Five Borough Commanders in four years? Maybe number six will be able to pass the basic test for any police officer. Will he know right from wrong? It would appear that far too many police officers haven’t a clue about honesty and morality as becomes ever clearer when the injured schoolboy’s father concludes his truly dreadful story of corruption and wrong doing at the police station which Chief Superintendent Victor Olisa will surely be relieved to escape. A borough where the police shoot residents and start London wide riots should provide an altogether bigger challenge than sheltering crooked councillors and stitching up schoolboys.
Bexley Police conducted two investigations into a serious assault on our son – read previous posts and decide for yourselves whether they were satisfactory. Major breaches of procedure led to the attacker (who was linked to the investigating officer PC1) being let off and our son being blamed in Police records (‘completely wrongly’, according to a judge). And concerted action from PC1’s colleagues and superior officers resulted in a misconduct finding against PC1 being downgraded so that he escaped any meaningful sanction.
When we informed Detective Inspector DI2 that we would be taking the matter further, he suggested our son apply for criminal injuries compensation instead. We understood that false information in Police records would make this impossible but DI2 assured us that Bexley Police would not accuse our son of anything. To make doubly sure of this, we wrote to the then Borough Commander, noting and evidencing the various errors on Police records and asking him not to disclose this false information to anyone else. We then went to Bexleyheath Police Station to meet him, Chief Inspector CI1 and Detective Sergeant DS2 so that we could express our concerns face-to-face.
Our son duly submitted his application for compensation and three months later was notified that he would receive no compensation at all, based on a report received from Bexley Police. We later discovered that the form completed by them was firstly allocated to PC1 (the officer who was linked to the attacker and committed misconduct in the initial investigation), and then to TDC1 (the other officer who was in charge of this “messed up” initial investigation).
On the form, TDC1 reported that our son had “started fight” – a claim that the judge ruled was “inaccurate”. This alone would have prevented our son from receiving any compensation; but in case it didn’t, TDC1 also stated completely the wrong injury and grossly understated the secondary injuries (see image below), reducing the compensation that he would have been eligible to receive by 83%.
TDC1 reported that she had “returned” this form on 29 June 2011, only Bexley Police didn’t actually send it off straight away. Instead, unidentified officers held onto it for a further eight weeks, making alterations to it and adding extra false information that the form never asked for (e.g. claims about the attacker acting in “clear self-defence” and about our son being “the aggressor”, both of which were ruled “completely wrong” by the judge). According to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, several pages had also been removed from the report before the Police sent it.
Despite various officers spending the best part of two months ‘processing’ this form, Police asked the judge to “skip past” all of its errors and not allow them to be corrected, on the grounds that they had only been made “in handwriting quickly done” – reasoning that the judge understandably rejected.
In order to show that Police records about him were false, our son was required to submit a formal appeal containing 31 pages of evidence. Eleven months of investigation later, the adjudicator concluded that “in view of the problems with the police investigation in this case, I have had to look elsewhere for independent information” and “am satisfied that Jonathan’s own conduct is not in question”. As a result, his claim for compensation was ultimately awarded in full.
Initially, we believed that our terrible treatment at the hands of Bexley Police must have been a one-off, but the way in which they are reported to be handling the obscene blog investigation suggests their problems are much more widespread and deep-rooted than we realised. We are now beginning to wonder how many other Bexley victims of crime have been treated in this shoddy way, and whether Commander Victor Olisa will ever be able to restore the excellent reputation that his force once had.
The complete story so far.
Just how many years have to be turned back to find a time when Bexley police had “the excellent reputation that his force once had”. At least five or six that is for sure.
The victim, who Bexley police did their very best to ignore and pronounced the instigator of the playground assault, has so far had three operations on his damaged eye and socket.