‘A grubby little police force’

This catchphrase, now widely shared on social media and indelibly associated with Durham Constabulary, was first coined in November 2016 as part of communication between journalist, Neil Wilby, and the force, concerning a concise, plainly expressed freedom of information request (read in full here). The disposal of that request quickly turned very ugly after DurhamContinue reading “‘A grubby little police force’”

‘That particularly dubious constabulary merits careful investigation’

No-one, over the past six years, has come close to writing more words challenging the conduct of North Yorkshire Police than the author of this piece. On this website alone there are 32 articles, on social media there are thousands of posts. I have taken them, and their disgraced Police and Crime Commissioner, both toContinue reading “‘That particularly dubious constabulary merits careful investigation’”

‘Don’t do anything stupid. We’ve got your wife’

As one who frequently sits in court press seats, directly opposite jury boxes, it might be said that I am moderately qualified to pass comment on the vagaries of a system that sees the fate of defendants, accused of serious crimes, decided by twelve of their community peers. The prosecution present the case as toContinue reading “‘Don’t do anything stupid. We’ve got your wife’”

Bailey can’t bridge the credibility gap

In July 2019, after serving for over 27 years with a backwater county police force, Nicholas Bailey took the short, but well worn path, from Cheshire Constabulary to its metropolitan neighbour, Greater Manchester Police, the fourth largest force in the country. He followed in the footsteps of past chief constable Peter Fahy; the present incumbentContinue reading “Bailey can’t bridge the credibility gap”

Kerry Perkins -v- West Yorkshire Police

Please Note: An Order under Section 4(2) of the Contempt of Court Act has been applied to the reporting of this case. A copy has been posted in the court precinct and in the press office. Details of the restriction cannot be published, but may be obtained from the county court office. The Order hasContinue reading “Kerry Perkins -v- West Yorkshire Police”

Another Durham debacle as chief constable snubs Manchester Mayor

Much has already been written about the Operation Mackan fiasco, over which the now-retired chief constable of Durham Constabulary, Michael Barton was Gold Commander (read more here). The central theme has been the sub-optimal, one-eyed investigation carried out by his Silver Commander, civilian investigator Darren Ellis, into complaints raised against the chief constable of GreaterContinue reading “Another Durham debacle as chief constable snubs Manchester Mayor”

Drowning in deceit

On this website rests a significant number of articles that robustly challenge the integrity, ethics and transparency of Julia Mulligan, the Conservative politician who has twice been elected as Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for North Yorkshire and the City of York. She has been offered right to reply to all of them. In almostContinue reading “Drowning in deceit”

Your Cheque Is In The Post

Back in the day, when internet banking was still a pipe dream, and PPI was being mis-sold on an industrial scale, a cheque book was the essential financial accessory. It that golden era, television and radio comedians cheerily punted the world’s biggest lie as “your cheque is in the post“. A nod to the unscrupulousContinue reading “Your Cheque Is In The Post”

Mystery of the ‘missing’ peer review

An important part of an investigative journalist’s armoury is the Freedom of Information Act, 2000. The essential principle being that public authorities, unless they can provide a good, and lawful, reason not to do so, must disclose information, upon request, by a member of the public. Or, indeed, a reporter chasing down an ‘exclusive’. ‘PublicContinue reading “Mystery of the ‘missing’ peer review”

Information rights ‘watchdog’ vexed by recent Tribunal findings

For a journalist to pursue her, or his, craft productively, one of the most important tools in their workbox is the ability to make effective requests under the Freedom of Information Act, 2000. Public authorities are obliged to consider requests, make searches within their own records and then decide, if the information is held byContinue reading “Information rights ‘watchdog’ vexed by recent Tribunal findings”