« Previous | Main | Next »

Cops Behaving Badly - join in the debate

Post categories:

Eamonn Walsh | 14:22 UK time, Monday, 31 October 2011

What happens when the police fail in their sworn duty to protect life, when they get it wrong or when police officers themselves break the law?

Richard Bilton investigates cops who behave badly and discovers just how many cases are dealt with by the police themselves behind closed doors and asks why, in some cases, police officers are allowed to simply walk away.

We welcome your views on Cops Behaving Badly. Please use this forum to leave your comment.


Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I believe that most of the Police are just career people in it for the money and to do as little work as possible and to avoid all conflict. Has any one ever contacted the Police and found them not busy, they always are we I ring them. In reality they are just driving around in there cars doing as little as they can. I am all in favour of Police cut backs as most of them do nothing and they know it.
    One good thing about the riots the other month is that it got some of them off their arses and doing some proper work for once, IT MUST HAVE BEEN A SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM FOR MOST OF THEM.

  • Comment number 2.

    Just as expected. What do you expect when the police, police themselves, Just like social services, they police themselves and they DO get away with murder as do the police.
    Is there an answer, No I very much doubt it.

  • Comment number 3.

    I tried for almost two years to get an answer from the police and am still trying, they will not admit to anything they do wrong and it is unfair, they forget that respect is something which you earn and whilst they continue to ignore the feelings of people and in a lot of cases abuse the powers they have then they will not get respect.

  • Comment number 4.

    First I would like to say I think the police have a very difficult job and they are the first we turn to if we are in trouble.

    The point I would like to make is, the fact that when a person is being arrested, the very restraints applied by the police, may cause an instinctive fight or flight reaction.
    Here is an example, and this happened nearly 30 years ago.

    My teenage son and a friend had missed the bus and were walking home.
    They were larking about, but the friend decided to jump on the roof of a stationery car. The police spotted and detained him.

    My son made the mistake of trying to apologise and asking them to let the boy go.
    Instead they arrested my son and tried to bundle him into the police car.

    Now the main point about this, my son had just recently had an operation, to remove his thyroid and still had a livid scar all around his throat.
    They exerted pressure in this area, which understandably caused panic and alarm.
    As a result, an almighty struggle took place, in which my son kicked the car window in.
    He was arrested, detained and and charged with police assault.
    His lawyer advised him to plead guilty, otherwise it would make matters worse.
    I wish I had had the sense to forbid that, but I went along with it, not least because I knew he would learn lessons from the whole sorry affair.

    Long story short, my son was "Let off" with a £25 fine and a police record, which nearly cost him his apprenticeship.

    Of course it is all in the past, he never did get into trouble again.
    However, every time I see things like that, which was shown in Panorama tonight.
    The punching, kicking, or 4 or 5 policemen on top of a man, etc., the person on the ground appearing aggressive, I wonder just how much pain they are in, thus causing them to behave out of character,
    In summary, I think a policeman's job must be one of the worst in the world, especially in these violent times.
    We must give respect where it is due but always try to see both sides of the coin.

  • Comment number 5.

    Having watched tonights programe, Cops Behaving Badly, I am at last reassured there is justice to be had, I have a multitude of injustices to report in the way North Wales Police have treated me since 1999 resulting in the loss of my home as well as an established business. My hope is to be able to get in contact with Jocelyn Cockburn with a view to taking matters further. Well done BBC. Excellent viewing. Dave Iddon.

  • Comment number 6.

    Early 2000, i was at a works drink night , i'd had two bottles of beer, i was being harassed in bar , doormen ejected me from bar, the people harasing me came out side , i was up against a wall and they started again, the police came along let them go and arrested me , they put handcuffs on me double locked , which were very tight , and with them holding me i ended up being paralyised in both arms , i am now without the use of my right hand , the rest recovered , the police put me in the back of there van , and on the way to the station ,going around a corner , i fell off of the bench seat hurting my back, and on this point why do we get a fine if we do not wear a seatbelt , but the police can handcuff us nd put us in back of a van sidewys with no seatbelt and no way of saving ourselfs in the event of an accedent, on arrival at the station, police just dragged me out of the van and into custody, where i begged for help , but was just manhandled , i got to hospital the next day on my own,
    I tried to complain to police but with no avail , i got lawyers to help ,but they gave up on me , i even tried my local MP for help but he refused to help me , saying that and i quout , he cannot intervine in individual cases,
    So now i have to live the rest of my life disabled and with no justice ,
    The police are the biggest legal gang in the world , why do we have to live by the law of the land , and they can do exactly what they want ,with less than , i'm sure , 1% of them facing any sort of discapline ,
    Is there anything i can do , is there anyone out there that can help me ,
    [Personal details removed by Moderator] ....

