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Bexley Council - Still a bit Bonkers

The Larch Grove page

A collection of blogs relating to the Sidcup address of Councillors Don and Sharon Massey

2 April - Some Councillors do not make good neighbours

There has been plenty of speculation recently that Cabinet Member Don Massey and his wife Councillor Sharon Massey no longer live in Bexley and that their business interests here are no more.

On the other hand, at the General Purposes meeting only a couple of weeks ago, Mrs. Massey claimed to use Old Farm Park which she voted to condemn to the concrete mixers and Don Massey has added a Sidcup address to his Register of Interests.
Larch GroveWhat is the truth of the matter? You can be sure that it will not be a perfectly honest story with everything above board.

One way to find out would be to loiter in Larch Grove for a couple of days and observe who is coming and going, but it is not very practical. A better idea would be to recruit someone who lives nearby.

Fortunately Bexley is Bonkers is read pretty well everywhere in Bexley these days and a new reader was keen to help out. She believes that 37 Larch Grove may be used occasionally by the Masseys’ daughters but except on the rarest of occasions, not by the two Councillors.

This is some of what she said…

I’m blown away with what I’ve read on your website. It’s totally outrageous what goes on in Bexley Council! I wasn’t much interested in the Council until January this year but that’s changed now.

One Monday morning in January, I was putting my bins out and saw a man at the end of my path holding a bin liner. He was instructing the dustman to take his bin liner but the bin man refused. My new neighbour said “I’m a councillor, take this bag”.

To my delight the dustman replied “I’m paper only mate!” That’s when I realised who my new neighbours are; Councillors Sharon and Don Massey. They are renting the terrace house next to me.

MasseyI can confirm that since January the Masseys have stayed in the house for only a handful of nights. They are just not really there. There are only basic necessities in the house. It’s definitely not a home.

On Good Friday their youngest daughter had a party with between 18 and 25 kids there. The house walls are so thin you can hear someone sneeze next door. The noise was shocking with no sign of Mr. and Mrs. Massey.

A family member knocked at 23:45 planning to speak to the daughter and ask her to just keep the noise down but she wouldn’t or couldn’t come to the door.

The party continued until half past one. We both had to go to work on the Saturday morning - very tired - and it wasn’t nice to see beer bottles strewn all over the front gardens that morning.

Riff raff from Danson has brought riff raff to The Hollies. Thank you Miss Massey.

There was no one at No. 37 until the evening of the following Tuesday, 29th March when much to our disappointment, girls and boys, 16 to 18 years old started turning up at the house in large groups. The noise was shocking once again. Outrageous for a Tuesday night and with not a care for any of the four houses in the terrace.

These houses are small two bedroom terraced houses.

By 23:15 we called 101 for advice. The police said they could hear the noise whilst I was on the phone and said it warranted sendinga car straight round.

MasseyThe police attended and told the revellers to keep it down. Mr. & Mrs. Massey turned up 30 or 40 minutess later.

I am disgusted with the Masseys. They do NOT live in the Larch Grove house but last weekend they just allowed their daughter to party in a house they rent with not a thought for any of the residents of Bexley when it suits them.

I spoke with Don Massey later that morning. He wagged his finger at me and I had to ask him to lower it!

He wouldn’t accept any responsibility for the upset he caused the residents of Larch Grove. We have such a nice bloke running our finances!

Sharon Massey actually said to my daughter it was “laughable” to have rung the police and that the police had told her it was a waste of their time. I only rang the police for advice on the Tuesday night because of the level of the noise. It was the police call handler who volunteered to send a car round because the noise was so loud through the handset.

I’ve contacted the police to complain about Sharon Massey’s comment.

PartySo it seems that everyone’s suspicions are confirmed. The Masseys appear to be no longer properly qualified to be Bexley Councillors, however one can understand why they might be trying it on. The two bedroomed house was last for sale a year ago with a guide price of £300k. and marketed as an ideal buy to let.

