Connoisseurs of Bexley Council and police lies and corrupt practices will hopefully find the
following blog compelling because it aims to demonstrate beyond doubt the
depth of the corruption within Bexley Council and their police protection mob. It must also come with an apology for its
length and probable complexity.
I used to be perplexed by the idea that a police officer would risk his career to protect a dishonest council but eventually everything became clear, the police have a whole department skilled in the black arts of excuses and fudge. It is called the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS). Dishonest policemen are not in any real danger.
The investigatory tenacity of some officers employed by the DPS is impressive but ultimately they have to back down when their findings prove to be embarrassing to the Metropolitan Police or the establishment in general.
DPS excuses can be ingenious and there are signs that they have favourites. When I was first issued with a harassment warning for [quote] criticising Councillors the subsequent complaint was badly held up because the officer involved had gone sick with mental issues brought on by stress. (The warning was eventually withdrawn on the instructions of the IPCC.)
When the five year old investigation into the Peter Craske case stalled it was because an officer at Bexleyheath had retired, moved house and couldn’t be traced. Presumably she had waived her pension rights too. I found her in 30 seconds with a simple Google search.
But enough of the introductions, this blog is made possible by Bexley’s most accomplished liars, Councillor Cheryl Bacon, her dishonest support team and the compliant Bexley police.
For new readers, in June 2013 Councillor Bacon refused to allow six members of the public to attend the scrutiny meeting she chaired because one of them wanted to record the proceedings. Technically she committed an offence against the Local Government Act but not something one could in practice do much about. If it was not for the cover up the incident would have been long forgotten and maybe Councillor Bacon would not enjoy such a dubious reputation.
However to protect her from criticism Bexley Council manufactured a whole series of monumental lies, so extensive that there was a reference to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Among them was that five members of the public, Mick Barnbrook, Elwyn Bryant, Nicholas Dowling, the late Peter Gussman and I, ‘ran riot’ in the Council Chamber. Councillor Danny Hackett was there too although not as a Councillor, it was before the May 2014 election.
Danny took this photo while the five of us were left alone in the Chamber. Why were we considered to be harmless enough to be left unsupervised if we had been running riot?
We were in fact waiting for the police which Bexley Council had called to the meeting an hour earlier. Why would such an unruly bunch of criminals sit around waiting for the police to feel their collars? Why would Danny, making a bid to be Labour party candidate for Lesnes Abbey ward, be happy to be associated with such a disreputable bunch?
The police eventually turned up, said they were Bonkers readers, made a little fun of Bexley Council and left. Such was their concern at the criminal scenes they witnessed that they didn’t ask any of us our names. They just asked what we planned to do next and were told we were going home. We had only stayed on to see what the police did.
What the police actually did was absolutely nothing. They did not so much as get out a notebook and when they got back to the station they made no report.
However that did not prevent Bexley Council lying to the press (see Bexley Times report) and having Lynn Tyler (their solicitor) draw up false reports.
One was attributed, but not signed or dated, to the Civic Centre doorman and Mick Barnbrook and I showed him a copy. It claimed that Mick and I had been thrown out of the Council Chamber but the doorman had never seen his own statement before. When told what it was all about he, probably wisely, clammed up. The report attributed to the doorman but of which he had no knowledge specifically says the police attended, I and others were instructed to leave and we refused.
Two outrageous lies, if that was the case why were we not arrested? The doorman wasn’t even there! Probably the police officers would not have admitted to being Bonkers readers if any Council official was present.
What Bexley Council did not expect is that Greenwich police (Mick Barnbrook asked that Bexley police should not be allowed to handle it and the Borough Commander was pleased to get shot of it) mounted a big investigation into their lies and the fact that the police reports did not match Bexley Council’s was a source of embarrassment to the Council.
An instruction went out to the police from Bexley’s legal department asking the two police Constables involved to write a retrospective report to back Bexley’s false story. The police complied in April 2014 and after getting hold of a copy with the aid of an FOI Mick Barnbrook reported the two officers and their Chief Inspector Ian Broadbridge to the DPS. They sat on it for more than two years doing nothing and when Mick lost patience threw out the complaint saying they believed their own officers report - but they reprimanded the two Constables for making no report initially.
Mick told the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) that Greenwich police held eight written statements from the famous five and three Councillors which contradicted the police reports and the DPS had not sent for them before making their decision.
The IPCC sent the case back to the DPS with an instruction to stop messing around.
Last week the DPS reached their final conclusion.
I am dismissed as an unreliable witness (excused because of passage of time and poor memory etc.) because I said that I believed that Mick Barnbrook knew of Nick Dowling’s intention to record the meeting.
Mick Barnbrook is dismissed as an unreliable witness because he said he didn’t know. (He’s as deaf as the proverbial post so maybe he didn’t.)
Whether he knew or not has no bearing on what happened later but it is always good police practice to muddy the water.
Our evidence is also dismissed because we said the public remained silent while Nick Dowling said there may have been groans of discontent.
The DPS list the evidence taken into account and Elwyn and Peter’s evidence is not listed. Neither is the Councillors’. The police have only taken account of what the two Constables and their Chief Inspector wrote in April 2014 which is more or less what they did two years ago.
Several months ago the DPS promised Mick that they would call in the Chief Inspector for interview but they did not. He has retired and the complaint is not serious enough to take action against a retired officer and he is hardly likely to admit to what Mick thinks he did.
So it’s all down to the two Constables. Did the DPS interview them? No - but they did recycle some tried and tested excuses.
One is sick. Mentally ill and not in a fit state to be interviewed. The other has retired and we are asked to believe that he has not left a forwarding address for pension purposes. He is untraceable.
So the reference back to the DPS by the IPCC has gone around a complete circle. They were asked to look at eight witness statements that contradicted the police report but only looked at three - and refused to believe them.
They have chosen to believe the reports that came out of Bexley Council and their police chums - but re-interviewed none of them - just took the April 2014 statements for Gospel.
Last night I took the bull by the horns. The Bexley Council doorman is no longer employed by Bexley Council but he is not hard to trace.
I asked him if he had ever requested Mick, Elwyn or me to leave Council premises. Had he ever been instructed to persuade any of us to leave, had we to his knowledge ever done anything that would warrant our ejection.
He laughed, it was too ludicrous for words. He freely admitted that nothing like that had ever happened. Obviously he has no recollection of the statement written in his name. Why should he remember something written without his knowledge by the legal department?
Mick has decided not to take his complaint any further. The dishonesty lies within Bexley Council and he assumes the Chief Inspector. Thanks to DPS delays, the CI is out of reach and Mick has no wish to pursue police Constables who he believes must have been put under pressure to cook the books.
The DPS has no jurisdiction over civilians so there can be no further complaint against Bexley Council.
Once again Bexley Council has proved that crime does pay.
The full sordid story is Indexed here.
If there is anything inaccurate in this report I invite Bexley Council to correct it on their ‘Setting the record straight’ web page.