. http://shar.es/lITUZ


Random drug, lie detector tests for Police Officers in Spain. http://www.trinidade
xpress.com/news/Rand
om-drug-lie-detector
-tests-221734651.htm
l

Dodgers' big gift moves LAPD closer to on-body video cameras. http://www.latimes.c
om/local/la-me-dodge
rs-lapd-20131002,0,4
237783.story

The honest, brave officers with integrity deserve better.

And so does the public.

Wherever you are in the World, in your own jurisdictions, in your own capacity, you can do something, anything, just one thing. And make a difference.

Break the code. Break the culture.
DoD study on random polygraphs for personnel. http://t.co/Tr7uafTd "the polygraph is the single most effective tool for finding information people were trying to hide." - DIA, NSA. CBP could require current employees to undergo polygraphs. http://t.co/MpPsmq2p Make policy that polygraphs for all new hires expire every 2-5yrs. http://shar.es/epfm2 California laws strengthened wall of silence among officers. http://shar.es/lITUZ Random drug, lie detector tests for Police Officers in Spain. http://www.trinidade xpress.com/news/Rand om-drug-lie-detector -tests-221734651.htm l Dodgers' big gift moves LAPD closer to on-body video cameras. http://www.latimes.c om/local/la-me-dodge rs-lapd-20131002,0,4 237783.story The honest, brave officers with integrity deserve better. And so does the public. Wherever you are in the World, in your own jurisdictions, in your own capacity, you can do something, anything, just one thing. And make a difference. Break the code. Break the culture. PDonalds

6:34am Fri 18 Oct 13

DAVID1875 says...

The website of West Mercia shows the state of panic the force is now in. They have now issued 2 more statements on Thursday, one from CC Shaw and one from the 3 forces involved! They have spent so much time scurrying around this week trying to cover up their incompetence and dishonesty - why not just be honest right from the start! This whole issue goes right to the top to CC Shaw and now PCC Longmore as he seems to be supporting the Chief Constable. Perhaps PCC Longmore, and PCCs Ball and Jones, should all be reminded their job is to represent the public to the police and hold the police to account - not help them to cover up dishonesty!
The website of West Mercia shows the state of panic the force is now in. They have now issued 2 more statements on Thursday, one from CC Shaw and one from the 3 forces involved! They have spent so much time scurrying around this week trying to cover up their incompetence and dishonesty - why not just be honest right from the start! This whole issue goes right to the top to CC Shaw and now PCC Longmore as he seems to be supporting the Chief Constable. Perhaps PCC Longmore, and PCCs Ball and Jones, should all be reminded their job is to represent the public to the police and hold the police to account - not help them to cover up dishonesty! DAVID1875

12:42pm Fri 18 Oct 13

Keith B says...

This set of comments is worrying. The whole basis of British policing is "policing by consent". The people on this site are a small small fraction of a whole community that seems to be thinking the same thing. from my 22 year son and his peer group to my 85 year old mother and her friends.

I have written a dozen letters on this issue direct to my representatives from MP's, PCC, Chief Constable, Home Secretary, IPC ............. I've not had an acknowledgement let a lone a reply.

The establishment is closing ranks and it puts us all in peril. But I'm not sure there's a solution.
This set of comments is worrying. The whole basis of British policing is "policing by consent". The people on this site are a small small fraction of a whole community that seems to be thinking the same thing. from my 22 year son and his peer group to my 85 year old mother and her friends. I have written a dozen letters on this issue direct to my representatives from MP's, PCC, Chief Constable, Home Secretary, IPC ............. I've not had an acknowledgement let a lone a reply. The establishment is closing ranks and it puts us all in peril. But I'm not sure there's a solution. Keith B

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