Crime stats whistleblower ‘undermined public confidence’

Final written warning for officer who published book criticising reform and practices.

A Metropolitan Police officer who blew the whistle on police reform and crime statistics “undermined public confidence in policing”, a misconduct hearing has found.

PC James Patrick (pictured) began a blog that was critical of aspects of police reform and crime recording, which was compiled into the book The Rest Is Silence – profits from which went to the Care of Police Survivors charity.

His subsequent evidence to Parliament triggered a whirlwind of publicity around the reliability of crime statistics.

Now he has been given a final written warning after the panel found he committed three counts of failing to follow orders or instructions and two of discreditable conduct.

The first three counts were failure to register a business interest, seek prior permission before publishing a book and comply with guidelines about officers and staff who want to write memoirs of their experiences.

The discreditable conduct related to publishing the blog and books and writing a “parody which was offensive”, the force said.

The Met added these could have “brought discredit on the Police Service and/or undermining public confidence in the Police Service”.

The hearing was chaired by a chief officer from an outside force. The Met had previously regarded the allegations as gross misconduct, until another force reviewed them and suggested they be downgraded to misconduct, where dismissal is not an option.

PC Patrick, who resigned but is still working his 11-week notice period and is on restricted duties, is taking the force to an employment tribunal that is due to take place on April 8.

He claimed he had registered a business interest even though the force’s policy specifically said this was unnecessary for voluntary activities.

Writing on his blog, he said: “I was charged with failing to register a business interest, even though Met policy was specific in not requiring a registration for voluntary activities and even though I had in fact registered the business interest on the October 8 2012 which had been authorised by my then line manager on the October 18.

“The ‘fact find’ commenced the following day, and I only discovered that a full investigation was to take place when resolving a pre-finalisation query from the Business Interest Team, sent to me on the 20th of November 2012.

“The investigating officers failed to uphold this allegation in their final report, dated February 2013. It was nevertheless included in the subsequent charges.”

PC Patrick also said the Met had made two changes to its policy relating to the writing of memoirs after the investigation into him began.

He wrote: “I made it clear that, had I been asked to comply with these obscure additions, I would have. The investigators themselves twice had to seek specialist advice and listed ‘policy issues’ in their ‘learning outcomes’.”

PC Patrick also criticised the misconduct meeting and said its chair “rushed through” the evidence provided and made a decision in just minutes.

He added: “The misconduct meeting chair concluded, in under 10 minutes, and having rushed through my 138-page submission based upon 6000 sheets of evidence – which I may as well have submitted blank – that he had ‘found’ on all charges, and that I would receive a final written warning.

“Matters are however, by no means, over and the above resume is the tip of an iceberg.”

From Police Oracle

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3 Responses to Crime stats whistleblower ‘undermined public confidence’

  1. Kevin Morris says:

    Worse than Dame Anne’s bleating on I find this article even more disconcerting. Here we have an officer who spoke the truth about the way crime stats have been manipulated. If the facts shown above are to be believed, then Patrick complied with the Met requirements and to place him on discipline for requirements placed on him after the vent is perverse. The biggest single problem I have with this whole issue is that “The Met added these could have “brought discredit on the Police Service and/or undermining public confidence in the Police Service”.” So, the Met believe someone telling the truth about the wholesale fiddling of crime stats would be likely to undermine public confidence in the police. Knowing things were wrong and trying to cover them up, shredding vital documents and keeping the public in the dark would have been alright then would it?
    Would love to know what the alleged “parody which was offensive” was all about. Anyone know?

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  2. loki says:

    It just business as normal Kevin……. and as a famous “NCO” once said “They don’t like it up ’em!”

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  3. Robin Crorie says:

    In support of Kevin’s request for information about the “parody” referred to… perhaps, seeing as O&B posts are syndicated to a number of other police blogs, one of our Met readers might wish to provide more information?

    If anyone wants to encrypt their submission, you can find a couple of my public keys to use here and here, or more simply, download the public key for my e-mail address here by searching for “old-and-bold” on any public keyserver.

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