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