If people cannot trust the police, who can be trusted?

The Guardian today, has this rather worrying article:

Police investigate 169 staff over predatory sexual behaviour

High-level meeting held to address issue of officers and support staff abusing positions to prey on public, including crime victims.

Police forces are being ordered to face up to corruption by officers who commit sexual offences against vulnerable women and young people, as figures obtained by the Guardian reveal 169 officers and support staff are under investigation for predatory sexual behaviour.

Senior officers from the 43 forces of England and Wales have held a high-level private meeting to address the problem of officers who abuse their position to make inappropriate sexual advances or carry out sexual assaults on members of the public, many of whom are victims of crime. Read on….

4 thoughts on “If people cannot trust the police, who can be trusted?

  1. Five ‘serious’ incidents of sexual impropriety within South Yorkshire Police. Why are Senior Officers ‘having high level private meetings’? Shouldn’t this be out in the open not behind closed doors? But thinking on isn’t that the norm for our local force.

    What were these ‘sexual incidents’? Which officers perpetrated them? Have they been investigated by independent officers / officials? What actions will be taken? Is this the tip of the iceberg? These are many of things we need want to know.

    It is more than slightly worrying that this has come to light – but no surprise coming from the force that colluded with Thacker and Co. Neither is it a surprise that a force that systematically helped cover up child sexual abuse for so long in the Borough has an issue of sexual harassment and exploitation within a minority (Ihope) of its ranks.

    Is anyone woman safe when she calls the police? For the sake of women in South Yorkshire, and the repuation of law abiding police men and women, this needs transparency now. But then again I don’t expect this from the senior officers in a force that not only covered up Hillsborough but also allow their officers to refuse to testify at the up and coming investigations in to the ‘unresolved’ events back in April 89.

    In addition it is not fair on the officers (the vast majority – I hope) who are not involved in this. They will be viewed as ‘dodgy’ if it’s kept secret. Guilt by association is not fair; but how will a woman, child or man for that matter know which officer she or he can trust unless we are told who is responsible, what actions are being taken and it is all out in the open.

    We are always being told we should be careful who we invite in to our homes. But now its seems we have to be aware of which police officer we let through the door. The next time I need help with a crime I think I will call my brother; it’s safer.

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  2. SKT, before your gob off any further about Hillsborough, get your facts right! Firstly, there is no proof whatsoever that there was any police cover-up regarding Hillsborough. Secondly, no one has been allowed to refuse to testify at any future enquiry and nobody has or will refuse to testify. The only cover-up so far into this disaster is that by the so called “independent” enquiry who have covered up so many facts that it is going to take several subsequent enquiries to untangle their lies and mis-information. You are obviously another one of these anti-police, anti-establishment individuals who jump on the band wagon with your own mis-information, I just wonder what your motive is.

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  3. Strangely enough, in a somewhat paranoid world I do trust the Police. I believe they contain their fair share of flawed charectors, but proportinally no more than other sectors. I believe they have a verry high percentage of good people who want to do a good job. So agree that they need to be transparent etc. But if I need help with criminals or feel threatened then I’d trust the typical Bobby.

    I am more worried about their bosses and politial overseers.

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  4. Dear Mr / Mrs Anonymous,

    You say I ‘Gob off? (Must be a rude Yorkshire term – I’m not sure but I guess it is). Don’t you mean ‘state an opinion’ on a subject? Well if you do – here’s more.

    You seem to think I know little of Hillsborough? Sorry but I was there. I lived next to the ground at the time (Indeed did so most of my life) and saw it from beginning to end. I invited the injured, the traumatised, the victims, their families and the police in to my home and did my best to help. (As did all on our street). I also volunteered to help out at NGH on the night (and did so) working alongside other professionals such as medical staff, social workers, counsellors and the police and it’s a nightmare I will never forget. No one should.