If it can be rented for around £1,000 a month (I’m guessing) it would still be a bargain when there is £32k. of councillors’ allowances at stake.

The incident with the dustman tells you all you need to know about Cabinet Member Don Massey. Probably his daughter is only following in her mother’s footsteps. She is no stranger to parties which fall outside of the law.

Note: The message above is published with the full and unrestricted permission of the Massey’s unfortunate neighbour. Maybe she will be treated with a little more respect in future - otherwise you will no doubt be able to read about it here.
The strippers image is a Photoshop creation. Councillor Sharon Massey enjoyed the company of unlicensed male strippers at Councillor Geraldene Lucia-Henis’ Charlotte pub in Crayford - but maybe not cheek to cheek.


3 April (Part 2) - It would appear that Bexley Police are still primarily agents of their Council masters

Twitter37 Larch Grove is not the sort of house that you would expect the Masseys to be living in. Their last house sold for more than £600,000 in November 2014.

My exchange of emails with the lady who has the misfortune to live next door to the small terraced house rented by Councillors Don and Sharon Massey included the following…

Good morning,

Due to the stomping heavily up and down the stairs late last night and doors slamming I think it’s clear to say Mrs. Massey is not happy! Assuming she read the blog.

I replied as follows…

“You were very brave to go public with your problem. Bexley Council will play dirty if it can. Be careful where you park your car!

Councillors who talk to me say that the others claim never to read BiB but always seem to know what has been put on it. One said said that in an email only a few days ago.

The news would have got to the Masseys quick enough. I once had a councillor phone me at home to complain that a report didn’t adequately reflect what he had said within ten minutes of it going on line.”

Back came the following…

Hello Malcolm,

I had a visit this morning from two police officers as Mr. or Mrs. Massey have made a complaint against myself and my daughter of harassment against their daughter.

The police said they were impartial, to diffuse the situation, but in my opinion, they weren’t. They had a printed version of your blog and continued to ask me about it. They asked if I said it and I said yes. Why? It's all true!!!

They said it was about the blog, asking loads, then later they said no it’s not about the blog.

It was the strangest visit; they weren’t really specific. I’m not sure really why they came. But it doesn’t worry me I’m not going to be bullied by anyone!

When I spoke with Mr. Massey I told him I had videos of everything that’s gone on and that I was recording this chat. The police asked to see all the videos but I said they couldn’t.

If and when I need to use them. I will.

I offered them tea! They declined and left.

Well it’s only to be expected. Bexley Council has learned nothing since the last time they made fools of themselves. The police probably felt uncomfortable, doing what they were told and not what they knew to be right.

Let’s hope that Bexley Police have learned something about the law on Harassment though. When I had one of their warning letters they broke every rule in their own rule book and the Independent Police Complaints Commission had to tell them to back off.

The neighbour should keep a diary of the comings and goings at 37 Larch Grove. Perhaps the Masseys would do well to stay in Maidstone.


4 April - It’s them and us

The story of the Sidcup lady accused of harassing Councillors Don and Sharon Massey and their noisy daughter has provoked an abnormal amount of correspondence, all of it sympathetic to her situation. These Councillors cannot be as intelligent as they think they are, abusing their positions is never going to win them any friends.

One correspondent who asks for “the strongest possible support” to be passed on reminds me that when Sharon Massey was Mayor she elbowed him out of the way with the immortal words “VIPs coming through”. It’s the same attitude that demands that dustmen should offer a special service for Councillors.

Another says the saga is “better than East Enders”. (I wouldn’t know, I quit the habit in 2002.)

More helpfully, yet another email suggests asking the police to give full details of the complaint that the Masseys made. How else can the alleged harassment be ended if no one knows what they are supposed to have done wrong? This website has some useful information on the subject.

CharlotteWhat could the Massey’s complaint actually have said? Whatever it was it is unlikely to be truthful because all the deafened neighbour appears to have done is phone 101 for advice and the police volunteered to pop round. I think it is much more likely that the Masseys’ real complaint is that the story found its way to Bonkers. On the other hand the police said “it’s not about the blog”.