  • Comment number 7.

    I am a serving police officer. I do not agree that we are all lazy, in it for the money, 'bullied at school' whatever...

    HOWEVER, I AGREE that many officers (who let the rest of us down) are at times 'let off' due to an 'in-house' complaint system that is often guided only by the belief system and perception of the investigating officer when there is little evidence to prove to the contrary (ie witnesses, CCTV, forensic evidence etc etc).

    I once complained about an ex-partner who was also a serving Police officer, for domestic abuse after our relationship ended somewhat violently. As is usual in many of these situations, there were no witnesses or any other evidence to support my complaint. However, had this been a member of the public, he would have been arrested and interviewed and his previous 'bad character' used. However, it was not. He was not. I was told that I was just a 'jilted female' who had 'made it up' - in summary. No previous 'bad character on my part' or previous allegations made by me after serving 20 years! The 'investigating officer' took the attitude that I was 'reporting' based on his own painful experiences of a recent separation, and little else. I was not afforded the same treatment as a member of the public. And I would never again report an officer falling short of their attitude or behaviour: That is a given.

    There ARE bad apples in all jobs, and with the Home Office employing literally THOUSANDS of us to Police the community in which we serve, there will ALWAYS be examples of where we fall short. However, even WE believe that the current 'system' of Policing the police falls short.

  • Comment number 8.

    I think British police are the best in the world - I lived in South Africa for many years - the police there can't hold a candle to the British police - Brits are lucky to have them.
    In the programme many people spoke of their 'realtionship with the police' what is this? I live my life in such a way as to not need a relationship with law enforcement so should they,

  • Comment number 9.

    I am glad BBC made a program on this matter. Police are way too aggressive , rude and do not follow the law e.g. to search someone or demanding details to be given and when someone trys to stick up for themselves they are threatend with arrest.

    Its terrible that they are allowed to get away with this because who do we have to stick up for us when its the police that are being bad ? other police ? well no not really these people are work mates and go to xmas dinner toegether they will not charge another cop. When you go to the station to make a complaint your told the police are just doing there job.

    Police are especially cruel to young people 14- 20 roughly ive seen it and been involved in it, i have been stopped and searched loads for drugs and offensive weopons but never have never had anything on me and have never had a night in the cells, you could just drive by them and that seems to give enough evidence for a stop and search for drugs, or have 4 people in a car at 12.30 around town - thats no reason atall there are no crufews in Britain, they will waste time doing this while something serious is going on.

    As for respond times - large group of males fighting possibly 10 to 15 no weapons can be seen - 12 minites one small van then afew minites later 2 cars. resonable but could be better if you could call direct to the police station as apposed to a call centre which ask where and descriptions etc an then your details and then send police while they take your name someone could be getting killed all this should be done after they email or radio on the call to the local station.

    i would recoommend filming or recording everytime your stopped by them it can show that your calm etc and that they are being abusive etc this can work both ways and police should welcome it. i would also like the police to film everything too. recording has proved 2 court cases in the past one with a friend and one with myself where i went through an amber light the police said it was red i argued the case that if it were red and your green i would have collied with you. eventually the PF decided to drop the case.

    There are alot of police that are spot on and that i like and they are very good at how they do there job and defuse a situation when other police are being abit over the top.

  • Comment number 10.

