There was a meeting of the Bexley Community Policing Engagement Group last
night which has very little to do with Bexley council except that they rent out
the Civic Chamber for the hundred or so predominantly elderly people who are
interested in what is going on.
Chief Superintendent (he’s been promoted already) Peter Ayling was there to let them know.
In a nutshell, burglaries have been up quite steeply over the past few months especially in areas which offer a quick escape route to the A2 and the A20. This was said to be due to a combination of the time of year and the release of too many local criminals from prison all at the same time and Romanian gangs. Mr. Ayling said that the very latest statistics showed improvement and some of the crooks were already back inside.
Several questions were asked from the floor but almost all of them were of the ‘why have you never answered my letter’ variety. On each occasion the Borough Commander offered to take details and look into it.
Readers with long memories may recall that a year ago the Crown Prosecution Service told Elwyn Bryant that they had offered Bexley police an Action Plan for their Obscene Blog suspect, councillor Peter Craske, but according to the CPS, the police ignored it and instead wrapped the case up. Elwyn asked CS Ayling “Why should the local police be allowed to ignore the CPS when giving charging advice”. In reply Ayling said there were circumstances in which the police could charge a suspect without the benefit of CPS advice but he was “not aware of circumstances where we can simply ignore their advice”.
After the meeting, the police said that they would check where that CPS advice went but were unsure whether or not they would be able to tell Elwyn. I think I have a pretty good idea of where it went already. On 1st March last year, I asked Chief Superintendent Victor Olisa why he ignored the CPS advice and while he accepted the letter had been received asserted he was unaware it contained an Action Plan. As a Bexley police officer said last night, someone must be fibbing , but whether it is the CPS of the police we might never know.
Former Bexley Police Commanders Chief Superintendents Stringer and Olisa now stand accused of Misconduct in Public Office having failed to recognise that saving the political career of a Bexley councillor is not worth jeopardising their own. The present Commander, Peter Ayling, is in no way whatever implicated but some of his officers are those who tried, through ignorance or otherwise, to pin Olly Cromwell’s blog on me.