IPCC disagrees with findings of West Mercia investigation into conduct of Police Federation representatives over a meeting with Andrew Mitchell MP

IPCC disagrees with findings of West Mercia investigation into conduct of Police Federation representatives over a meeting with Andrew Mitchell MP

IPCC LogoSee full statement from Deborah Glass here

Whilst I had some concerns at the time about the comments made by the three officers who were Federation representatives for their Forces I did not, nor do I now, believe their comments justify what Ms Glass has to say.

She accuses them of failing (as police officers) and states their honesty is in question. She comments “As police officers they had a responsibility to present a fair and accurate picture.” Whilst this is simplistic it is not unreasonable to assume they would. However, fair and accurate are open to interpretation and, given that they were Federation Officers, their perspective on the subject would have been influenced.Furthermore, they were asked directly what they thought Mr Mitchell should do. Not being politicians (thank goodness), and probably not media trained, they answered. The details of the meeting with Andrew Mitchell was recorded. The transcript is available here and it is clear that the officers and Andrew Mitchell had very different reasons for being there. Mr Mitchell reiterated his apology and a desire to move on and “draw a line”. Although there was still some disagreement, especially because Mr Mitchell was unwilling to say what he did actually say on that fateful evening, Ms Glass is accusing them of “dishonesty”.

Well, considering she bases this on “Their motive seems plain: they were running a successful, high profile, anti-cuts campaign and the account that he provided to them did not fit with their agenda.” a highly subjective assessment which she does not back up with facts – or as we used to call it, evidence. As such she appears to have done exactly what the officers she now accuses of doing. Forming an opinion without the full facts and going public.

I could say that I am left with the opinion that Ms Glass is misguided, illogical, and probably driven by political concerns surrounding her own job influenced no doubt by the politically appointed CHMIC (Tom Winsor). I could say that, but without sufficient evidence either way it is just my opinion. And isn’t that just what the officers did? Rightly or wrongly, they were naïve. To take the leap to effectively calling them dishonest by saying “In my opinion the evidence indicates an issue of honesty and integrity, not merely naïve or poor professional judgment.” could have just as easily have been a comment delivered by one of the officers to the waiting Press.

How does one make a formal complaint about the IPCC?

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4 Responses to IPCC disagrees with findings of West Mercia investigation into conduct of Police Federation representatives over a meeting with Andrew Mitchell MP

  1. surreywebmaster says:

    Well said Kevin. You have obviously been shouting at the TV as well as me. The timing of this by Ms Glass is outrageous given that everyone is waiting for the decision of the CPS on the main issue.

    Releasing this now instead of after the CPS decision can only be construed as being a deliberate attempt to sway the decision and it is unbelievable.

    She may bear the name Glass but she seems very opaque by nature!

    See - Plebgate row: three officers should face disciplinary hearing, says IPCC

    Plus -- Plebgate: ‘Honesty and inegrity’ of Police Federation representatives questioned following plebgate meeting

    Not forgetting - West Mercia Investigation into conduct of Police Federation representatives on 12 October 2012

    Findings

    ‘The investigation by West Mercia Police concluded that although the Police Federation undoubtedly contributed to the pressure on Mr Mitchell and his decision to resign, none of the officers had a case to answer for misconduct or gross misconduct. The investigating officer concluded that while the federation representatives’ comments to the media could be viewed as ambiguous or misleading, there was no deliberate intention to lie’

      This investigation was supervised by the IPCC.
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    • Kevin Morris says:

      Given Ms Glass’s public condemnation for what she sees as an honesty and integrity issue, I wonder just how valid and independent any such review would be?

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  2. Bob Gooding says:

    All because he could not go through the BIG POSH gate. Should someone not get a grip on this & close it down! Good grief, surely there must be more important things to do. “Whhaaaaa! Mum they wouldn’t let me through the big gate” Razz

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  3. surreywebmaster says:

    See: -- Home Secretary Theresa May has said it is “wrong” that disciplinary action is not being taken against police officers accused of lying over a meeting with MP Andrew Mitchell.

    The Police Federation attacked the IPCC and expressed its shock at what it called a “personal outburst”.

    It pointed out that the watchdog had chosen to supervise the police force’s own investigation rather than stage its own independent or managed inquiry.

    “We are therefore shocked that the IPCC Commissioner, Deborah Glass, would then appoint herself judge and jury by releasing her personal view that she disagrees with the findings and asks the public to decide,” it said.

    It added: “Either the IPCC are capable of supervising investigations or they are not.

    “If they feel that they are capable of doing so, having had the opportunity to monitor and provide input into the process, the proper and responsible course must be to accept the investigation findings .

    “The public are seeing more of this type of personal outburst from an individual within a supposedly regulated and process driven body.

    “This cannot be seen as acting in the public interest or being ‘independent’ -- it is the action of someone who feels that their personal view should carry more weight than a full investigation which their own organisation supervised throughout.”

    Warwickshire, West Mercia and West Midlands Police insisted they did not believe there was sufficient evidence to stage misconduct proceedings.

    West Mercia’s deputy chief constable, Simon Chesterman, said: “Our view is that the officers have demonstrated poor judgement in arranging and attending the meeting in the first place. In light of this, our position is that management action is a proportionate response.”

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