    Re your accusation I am ‘anti police’ – I am not – quite the opposite – but you are welcome to your subjective opinion based on one single post. (Actually to say that is like saying I am anti – local democracy because I criticize some actions of or council.

    Personally, I worked alongside the police in partnership for many years on a multitude of issues and projects. Including bringing’ communities together post Hillsborough. Reconciliation it was called. (Others have included anti – crime initiatives, personal safety, bridging the gap, supporting victims, youth inclusion, hate crime and community involvement). I have done so from a non political stance (as have the police officers involved) and I must say the cooperation showed by all as been inspirational.

    However, I also have to state that like all public bodies the police have a small minority of ‘bad eggs’ and from time to time the minority of police officers that transgress (break the law) should be ‘brought to book’ for their actions and crimes: sexual exploitation being one example. (An opinion shared by many police officers I know). Indeed I hardly think it is controversial to say that openness regarding punishment for ‘misdemeanours’ or crimes should not depend on whether you wear a uniform or not.

    Unfortunately from time to time (rarely I believe) it is necessary to question the actions of a minority of police officers that ‘cross the line’ in whatever manner that may be; indeed considering the rightful trust we place in our officers of the law I feel it is paramount that they set a good example and are seen to be upholders or the law rather than transgressors.

    Regarding the incidents of sexual exploitation detailed in the report posted on RothPol. (Locally and nationally). It is saddening that in this instance I and others have to question what exactly is going on, who / how many were involved, what is the stage of the investigation, what actions will be taken, how we will this be addressed in future and why this is taking place in secret, but it is must do. Otherwise we will end up with a police force that few’ trust; and a police force that is seen as being above the law. I don’t know any police officers that would want that to happen and I am yet to meet a serving police officer that disagrees either. I mean, do we really want to get to a situation whereas it’s a case of ‘Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodies.” I think not. (I looked that up coz I ain’t Latin – sorry for the deliberate George Jnr Bushism)

    Now don’t get me wrong (well you can if you want) regarding the origional response I posted – I am not’ saying that all police officers are sexual predators, neither am I saying that all police officers can not be trusted with their truncheons – that would be wrong and judgmental. What I am saying however is that unless the investigations are out in the open how can I or any woman feel safe? The investigation and its subsequent findings should not be secret. To do so puts’ women, young people, men and the reputation of police officers at risk, both now and in the future. Let’s be honest this site as rightly been seeking transparency regarding the child grooming scandal; why should this issue be any different?

    However, back to ‘Hillsborough. Regarding your statement that it is ‘others’ that have lied about the events on 25th April 1989 and not some ranks of the police force. I refer you to the links I have provided below. (I could have posted thousands). Yes many lies were told about the tragic event but is the Senior Officers of South Yorkshire Police that should bear the shame regarding the falsehoods not the victims and their families not the junior ranks; who did their best on the day, like all affected still suffer from the memories and only altered statements under duress from ‘Seniors’.

    Finally, Dear Mr / Mrs Anonymous, you state that no police are to refuse testify regarding the new inquiry – please see the link below: a get out clause for a cover up if I ever saw one. Personally I feel everyone should be made to testify then we can finally lay this issue to rest, l let the 96 rest in peace and allow the poor junior ranks to have their say about what really went on and find peace of mind as well.

    SKT xxxx

    Police Officers get out clause

    http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/only-serving-police-officers-must-3330392

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/apr/25/hillsborough-disaster-police-refuse-evidence

    Also useful reading:

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/jul/12/hillsborough-disaster-watchdog-police-statements

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/hillsborough-how-police-statements-were-1323345

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2229930/Sir-Norman-Bettison-resigned-dismissed-attempting-influence-Hillsborough-talks.html

    Latest News On Police Investigation in to Sexual Exploitation within the force:

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/shaun-jenkins-armed-police-officer-2157400

    SKT xxx

    PS: regarding conspiracy therories. I think I know the ‘moon landing’ happened too but I’m open to debate. After all ‘There’s life Jim but not as we know it – yet.”

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