I was away all weekend but I checked the front door CCTV recordings. No police visits unless one turned up in jeans and a baseball cap and left within a second or two without reaching for the bell push. No idea who he was.

In less serious vein, it would appear that Mrs. Massey is no longer able to indulge her taste for male strippers. Not exactly new news but it’s the first time someone has had the foresight to send a photo of Councillor Lucia-Hennis’s Charlotte pub with the shutters down. Maybe the closure has put poor Sharon in a bad mood.


4 May - (Extract from) Cray, Crooks, Children, Cloisters and Crossrail

HarassmentNothing much has happened since the police harassed the family living next door to Councillor Massey’s rented house in Sidcup. The householder had previously asked the police for advice on a noisy all night party at the Massey’s place. As a result of what the police could hear down the phone, they decided to pay a visit.

With the complainant’s consent the story was reported here and it seems reasonable to assume that the police were asked to get heavy. Who do you think might indulge in such revenge?

Police procedures are clear enough; those accused of harassment must be told exactly what they are accused of so that they have every opportunity to modify their behaviour. The falsely accused neighbour asked Bexley police for a copy of the complaint against them. They were made to fill in a request form three weeks ago and told they’d get a copy of the complaint against them within a couple of days.

They are still waiting and the latest advice is that it will take 40 days to provide a copy of the complaint the Massey’s were said to have made against their long-suffering neighbour.

All is now becoming clear. A properly executed Harassment warning requires the issue of a Form 9993 and a written statement of what the alleged offence is. How else is the accused supposed to know what the problem is?

No such form has been issued. It looks likely that someone reminded the police that their first duty is to protect Bexley Council and suggested the frighteners should be put on an innocent resident. This is how Bexley police has operated in the past although I had hoped they had learned their lesson.

The 40 days is the period allowed for a Subject Access Request to be made under the Data Protection Act. If no Form 9993 was issued Bexley Police will be hard pressed to come up with any reason for putting the screws on the Massey's neighbour. If they cannot provide evidence that the Massey's made a formal complaint, albeit a malicious one, and there was nothing more than a word in a receptive ear, it will become clear that Borough Commander Jeff Boothe’s force is still in the business of jumping to Bexley Council’s tune. The case will inevitably go to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

I’ve been down that path rather too many times. I was with two police officers from the Directorate of Professional Standards only last week pursuing a case of Misconduct in Public Office against former Borough Commanders Stringer and Olisa. Mick Barnbrook has a case outstanding against CS Ayling who followed them to Bexley and it would be unsurprising to see the fourth successive Borough Commander go down the same route.

Police officers must be absolutely mad to leave themselves open to such serious allegations just to protect their crooked Council friends.

The noisy party definitely took place, pictures of it were plastered all over social media.


20 May (Part 2) - Here we go again

CopsTwo police officers called on me at 21:30. They said I have been accused of harassment by Victoria Massey. That’ll be the first time her name has been mentioned here but I understand she is the daughter of two Councillors and was also responsible for a similar complaint about her neighbour who asked the police for advice on what to do about loud parties.

I have been asked to attend Bexleyheath police station at a time yet to be arranged and I'm happy to do so.

This is a little reminiscent of John Kerlen‘s problem when he was accused of identifying a Bexley Councillor when he had not mentioned either a name or address. It was a Councillor who identified himself.

It would appear that Victoria Massey is determined to identify herself too.


28 May - This is what you pay your taxes for

Mick Barnbrook (former Inspector at Bexleyheath police station) was not a bundle of laughs over lunch on Thursday, he said there are few limits to what corrupt police can do with a charge of harassment and judged by the high standards of “would they shop a colleague they knew to be bent” very few police officers are not corrupt.

Lunch today was a bit more encouraging. It was a picnic in Hyde Park and one of those sitting on the blanket is both a BiB reader and employed in News and Current Affairs at the BBC preparing material for both broadcast and the web.

