Home AffairsWritten evidence submitted by Charles Kirk [IPCC 13]

1. Reference the 96 hours bail issue: an illegal practice continuing for many years until a lowly clerk in a lesser court asked a question, result: emergency legislation. Equally the conduct of News International, MP’s and their expenses or the bankers, so eloquently illustrated this week with Barclays and LIBOR. I find it disconcerting for the Chancellor and so many MP’s to declare such “shock” and “surprise” at the current farrago, I am not in banking yet commented on the manipulation of LIBOR four years ago during the crisis, the evidence was quite obvious albeit circumstantial, circumstantial being more than adequate to settle many a criminal trial. “Wilful blindness” is an affliction not restricted to the upper echelons of News Int., and when it so pervades the institutions that are entrusted and obligated to protect us the harm is manifestly greater, what has been the cost of the riots of last summer?

2. In a similar vein, a culture of malpractice may have been in play for a number of years and not restricted to just one Police Force if comments made by certain officers are accurate. It’s extremely difficult to make a firmer assertion as those who are culpable are the very same people in control of any avenue of inquiry and are actively suppressing any chance of scrutiny (itself a common law offence).

3. I have evidence of the most egregious malpractice by both Police and the IPCC and collusion together, exploding the myth of “independence”. Malpractice that firmly sits in the realm of criminal law, not merely the all too frequent practices that can be judged as unlawful, unfair or unreasonable.

4. I recall a comment made by an observer of this case that “I’m of the considered opinion that the IPCC operates as an early warning system for the Police.”. Another from a member of PALG following a meeting with the IPCC where they admitted to “being completely shit”. A judicial source said the underlying case “stinks” of misconduct and “whitewash” when referring to the IPCC. What is the IPCC’s primary role exactly? Clearly there is little if any confidence in the integrity of the IPCC let alone the complaints system it has a statutory duty to improve or uphold.

SPECIFIC ISSUE to be explored:

It requires an appreciation of the procedures mandated under the numerous statutes and guidances to grasp the issue.

5. When faced with a formal investigation under the PRA2002 (and CPIA 1996 Part II), what the Force actually carries out is a process known as Informal or Local Resolution and then passes it off as a formal “Investigation” by falsifying the paperwork to the IPCC (as when an Investigation is required for identified conduct matters, to include criminal allegations, it is not discretionary or optional to notify the IPCC). The fabrication barely utilizes sophisticated deception, as it appears the IPCC is “in on the scam”, so when a complete failure to follow any procedures mandated by law (PRA & CPIA; HOCR, NCRS & other policies or guidances), when names change on the paperwork (illegal sub-delegation or other), or any other impropriety is implied no questions are raised. In fact the opposite has become apparent, as the IPCC takes positive action to suppress the evidence/issues. How widespread is this malpractice?

6. The IPCC collusion in covering up this malpractice is not a civil but criminal matter, evidenced by avoiding the many opportunities it had to rectify the situation (and to which statute mandates action).

As for a specific case:

7. On making indictable only criminal allegations against Police Officers, a statutory process is laid down to follow which dates back at least to PACE 1984, rolled up into the Police Act 1996 and subsequent Acts which created the IPCC from the PCA and PCB that preceded it. Preceding, parallel, at least still relevant to the process is the common law and Roman law governing such procedures that came before PACE as to the propriety in investigating misconduct of any kind in any organisation: impartiality, fairness, reason.

8. The issue is required to be recorded and referred to the IPCC, senior officers (the appropriate authority) need to be informed and herein lies a weakness—the trend away from the Chief Constable. Exacerbated by the ever watered-down Regulations and Codes of Conduct which have become little more than a bad joke since the 2008 revision, worse still with the latest 2011–12 revision. Where no-one is to be “blamed” for misconduct what is the obvious result—one merely has to look at the current Barclays scandal for the answer. The Police feel that they are “untouchable” and it is ever more becoming so, a topic discussed with Lord Dear a couple of months back as accountability is “failing”.

9. In this case, few if any, procedures were followed, no notification of the Chief Constable (or his delegated equivalent), no Regulation 9/15/Yellow Notice, none of the other basic requirements and safeguards, in fact the “investigation” did not even proceed until AFTER the alleged offender was liaised with and a story “fixed” before the victim was even interviewed, let alone gave a formal statement (MG11). How many rapists, robbers or burglars get to arrange their story before they have even been formally accused or interrogated? An initial statement guides the interrogation not the other way round.

10. This cannot be all too surprising when it turns out the “investigating officer” acting on behalf of the IPCC was in fact a direct colleague of the officers facing potential indictments, and therefore an “interested party” (re- PA1996, Conduct Regs 2004, 2008, etc). Who was in fact directly involved in the original case (un-beknownst to the victim) albeit to what degree is yet to be ascertained (as why would he investigate himself? re- Morris v Police Services Board). That this breaches every rule in the book hardly needs to be stated, nemo judex causa sua has been in existence long before the UK, the courts and the common law came into being. Leveson has highlighted the importance of impartiality and propriety in quasi-judicial decisions, the media, and Westminster, being filled with the topic ad nauseam these past months, thus the concept is hardly arcane or antiquated, but of the most contemporaneous currency. We need not trawl back to the travails of Lord Hoffman or further still to Lord Hewart. One hardly needs to elaborate on the myriad of additional misconduct and impropriety that flows from such a corrupted process, an endless stream of fabricated or dishonest official records and nefarious deeds. All of central interest of the IPCC, or would be if the IPCC were not actively involved in their commission! In so doing this is just another instance of institutionalised corrupt practice like “cuffing”, “laddering” or the phenomenon of interviewing away from a Police station to circumvent PACE, which has been highlighted recently by the Law Society, where Police are “wise” to the loophole that they exploit to circumvent Article 6 on a daily basis. By corrupting the “Investigation”, proceedings to follow are purposefully compromised.

11. That should suffice for now, perhaps a reformatted version could be produced in due course. Another specific case which must be looked into is the Duggan case. First the IPCC are caught relaying a false version of a DSI incident, simply “rubber stamping” the Police’s false version without cursory inquiry or scepticism, a matter of the utmost gravity by itself, given even greater import by the events the dishonest conduct precipitated at huge cost to the nation, exacerbated further still by the stiff custodial sentences handed down at tax-payers expense, all potentially avoidable had the IPCC acted with integrity. So one would think the IPCC would at least learn from this, considering the immediacy and the wider ramifications, but no it was business as usual when they broached the next phase, dealing with the grieving and innocent relatives. They were denounced as liars, treated with contempt and this continued for many months. I am not aware whether the precise circumstances of how the sudden u-turn occurred just two weeks before the publication of the IPCC’s report have been aired properly in public, but it is a topic that needs to be tackled by the Committee. It would be very useful to have sight of the original report that was to be published to compare it with the final version rushed out at the 11th hour. The latest version was bad enough—the MPS asserted that senior officers relied on the solitary word of a subordinate, with a vested interest. Then in turn, the IPCC merely reiterated this version without any real inquiry choosing to brand two women, two ordinary Brits with no agenda, as liars whilst they were vulnerable and grieving. Disgusting hardly does it justice to describe the IPCC’s conduct in this regard. As for confidence in, or improving the complaints system, what a sick joke. Likewise the Tomlinson case is in need of a proper inquiry, I trust Tuckers will likely make a submission to this Committee and I’ll leave it to them but it regards the IPCC and issues outside the current criminal case.

Charles Kirk

June 2012

Prepared 1st February 2013