    We have been fighting to bring a rogue officer to justice for over 4 years. www.justice4kj.com after several complaints, being messed around by the police authority, the professional standards branch and the IPCC, we have been forced to take out two claims for Judicial Review to try to force the police, the Police Authority and the IPCC to simply do their job. We have succeeded in forcing the police to record and investigate our original complaint despite them doing everything they can to try to avoid doing so. The case has snowballed to where one of the people involved has taken out an application for Judicial Review against the decision of the IPCC to grant dispensation from investigation of a complaint against Peter Fahy of Greater Manchester Police. This despite the IPCC forcing the Greater Manchester Police Authority to record this complaint.
    The comments by Peter Fahy get right to the point of what is wrong with the oversight of the police. To suggest that if a police officer has done something which is so serious that they are forced to resign their job and pension, is a better outcome than putting those officers through the disciplinary process or even a criminal trial, is to undermine the justice system in a serious way.
    Does Fahy feel that the same rules should be applied to the rioters in Manchester last August? Does he feel that the same kind of justice he proposes for his officers should be applied to the two boys who were convicted for inciting riot on Facebook?
    If Fahy is the best we can do then heaven help the United Kingdom.

  • Comment number 11.

    I was very disappointed by this programme - which I regard as little more than a hatchet job.

    First it is clear that criminal offences are dealt with in the usual way - so it is NOT the case of police "getting away with it".

    Second in the case of internal disciplinary procedures no case was made for this to be different from any other employment situation.

    Third no consideration was given to the HUGE cost of being dismissed (eg loss of pension which could amount to £hundreds of thousands - wholly disproportionate to the "offence" which did not even warrant prosecution).

    Fourth if a police officer resigns rather than be disciplined he has not "got away with it" - he has lost his job.

    Now there IS a real problem - which applies in many public services. In the Armed Forces it is possible to be reduced in rank, and there is (or at least was) the Glass House but in the others there are no such half way houses - it is all or nothing. Sanctions need to be proportionate and, as I hope I have shown above, there is at least inadequate scope for this.

    It is only when sanctions ARE appropriate that officers would "risk" accepting blame - engaging constructively with complainants as one clip in the programme sort of began to show - but far too weakly.

    The whole attitude of the programme was one of trying to BLAME the service in a very sanctimonious way. It should have been constructively identifying the REAL problems and seeking workable ways forward. Sadly the approach of this programme is all too characteristic of BBC Current Affairs (I'm thinking Newsnight in particular).

    Time for a change of culture. Hmmm...... now who's to blame???!!!

  • Comment number 12.

    Just watched part of the repeat - not sure if the public are aware but the Home Office guidance to police complaints investigators is that whilst they should use the balance of probabilities to decide the outcome, investigators are told that there is effectively a heightened standard, which according to the House of Lords as long ago as 2008, is wrong in law. The say the difference between a heightened balance of probabiliteis and beyond a reasonable doubt is illusory. Nevertheless the IPCC also use the heightened standard when dealing with appeals. I've requested permission for Judicial Review of the IPCC's insistence that the correct standard was used.

  • Comment number 13.

    My confidence in the honesty and integrity of the police has recently been shattered. My teenage daughter was recently involved in an accident with a police car. Two months ago she was driving to college and was in the process of turning right into the college car park when she was hit by a Police Ford Focus responding to an emergency. The police car came from behind her, was overtaking a line of cars on the wrong side of the road and hit her side on pushing her sideways. She was injured during the crash and was taken to hospital by ambulance in a severe state of shock.
    After the accident, I received no contact from the police whatsoever but I eventually spoke to an officer at Wythenshawe police station. He told me on more than one occasion that an investigation has been carried out and the Greater Manchester Police are accepting 100% responsibility for the accident.
    The file then got passed onto a company who handle the police accident claims, Gallagher Bassett and guess what - my daughter is now being blamed for the accident.
    With insurance excess and cover notes, it has cost me nearly £1000 so far and it is highly likely that my daughter will be priced out of driving for the time being, when we look at renewing the car insurance, and she has done nothing wrong, and unless something changes the police driver will carry on as normal as if nothing has happened. It seems to be one rule for us and another rule for the police. In the meantime my daughters confidence has been shattered and we are suffering financially.
    It is looking like that we will have to take the police to court to get justice which will no doubt cost £10,0000's of pounds. I am a very determined individual and will leave no stone unturned and explore every avenue to get to the truth. How can the police admit 100% liability and then put the blame on my daughter ? We are left with no choice but to take the police to court.

