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Bonkers Blog March 2017

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8 March - Driven over the Edge

Unless you are very new to Bonkers you will need no introduction to Michael Barnbrook. A retired Bexley Police Inspector who chases dishonest politicians and police officers he believes to be corrupt for a hobby.

Mick has lived in Ramsgate for the past couple of years so his attention is not turned on Bexley Council as often as it used to be but MPs and the police are still firmly in his sights.

BarnbrookMichael was the principal complainant in many of the prosecutions brought against expense fiddling MPs. He had a hand in bringing about 17 of them down. Currently he is chasing those who didn’t declare all their election expenses in 2015. Mick has provided evidence to Channel 4 TV and has meetings with their Political Correspondent Michael Crick who frequently reports on the situation.

The police have not been particularly helpful to either Michael. The Chief Constable of Kent told Mick Barnbrook that his MP had no case to answer and his only evidence for that was the MP’s own declaration of innocence. On that basis the CC halted enquiries. Mick will likely make criminal allegations against that Chief Constable if things don’t change.

One of Michael’s remaining Bexley cases is against the two constables who were prevailed upon, a year after the event, to write a false account of what happened the night Councillor Cheryl Bacon illegally closed her Scrutiny meeting to six members of the public. Everyone present, which includes about a dozen Councillors, knows what happened at the meeting and every one of them knows that what Bexley Council said about it was nothing but lies.

Four Councillors confirmed in writing what really happened, however the Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) ruled that their officers had told the truth, even though they had made very different reports a year earlier

When challenged it transpired that the DPS had read only the two accused police officers’ statements and accepted them without question. They didn’t look at eight contrary witness statements. Much the same procedure as that adopted by the Chief Constable of Kent with Mick Barnbrook’s MP.

Mick went to the IPCC who backed him so his complaint was returned to the DPS. They told Mick that him referring the case back to them was “an abuse of process”.

The IPCC said that was nonsense and it recently stepped in again. The tricks that the police will get up to to protect dishonest police officers is almost beyond belief.

My allegation that corruption - that is bending to political pressure - played a part in the police’s seven month investigation into whether I had harassed Cabinet Member Don Massey’s family was bounced around the DPS a couple of times before they decided that it was entirely appropriate that Bexley Inspector Colin Edge who had already failed to answer my questions should be asked to investigate himself.

I decided not to fight it, it just means that the case will not go to the next level quite as quickly as I had hoped.

A few days ago Inspector Edge referred to “your latest complaint” in an email. It may only be one word but I consider ‘latest’ implies that I am always making complaints and that the police are dismissive of the fourth one in 24 years. Just like they said in July 2011 that my criminal allegation following the obscene blog created on one of Councillor Craske’s devices, his wife’s actually, was in retaliation for the harassment warning requested by Bexley Council a month earlier. The implication was once again that my allegation of crime was frivolous.

The ‘latest’ complaint about Bexley police was in January 2017 but it was the first since 7th June 2012. The Cheryl Bacon Will Tuckley case in 2014 was Mick Barnbrook’s not mine.

I complained in 1993 when a uniformed thug from Bexley police came to my door and within seconds simply punched me in the face. At the time I had no idea why (it was mistaken identity) but he was captured on my front door CCTV. The Borough Commander couldn’t stop apologising (he came to my house twice) but the IPC (it was not Independent back then) refused to do anything about it because there was no audio on the VHS tape. As the Borough Commander said, the body language said it all. I opened the door and I was left bleeding. There was no doubt about it!

In 2011 I made a formal complaint after being issued with a harassment warning for something said on someone else’s blog and the IPCC took action against Bexley police. Later that year I made an informal complaint to Chief Inspector Tony Gowen who had put out a Press Release that I was to be prosecuted for something said on Twitter. Mistaken identity again. I didn’t have a Twitter account at the time but I accepted CI Gowen’s apology.

The complaint preceding the four and a half year gap was made because Bexley police once again allowed Bexley Council to influence an investigation which they found embarrassing - the obscene blog.

It has taken a very long time to make any progress but I have been led to believe that the DPS - pinch yourself! - has come to a similar conclusion to my own. Eight police officers (some retired, others no longer in Bexley) are having their collars felt right now or very soon.

Probably three complaints and an allegation of criminal behaviour by the police might well be more than is made by the average Bexley Joe, but they are not frivolous and the police, DPS or IPCC has found in my favour on every single one so far. What is one supposed to do? Let the police get away with blatant malpractice?


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