We Are Prosecuting A Police Officer – the first of its kind in Britain

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Recently we have noticed a worrying increase in one specific type of police misconduct:


Police officers who retaliate against members of the public for daring to complain.


That retaliation can take many forms such as: Making a malicious arrest on exaggerated charges, issuing harassment notices, sending out officers to discourage or misinform the complainant, placing untrue allegations about the complainant on intelligence systems, making malicious referrals to outside agencies and so on.


Should the subject of such spiteful retaliation make a further complaint he is often dismissed as paranoid or a vexatious complainant.


As a whole the police do not believe that their conduct should be scrutinised. So what if a police officer threatened you with arrest if you didn’t let him search you without reasonable suspicion? If you’d done as you were told then he wouldn’t have to bend the law in the first place. So what if an officer telephoned you and insisted you come to the station for ‘a chat’ or he would raid your house and arrest you? How else is an officer going to trick you into the station against your will and without a warrant?


As far as the police are concerned, these are all necessary tactics in the war against petty crime. Almost EVERY police officer bends the rules at one time or another. Therefore, if they uphold a complaint against one officer for doing so, that means upholding complaints against them all. Far better to just look the other way when it’s happening or have a bit of selective amnesia when it’s time to recall the events. Why destroy a fellow officer’s career and pension for some petty infraction of the law?


The fact is that these casual abuses of police process are becoming ever more pronounced. So much so that most police officers think the law of the land doesn’t apply to them and they are free to enforce their own selective brand of law enforcement.

 

 

The public’s right to send a police officer to jail

What most of these officers wilfully ignore is that abusing their authority for their own advantage is a criminal offence. An offence recently introduced via section 26 of the Courts and Criminal Justice Act which states:

 

26. Corrupt or other improper exercise of police powers and privileges
(1)A police constable listed in subsection (3) commits an offence if he or she—
(a)exercises the powers and privileges of a constable improperly, and
(b)knows or ought to know that the exercise is improper.
(2)A police constable guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years or a fine (or both).


As far as we are aware, nobody has yet been prosecuted under this new offence. Of course they haven’t. An offence created specifically for police officers, presumably to be enforced by other police officers. What chance do you stand of having a police officer prosecuted for “Corrupt or other improper exercise of police powers and privileges” when you know full well that it is the police you will be reporting it to? Who will automatically tell you that the place for such criminal allegations isn’t the front desk of a police station but the laughably inept and totally biased excuse factory known as the police professionals standard department. Where you are almost certain to be flagged up by the officer complained of so he or she can’t watch out for you, and perhaps get their revenge on you.


What the police won’t tell you, is that you don’t need them to bring a prosecution against a police officer. You have the same right to prosecute criminals as they do. Section 6 of the Prosecution of Offences Act preserves this common law right.


In fact, if you were so inclined you could task yourself as investigator and prosecutor, amass the evidence against your suspect, invite them to an interview, then lay charges before a magistrate. This would then result in the police officer receiving a summons to appear at court, under threat of arrest if he failed to show.


Although the CPS has the statutory authority to take over or discontinue any private prosecution, they will only do so if they consider the prosecution not to be in the public interest, or if there is not enough evidence to secure the reasonable chance of a conviction.

 

 


The first of many prosecutions we intend to bring

In light of this newly created offence, we are preparing the first private prosecution of it’s kind against a serving police officer: A constable with Hampshire police who grievously abused his position, authority and resources to make a malicious arrest against a victim who dared submit a complaint.


Rather than forward the complaint to the professional standards department as he should have done, he took it upon himself to arrest, detain and stitch up the complainant with a set of ridiculous trumped up charges, unless he agreed to withdraw his complaint and apologise. The victim was forced to spend a number of hours in a police cell until he agreed to the officer’s demands.


Not long afterwards he contacted us via our Action Against Police Service and asked us to help.

 

We believe that this kind of malicious retaliation against complainants seeks to destroy the public trust in the police complaints process as well as trust in the police themselves. Who would dare risk making a complaint against a police officer when they are fearful that to do so could lead to a malicious arrest and dishonest prosecution? Furthermore, any police officer so willing to abuse his position in such a vile and heavy-handed way toward an innocent member of the public deserves to be behind bars.


Hopefully we can put him there.


We contacted the Crown Prosecution Service a few days ago and informed them that we intend to proceed with a private prosecution with the full co-operation of the victim. We also wish to publicise this prosecution, not just on this website, but via other media outlets because we believe it is in the public interest to do so.


This wilful and unaccountable abuse of authority against the public needs to be publicised, as it is the police complaints that continues to allow it to happen, by refusing to recognise such abuses of authority even exist, let alone attempting to remedy them.


Hopefully, this prosecution – and any others that we bring in the future – will have some effect on the lawlessness of the police, no matter how slight.

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