She said that the BBC Guidelines set higher standards than required by the law or other media outlets and that my recent blogs would not have broken those guidelines. She thought it unlikely that the BBC would have published the blurred image taken - along with a dozen or more similar photos from Victoria Massey’s freely accessible Facebook page - but only because Bexley Council is not of sufficient national interest to meet their public interest criteria. If the police had taken an interest in a noisy party at an MP’s home she thought a photo freely available on the web would very likely be published without any pixelation. “Certainly the tabloids would have published it. There simply is no offence.”

Police Cop CopI expect you have guessed that since the police made their late night call a week ago and said I must go for interview with a solicitor under threat of arrest, absolutely nothing has happened except that my excellent MP Teresa Pearce offered her support including coming with me to the police station.

My present inclination is to sit and await developments for a week or two more and then whatever happens send yet another letter to Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe complaining about the two officers who knocked on my door. The female was aggressive and the male was threatening. There is no justification for either their actions or their attitude.

Right now I do not see any reason to make a similar complaint about the Borough Commander, there is no evidence that he knew that his junior officers were succumbing to political pressure again. I reserve the right to change my mind tomorrow.

Incidentally, examination of the whole of my CCTV recording of the incident shows that three police officers visited on a busy Friday night when they had nothing better to do. The third spent his time playing around with something in the boot of his car.


7 June (Part 1) - The Masseys complained. See how quickly the police jumped

Ten weeks have flown by since noisy parties held in the Massey’s house at 37 Larch Grove, Sidcup resulted in the police deciding to pay a visit. The vindictive and arrogant Councillors took revenge by reporting their neighbour to the police for the harassment they imagined had taken place. This is exactly what one might expect from people who have been reported as going around the borough clearing it of plebs by shouting out “VIPs coming through”.

AddressThe Masseys’ decision resulted in their neighbour suffering police intruding into her house and an unpleasant interrogation. A couple of days later Natasha Briggs (for that is the neighbour’s name) asked the police for a copy of the complaint against herself and her daughter and patiently waited two months for it to arrive. Then she chased them about it. The police, clowns that they are, had posted it to No. 25 instead of 35. (Click image for their covering letter.)

Eventually, Natasha was able to retrieve the package from the Post Office and guess what? It did not contain a copy of Cabinet Member Don Masseys’s complaint. One can only assume that it consisted of a nod and a wink delivered to a compliant copper.

One of those compliant coppers was Acting Sergeant Chris Molnar, late of Thamesmead, and recently returned to it. I’ve met him half a dozen times, maybe more. He has been at my door delivering newsletters. I once told him that absolutely no policeman could ever be trusted, ultimately they serve their bosses not the public, and many of those bosses are more corrupt than you could ever imagine. (†) Chris Molnar and I remained on good terms.

Acting Sergeant Molnar enjoys and probably deserves a good reputation as an active Community Policeman. I think he understands my point of view.

Anyway, back to the Masseys and the non-answer to the request for a copy of his malicious allegation. The package provided by the police is very poorly presented, no wonder they are known as plod.

The police log reveals that the allegation of harassment was made at 10 a.m. on Saturday 2nd April, four days after the police took an interest in the second of the parties held at the Masseys’ address and the same day as it was first reported here.

Natasha was told when she asked for a copy of the complaint that it was made on the Sunday, not that it makes any difference, Sidcup Police Station is closed to the public throughout the weekend, so the suggestion that Councillor Don Massey took advantage of his position to gain access remains. The log says that it was prepared by the ‘Home Intelligence Unit” (don’t laugh) and the allegation was accepted under an obscure ‘Service’ known as ‘No Crime Refused’. Presumably something reserved for Councillors.

The police report under the section marked ‘Names/warrant numbers of all officers attending the scene’ records only the name of PC Stephens and no warrant number. However the second officer (from another report) was PS23RY Sergeant McInally.

