Bryant and I
complained to the Met. Police Commissioner about the
failure of former Bexleyheath police commander Dave Stringer and his team to
seriously investigate Bexley council’s obscene blog when first notified of it.
Bernard Hogan-Howe referred it to his Directorate of Professional Standards who passed
it back to Bexleyheath police to investigate themselves. We complained about
that in a very specific and detailed letter and last Friday the DPS phoned to
say they agreed it was inappropriate for Bexleyheath police to be directly involved.
During that phone call the DPS sergeant asked if I could paint in some of the background to the complaint; what led up to it etc., so I sent a fairly informal email. That would probably have remained under wraps except that yesterday I noticed that Bexleyheath police were claiming to investigate all reported crimes. Maybe it's that new broom Victor Olisa shaking things up but his predecessors could be very selective. Maybe it is appropriate to post the opening paragraphs of my email after all.
You will know from the enquiry you undertook last year at the request of the IPCC that the leader of Bexley council, its CEO and several anonymous councillors attempted to silence me and another blogger by reporting us to Bexleyheath police, accusing us of inciting violence. A third blogger who was never challenged had used a metaphor about flaming torches and pitchforks and it was pinned on me and the second blogger. As your report confirmed, this allegation went straight to the CPS on the word of Bexley council and the CPS recommended prosecution.
Only then was any investigation carried out and a DS realised that Bexley council had made a false report and that senior officers had put the cart before the horse by going directly to the CPS (to please Bexley council?). A Harassment Warning (Form 9993) was then issued in contravention of your procedures which attempted to make “criticism” a criminal offence. There was no need for Bexleyheath police to do that except to please their council 'masters'. Your report confirmed the 9993 had no validity, or words to that effect.
Before that a former leader of Bexley council became Deputy Mayor of London and was almost immediately found guilty of fraud. Abusing a GLA credit card for a sum just over £200 and a 12 week suspended sentence. Enquiries in Bexley revealed the same abuse by the same man to the tune of £2000+. Bexley council refused to report the fraud to the police and when one of my colleagues did so, Bexleyheath police told him that only Bexley council could report the crime. This as you know is wrong but it took intervention by the IPCC to get Bexleyheath police to agree. Their eventual way out was to declare that it wasn't in the public interest to investigate, so Bexley council was again spared. One of the beneficiaries of the fraudulently used credit card was the police borough commander Tony Dawson.
So there's two allegations that weren’t investigated. When Bexley council reported Olly Cromwell and myself for the pitchforks comment they didn’t investigate it, if they had they may have noticed that Olly made absolutely no reference to it on his blog. The police report says that Teresa O’Neill claimed otherwise. Neither did the police investigate the fraud in Bexley council; their priority was to protect Bexley council and to hell with the law and justice. Maybe not any more, but certainly under the previous borough commanders.