So, why would an honest police force feel threatened by publicity of their actions?
The answer is simple, they wouldn’t!
The police can be good, they do detect lots of crimes and put the bad guys away… well sometimes…
This does NOT mean the police are squeaky clean, far from it.
You only need to look at the Hillsborough disaster, the Birmingham six and some other significant cases where the police have made serious and intentional wrongs and coverups. After all, they are only human right? Yes, but they also have a mass of power at their disposal making them very dangerous!
Imagine how devastating this would have been to the police if, at the time of these incidents, there were 100’s of blogs and websites floating around the internet, on Twitter, Facebook or independent websites such as ours.
The issue is that the police do make intentional vengeful decisions simply because they can and when it suits their current needs. There is no doubt about this if you trawl google for police misconduct.
The majority of Police will try to hide their misconduct intentionally covering up their wrongdoing as no cop wants to be up on misconduct or criminal charges, why would they own up to serious misconduct knowing this could happen. This is why they will almost always lie. This is then covered up by their colleagues (or a blind eye is turned) and of course their direct supervision who do not want reports of bad cops under them so you see hw this will escale to a force wide lie.
Smaller cases are desperately covered up by police. They know they are generally dealing with a single person or small group of people. The incident may not be on a scale as big as Hillsborough or the Birmingham Six, however, in legal terms, maybe just a criminal but unfortunately does not affect the masses.
Police are also aware of the flawed complaints system that they easily abuse, after all, police deal with 10’s of thousands of complaints per year, they know the ins and outs of the system and how to abuse any loopholes.
Unsuspecting victims have a limited idea of the complaint system and its many pitfalls. They can and usually do fall at the first hurdle, bamboozled by police jargon. The police will make you feel like they are really trying to help, usually writing off the complaint as a Local Resolution suggesting they give the offending officer ‘words of advice’ as their punishment.
Only big cases like those mentioned above get in mainstream media picked up by papers looking for the big cases.
There are literally thousands of other less mainstream cases that the police are guilty of, most, if not all though get overlooked by the press, maybe the odd one getting the occasional national hit, but generally, not driving enough public awareness to make any difference.
This is where independent websites like ours cause the police great concern.
It is only in the last decade really that people have had the ability to bring their own news to the public eye, globally. It is still tough to get coverage, but with persistence and a huge amount of evidence, some sites generate a huge following, such as ours.
If you were to turn back the clock some 20 or 30 years, the police controlled all complaints and allegations against them. Hardly anything hit the national press because police did not let it out.. Getting your own story of police misconduct to the press was almost impossible due to distances and communication issues with the press, not to mention credability issues.
Now, you and I can publish our stories, show our evidence and there is very little the police can do…. or is there!
- They smear the victims with false accusations.
- They put ‘intel’ on their secret PNC database about the victim saying the ‘victim’ is a serial complainer.
- They block access to police via email and phone.
- They delay complaints
- They block complaints
- They incorrectly categorise complaints
- They get victims so wound up, they try to make the victim look irrational.
- They press charges against some victims to try to scare them off.
There is a whole host of dirty tactics police will use to tarnish you if you question their decisions, nevermind complaint against them and pursuing them for civil claims or even private prosecutions. The police will use everything in their power to destroy you so you cannot tarnish them.
You may think that police pro-actively pursue bad cops, afterall, you see lots of cops facing criminal or misconduct charges.
This is true, and there are many reasons for this.
- Some evidence is so overwhelming, they simply cannot defend themselves.
- The cop was a hindrance to the police that they make a scapegoat of them.
- Some officers do not fit the police ethos so they are weeded out.
There are probably more reasons, but no police force wants to admit they had bad cops amongst them, and no police force wants a cop that is prepared to ‘get the job done, no matter what’ chucked out of the force.
Police can be your friend, don’t get me wrong, but if you complain and continue to pursue a complaint especially against the police persuasion to ‘let it go’, then you will be on their list, simply for seeking justice, the same justice they are paid to uphold.
So, as for the original question, “Why would an honest police force feel threatened by publicity of their actions“, an honest police force would not be threatened.
They would openly and transparently root out the bad cops, irrespective of the damage to the police reputation. They would apologize to the victim and appologise to the general public (who pay the police) for the bad apples in the force.
An honest and transparent police force would make it their primary goal to root out corrupt officers.
A classic example of the protection. DS Andy Langton of Lancashire Police intentionally passed confidential information about a 13 year old child to a police Informant. The police informant published this sensitive information on the internet for all to see. long-winded complaint process was followed by the victims parents only for police to say it would be dealt with by Local Resolution and DS Langton would be given ‘words of advice’. After a long and hard battle using solicitors, the was overturned by the IPCC and DS Langton is now facing a Misconduct Meeting. How come Lancashire police felt this officer should not be punished for such a detrimental offence against a child!