Disgraced hyper-local party mired in yet more controversy

Scandal-hit Failsworth Independent Party, never far from headlines in the local, regional and national press, face more controversy as two of their more recent bids to silence their opponents and critics appear set not only to fail, but backfire spectacularly. The thrust of much of the press coverage, and several articles elsewhere on this website,Continue reading “Disgraced hyper-local party mired in yet more controversy”

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”

Say one thing, do another

Earlier this month, a Liverpool Echo article announced that a Merseyside Police officer had been sacked for clearly using racist language during the stop and search of an Asian member of the public (read in full here). It resonated immediately, as the racist term used by the young, inexperienced constable (it was his first everContinue reading “Say one thing, do another”

‘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’”

‘Calm down’ whilst my detective colleague assaults you

David Rogerson is an unpleasant, foul-mouthed bully, a view readily formed by most people viewing films of his interaction with Huddersfield businessman, Stephen Bradbury, outside of West Yorkshire Police’s prestigious divisional HQ at Havertop, near Featherstone. It is also the view of at least two WYP colleagues who worked with him at Havertop and, havingContinue reading “‘Calm down’ whilst my detective colleague assaults you”

Barton beats an unexpected retreat

Earlier this week Durham Constabulary announced the retirement of its chief constable, Mike Barton, both on social media and via a press release issued to local, regional and national media. The story attracted little attention, given the controversial figure he has frequently cut.But this announcement took many people by surprise, not least policing colleagues whomContinue reading “Barton beats an unexpected retreat”

So I arrested him for something, sergeant.

It is said that renowned explorer Ranulph Fiennes has one stipulation about whom accompanies him on his far flung expeditions.  He is quoted thus: “I would be happy to take anyone on my expeditions, with one exception ….. people from Yorkshire”!  The characteristic Fiennes is, apparently, unable to tolerate is the Yorkshireman’s dourness and refusalContinue reading “So I arrested him for something, sergeant.”

Staring into the abyss

As an eight year old lad, I was hit by a car whilst crossing the main road near the tied colliery cottage in Whitwood, Castleford that was my family home at that time (number fifteen, the house with the unkempt gable in the picture). The injuries were not life threatening, but I was detained inContinue reading “Staring into the abyss”

When the ‘cover-up’ becomes the story

“Hi, Mabs. Ian Hopkins speaking.” So began the search for a new member of the most troubled command team in British policing. Even before the post was advertised. In footballing parlance, Chief Superintendent Maboob “Mabs” Hussain from the neighbouring West Yorkshire force (WYP) had been “tapped up”. Hopkins, the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) chief constable, ultimately,Continue reading “When the ‘cover-up’ becomes the story”

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”