  • Comment number 14.

    the show made so much sense to me, there are so many police men out there who are in the wrong when it comes 2 dealin with members of the public,
    in my instance my fam & i where in a car crash the police arrived late on the scene they where 2 slow 2 move the car off the road, basicly they should of done this sooner rather than later especially on a dual ccarriageway,anyways i personally have no repect 4 the police they treat people badly , then expect u have respect 4 them which is wrong

  • Comment number 15.

    I have a similar issue still going on since 2008 and finding it increasingly difficult to get any answers (STRAIGHT ANSWERS) having made 2 complaints split into 36 items and all came back on the grounds of probability no case to answer - the excuses being, only been with force 6 weeks, cannot remember it's a long time ago, cannot remember you being in a police station, no complaint was ever made, no statement was ever taken,must have forgot etc. How can we have a police force that has amnesia when they are giving evidence under oath and this deemed to be acceptable.

    I used have respect for the Police and assisted them on many occassions via my work ,but I am afraid this has no changed after seeking their help and being treated like some second class citizen.

    I would appreciate anybody who is interested in the way of press or can help in pursuing this further as it is still ongoing.

    Please remember it takes a doctor/lawyer at least 5 to 7 years to train in their profession a police officer 6 weeks.

  • Comment number 16.

    MY SON AND DAUGHTER WERE VIOLENTLY ATTACKED BE 15 BLOKES WITH BASEBALL BATS AND SLEDGE HAMMERS. WHEN POLICE ARRIVED AFTER MY DAUGHTER MADE 3 999 CALLS THE PERPS HAD SCATTERED, HOWEVER MY DAUGHTER TOLD POLICE OFFICERS THAT 3 GIRLS WERE THERE VIDEOING THE INCIDENT ON THERE MOBILE PHONES. THE OFFICER SAID "OH WE'LL COLLECT THEM LATER. WHICH THEY NEVER DID. MY SON AND DAUGHTER NAMED A FEW OF THE ATTACKERS AND THE GIRLS THAT VIDEO'D THE ATTACK AND GAVE DISCRIPTIONS. AFTER THE ATTACK MY DAUGHTER HAD AN EPILEPTIC SEIZURE AND DUE TO THIS HER SHORT TERM MEMORY WENT YET SHE STILL KNEW THE NAMES OF THE ATTACKERS. WHEN IT CAME TO THE VIDEO ID SHE SAID THAT SHE COULD'NT POINT THEM OUT. COPPERS TOLD HER THAT WAS FINE SO LONG AS HER BROTHER COULD ID THEM, INWHICH HE DID. GUESS WHAT THE PERPS WALKED AFTER THIS I ASKED QUESTIONS AND GOT THE IPCC INVOLVED. THE COPS SAID CAUSE MY DAUGHTER COULD'NT ID THEM ON THE VIDEO ID THEREWAS NOTHING THEY COULD DO. I INFORMED CID THAT THE PERS HAD WRITTEN ON FACEBOOK ABOUT THE ATTACK AND HAD NAMED MY SON. CID SAID THAT THEY DID'NT KNOW HOW TO ACCESS FACEBOOK. THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO THIS STORY, INCLUDING THE IPCC NOT UPHOLDING MY APPEAL REGUARDING THIS INCIDENT. MY CHILDREN NEED CLOSURE BUT CAN'T GET IT CAUSE THE LAW COULD'NT BE BOTHERD TO DO THERE JOB RIGHT. HELP US PLEASE. MY SON AND DAUGHTER NOW HAVE PTSD AND STILL HAVE NIGHTMARES ETC.

  • Comment number 17.

    This is such an amazing useful resource that you’re providing and you give it away for free. I really like seeing websites that perceive the value of providing a quality useful resource for free. Good work

 

More from this blog...

Categories

These are some of the popular topics this blog covers.

Latest contributors

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.