A round up of recent stories about those brave men and women who risk life and limb every time they set foot outside their front doors. Our lives and our limbs.
There are a few things white police officers can't do, like play the race card, although some of them still try. One non-white officer who did try it and got away with it was Commander Ali Dizaei. Alas, as Abraham Lincoln said, you can only fool all of the people some of the time, and today at Southwark Crown Court, Britain's most investigated senior police officer was gaoled for the second time.
When Ali Dizaei's name appeared here on October 1 last year, he was referred to as a 'corrupt' police officer; now we can dispose of the quote's: Ali Dizaei is - or rather was - a corrupt police officer. It may have taken a retrial and an individual of dubious legal status to do it, but he has finally been put where he belongs. In disgrace. Dizaei was said to have arrested Waad al-Baghdadi for reasons that had nothing to do with either the fight against crime or maintaining the Queen's peace. Among other things he had inflicted injuries on himself and blamed his victim. Yesterday, Ali Dizaei was given a three year gaol sentence for misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice. Due to time served though, he will probably be back on the streets in around three months, though fortunately for the rest of us, without a warrant card in his pocket. After the verdict, his solicitor said his client was very disappointed and would launch an immediate appeal. Good luck with that. No, not really.
If this one bent copper gave the Met more diversity than it needed, our next encounter, from Wales, is sadly typical. Although this sort of behavior is not bent in the same sense as Ali Dizaei's, it constitutes criminal recklessness to the point of stupidity.
The following story appeared in London Metro, February 3, page 33: Police pay out after car attack: Driver 'left stressed' wins £20,000 deal.
What is misleading about that headline?
Displaying the supreme arrogance that comes with the knowledge that the people who run the courts will bend over backwards and on occasion forwards to accommodate almost any act of police malfeasance however outrageous, the Deputy Chief Constable was quoted thus: “Gwent Police have not accepted any liability in this matter. However, contesting the matter further would have incurred substantial legal costs if the case had gone to court.”
Like he cares about legal costs. The victim, 73 year old retired businessman Robert Whatley, was spotted in September 2009 committing the horrendous crime of driving without a seat belt. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and this video is priceless.
Two even more serious cases that have yet to see the inside of a courtroom are the trial of PC Hardwood for the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson, and the trial or even charging of any police officer in connection with the death of Mark Duggan. The former has been put back to October, and it will probably not be until April when the IPCC decides how or even whether to progress the Duggan case. Rest assured though, we are not going anywhere and will be watching them like hawks until they do.
Finally, last month, a special constable from Ipswich was convicted of raping two underage girls, and was remanded in custody pending sentencing. The offences date back to October 2003 and November 2010. In the second case, according to the local press, “The pair had consensual sex twice in Barber’s car at rural locations, even though he knew she was under age”. No, they didn't, an underage girl cannot give her consent, that is the point. If she is 14 and her boyfriend 16, that may be a different matter, but for a man of Barber's age, girls under 16 are strictly forbidden fruit.
It seems that Barber was not content simply to rape underage girls, but he had a thing about their underwear as well, and in the second case stole her knickers and bra.
If instead he had stuck to battering small women in the custody suite of his local nick, he might have got away with it, but like Ali Dizaei he didn't realise that the privilege money can't buy applies only when a copper is “bent for the job”, and neither battering and falsely arresting web designers nor rape fall into that category. Later this year we may see if either manslaughter, or even murder do, but don't hold your breath in the meantime.
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