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.”
I 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.