The log goes on for 37 pages but many of them are almost entirely blank. Everything useful is shown below.
PC Stephens’ comment about the teenagers not going outside is incorrect. One of Natasha’s earliest reports to me was that she opened her bedroom window in the early hours of the morning to call those in the garden to keep the noise down and the police log records that Natasha’s daughter Tilly told them the same thing. Consistent reporting is not easy when you are a policeman.

PC Stephens records his interview notes over three pages.
The police report confuses the names Tilly with Victoria Massey, the Councillors’ daughter. Read with care and the intention is reasonably obvious.

Mrs. Massey being condescending and patronising will come as no surprise to anyone who has heard her attempting to take over Council meetings with loud asides about Labour members. She called Councillor Francis a Dickhead at a public meeting. One is inclined to believe Natasha when she says that in a private setting she has heard worse.
In the interests of accuracy, I made two references to the Massey’s daughter in that blog. “She [Natasha] believes that 37 Larch Grove may be used occasionally by the Masseys’ daughters” and “Probably his daughter is only following in her mother’s footsteps. She is no stranger to parties which fall outside of the law.” Natasha’s report made more.
It is perhaps relevant that PC Stephens has reported that Councillor Massey took his action against Natasha on Saturday 2nd April and by early afternoon that day he was writing up his notes. Unusually the blog dated the 2nd was allowed to go on line prematurely. It was published at 11:23 p.m. on the 1st. It is not clear whether of not Councillor Don Massey had seen it when he reported Natasha to the police eleven hours later.

Maybe the two police officers had a copy of the same day’s blog because Massey told them about it, but why did they then tell Natasha that the complaint was not about her contribution to BiB.

One has to ask “Is there any precedent for such a trivial ‘crime’ receiving such prompt attention?” Does anyone need any more proof that Bexley Police is merely a tool of Bexley Council?

Two days later, after Natasha had sought a copy of the complaint against her, PC Stephens was bashing his keyboard again.
After being investigated, checked and countersigned by no less than seven named police officers, the report goes on to say that there has been no crime, which is good, obviously. What is not good is that no one thought to tell Natasha Briggs.

Natasha has asked me how and where to make her complaint.

I think the difficulty will be that the police will investigate themselves and will say they have followed their normal procedures which may even be true. There is the question of the aggressive and patronising interview style but that is difficult to prove too. Police officers probably don’t even recognise that what passes for normal normal behaviour in their circles is not acceptable to civilised people.

Any complaint will likely go around an expensive and time consuming circle and clear the police of all wrong doing. What might be more profitable is questioning Councillor Don Massey’s privileged access to the police and their incredibly speedy reaction to his timewasting complaint. Bexley police has a long history of bending the rules and lying at the request of Bexley Council. The corruption that lies behind it is occasionally extreme and has engaged their Department of Professional Standards (DPS) for years on end. Three successive Bexley Borough Commanders are currently being investigated by the DPS.

If I were Natasha I would go down the political interference into police procedures route, opening an office out of hours for a Councillor and immediate response to trivia, as a minimum reaction.

However it’s not the police who are most out of order in this, once again it is a Councillor who follows in Teresa O’Neill, Peter Craske, Philip Read and Cheryl Bacon’s footsteps by attacking a resident without good reason.

The Massey’s themselves should not be allowed to stand on the sidelines sneering. A formal written Complaint to the Monitoring Officer about abusing their position and bringing the Council into disrepute would be a good starting point.

† I have no hesitation in referring to the Met. Police as being corrupt. With privileged access to aspects of the Daniel Morgan Inquiry because of my family connections, I am absolutely convinced that Daniel was murdered with an axe through his skull on the instructions of Metropolitan Police Officers and Senior Officers right up to Commissioner level have conspired to cover up their involvement.

It has proved difficult to give the Daniel Morgan case adequate publicity because the mainstream media is involved in and is part of the corruption that surrounds the murder, however a series of ten crowd funded podcasts now describes it and the disgraceful behaviour of the Metropolitan Police. Corruption on an unheard of scale. The first of those Podcasts

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