‘My head’s a shed’

It is now more than twenty four years since a seven year old boy was murdered in a horrific arson attack in Marsh, Huddersfield. Believed to be the longest running unsolved child murder investigation in the country. Joe McCafferty died whilst enjoying a sleepover at his aunt’s home in Haywood Avenue at the start ofContinue reading “‘My head’s a shed’”

Liston boxes clever

Of all West Yorkshire Police’s rogue officers down the years, the chequered history of this one, ex-PC Kevin Liston (pictured above), informs more about this police force than, very arguably, any other. The sense that WYP has been, for decades, an organisation out of control at the very top pervades a surprising number of theContinue reading “Liston boxes clever”

‘There are none so blind as those that will not see’

This is a piece written for the police whistleblower site, uPSD WYP in 2013, writes Neil Wilby. According to the website log it was last updated on 7th September in that year. It spawned an article in the Sunday Telegraph and an outside police force investigation, codenamed Operation Vertex, headed up by the then chiefContinue reading “‘There are none so blind as those that will not see’”

Police misconduct hearing set to make findings over death of vulnerable woman

A 35 year old woman from Darwen, Lancashire, Kelly Hartigan-Burns, was found unresponsive in a cell at Greenbank Police Station in Blackburn at around 1.30am on 4th December 2016, having self-ligatured. She was taken to hospital and put on a life support system. She was pronounced dead the following day. Misconduct hearing set to openContinue reading “Police misconduct hearing set to make findings over death of vulnerable woman”

Controversial watchdog report criticised from all quarters

A report released last week by one of the country’s two police ‘watchdogs’, extending to 127 pages, has drawn criticism from leading stakeholders, victims and their families, and leading police action lawyers, writes Neil Wilby. The Independent Office for Police Conduct has made seventeen recommendations to the College of Policing, the National Police Chiefs’ CouncilContinue reading “Controversial watchdog report criticised from all quarters”

Watchdog now employs over 1,000 staff but less than 25% ex-police

In a recent reply to a freedom of information request, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed some important information concerning its workforce. The total number of staff employed as at 31st March, 2021 was 1,013, a reduction of 19 from the previous year.. The total payroll cost was £53,950,000, an increase of £3,050,000 (6%) on theContinue reading “Watchdog now employs over 1,000 staff but less than 25% ex-police”

Council say ‘conflicted’ Director will not stand down from police investigation.

Following exclusive revelations on this website last week, regarding family connections from which conflicts of interest may arise, an Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council spokeswoman has said that Strategic Director, Communities and Reform, Rebekah Sutcliffe, will not be standing down from a controversial Greater Manchester Police investigation, codenamed Operation Hexagon. After details of the alleged conflictsContinue reading “Council say ‘conflicted’ Director will not stand down from police investigation.”

Police forces still unwilling to confront institutional racism

A police watchdog has reported, four decades after the introduction of stop and search, that ‘no force fully understands the impact’. Police in England and Wales are unable to explain why their powers are still used disproportionately, and in many cases unlawfully, on suspects from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. Her Majesty’s InspectorateContinue reading “Police forces still unwilling to confront institutional racism”

Watchdog clears police over M62 shooting

An investigation by the police watchdog into the shooting of a 28 year old Huddersfield man, after a hard stop on the M62 slip road at Ainley Top in January, 2017, has decided that no West Yorkshire Police officer committed a criminal offence or breached professional standards (writes Neil Wilby).  Yassar Yaqub was a passenger in anContinue reading “Watchdog clears police over M62 shooting”

Inquest delayed over police anonymity arguments

Andrew Stephen Hall, a black man from Huddersfield, died in the town’s Royal Infirmary on 13th September, 2016. He was 43 years old and his admission to hospital followed an episode in West Yorkshire Police (WYP) custody at the local police station and an earlier visit to the Accident and Emergency Department (A & E)Continue reading “Inquest delayed over police anonymity arguments”