Earlier this year I published a story on how West Yorkshire police had settled a claim I had made on behalf of a reader. William Draper had been discreetly filming a group of seemingly armed officers in his high street, who were doing little else but gossiping, when one of the group peeled away and approached him in a threatening manner. The officer – PC 1148 Nellist – demanded that Mr. Draper stop filming. When he refused, the officer assaulted him by grabbing at his camera like a petulant rock star.
After sending a letter of claim to West Yorkshire Police’s legal department, they immediately rolled over and paid out to avoid any county court action. In that article I wrote:
“I advised Mr. Draper not to waste his time with the Police Complaints Process and to begin civil proceedings instead. In the highly unlikely event the police complaints department upheld the complaint, they would either blame the complainant or do nothing to prevent the officer from assaulting members of the public again.”
Well, since writing that, Mr. Draper has kindly forwarded me the completed police report into his complaint so that I can demonstrate, not just how accurate my prediction was, but how bent, worthless and removed from reality the police complaints process is.
Bear in mind that this complaint was submitted AFTER the police’s legal department had admitted liability and paid out on the assault. But do you think the legal department’s settlement of a claim, plus conclusive video evidence would in any way dissuade a senior officer from lying for a colleague?
Not a bit of it.
As is typical with all police complaints, the investigating officer (in this case, a Detective Inspector Stead, a direct descendent of Pinnochio) is a seasoned liar whose only aim is to absolve a fellow officer of any blame. Even if that means totally altering reality and insulting the intelligence of anyone above the officer’s own reading age, which in this case is around 5 years old. For anyone planning on making a complaint, the excerpts below nicely illustrate what you can expect from the police fiction factory:
DI Stead’s Report:
“PC Nellist stated there are two reasons why he asked Mr Draper to stop filming the incident, the first was to protect the rights of the detained person’s identity who had been arrested. The second was to prevent his and his fellow colleague’s identities getting onto social media. For both personal and professional reasons he did not wish to be identified as a firearms officer due to potential risks of harm.”
Nellist managed to communicate all of that from one neanderthal utterance as he grabbed at the camera? What is he, a dolphin? Or just another cop liar given the benefit of hindsight by another cop liar? And if cops are suddenly so feely touchy about protecting a ‘suspect’s identity’ while stood in a busy high street, surrounded by passers-by and CCTV, then maybe they should have bundled him into their vehicle, or thrown a blanket over him, rather then stood there 4 abreast, acting boy soldier for all the world to see.
I also love the suggestion that the public have nothing in mind except harmful intent when they turn their attention to the police. If Nellist is so fearful that somebody might post his picture on a social network site and write some nasty hurt words about him, then maybe he should get some form of protection against the public he and DI Stead so clearly despises. A gun perhaps. Oh no wait, he already has one of them. As evidenced by him and his colleagues deliberately loitering in the street to flash off their supplementary steel penises in the hope that it would attract some attention from passers by. And dare I say, the lenses of a few mobile phones?
Oh and if you’re wondering what deadly firearm incident resulted in 4 armed police officers – including PC Nellist – to be scrambled into the high street, it was this: some teenager was seen with a toy plastic gun in a plastic shopping bag. I kid you not.
Back to the lies…
DI Stead’s Report:
“He maintained that he was both firm and polite in his request as per the footage taken by Mr. Draper. He agreed that he did use his thumb and forefinger on the telephone when moved it away as it was pushed it towards his face (sic). He stated that he did not push or assault Mr. Draper in any way.”
Ignoring the penultimate sentence that reads like it was typed out by DI Stead’s forehead, I love the genteel like re-rendering of PC Nellist’s use of his thumb and forefinger to redirect the camera’s aim. No doubt with his pinky finger bent and his legs bowed as he performed a royal curtsy. Only a police officer would believe that lying about how he assaulted someone – making it sound like he was pouring tea at a teddy bear’s picnic – would somehow void the assault. My recent posting, describing how a police officer arrested an innocent man for ‘pushing past him in a supermarket aisle’, just so they could take his phone from him and delete some unwanted images, proves that the police are well aware that ANY hostile touching is classed as an assault, no matter how chivalrous they claim that assault to be.
DI Stead’s Report:
“There is no evidence to suggest he has assaulted you…”
…Except, of course, for Mr. Draper’s account, conclusive video evidence and the fact that the legal department paid out on a claim of assault.
DI Stead’s Report:
“As such I am unable to uphold your complaint and do not intend taking any further action.”
What DI Stead actually means by ‘unable’ is ‘unwilling’; a decision he had come to before he had even begun his investigation, read the letter of complaint or most likely, before the incident had even taken place.
With that in mind, his last sentence is the only truth told in the entire report, or for that matter, ANY police report.