Police fit up Mitchell?

(122 Posts)
CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Wed 19-Dec-12 08:33:31

Seems like someone at the Met lost sight of the truth in their anxiety to smear the former chief whip. Amongst other things, a little matter of 'several members of the public were present' shown to be a lie. Article. Appalling.

niceguy2 Wed 19-Dec-12 21:53:10

I think the police are stll saying they stand by the other officers' statements.

It's not like they can say anything else at the moment though can they? It's the political equivalent of the PM saying "I have full confidence in <insert minister about to be sacked name>"

tiggytape Wed 19-Dec-12 23:20:09

nametakenagain - you are absolutely right of course. He apologised for swearing though. Should a minister be sacked for swearing at a police officer even if he apologises and even if his apology is accepted? Maybe...I don't know. But that's not what this is about.
He was sacked because he refused to admit that he'd used the word 'pleb'
He fully admitted to using the f word but, at the time, that wasn't seen as being as disrespectful as saying 'pleb'.

The fact he kept denying saying 'pleb' despite 2 police accounts and then an 'independent' eye witness corroborating the story made him appear to be a complete and utter liar. That is what stopped him being a minister. Not the f word.

And now CCTV shows no lengthy and heated exchange such as the one the police described. It appears to show no shocked and horrified crowd of public onlookers such as the police are said to have described. And the member of the public who emailed the Deputy to express his concern at the incident now turns out to be an off duty police officer according to all the reports today about Channel 4 making the police aware of his true identity.

If any of those elements turn out to be true, if any of the police statements are false, this is a huge injustice. And for those who think 'serves him right he's a Tory / arrogant person / objectionable man' just think of the repercussions this has. For anyone who is disliked by people of differing views or in a job that people want them out of or has a reputation at stake... they are fair game to be lied about and pulled apart with no ability to defend themselves.

And if it is true then it proves even a government minister with all his powers and contacts is barely able to defend himself against it. In which case, what hope would anyone else in the same boat have?

Pan Wed 19-Dec-12 23:44:18

isn't this all a bit bonkers? Not just the facts, but also why it';s being seen as 'important'? Neither party are trustworthy, reliable, or credible. So, a minister was not allowed to ride his bike through the right gate. Police on duty told him so. We have an 'incident' between them.

Really. So what? No doubt the minister involved is an utter cunt. The police may have lied. Neither item is 'news just in'.

Can the nation sort of..get back to what is important? Or have someone say exactly why for the majority of the population, outside of Downing St. and the Met, this is important?

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Wed 19-Dec-12 23:52:12

It is both news and important if the police are openly colluding to bear false witness against an innocent person with the objective of getting him sacked. He was lucky enough to have the incident captured on CCTV but, if it happened to you or me, we wouldn't stand a chance of clearing our name. Surprised you can't see why it's so serious.

Pan Wed 19-Dec-12 23:59:55

Well, not really, Cogit0, unless there was evidence of a conspiracy against the minister, based on previous behaviours, or the minister had previous record of making unsubstantiated claims against the Met officers, then this really is the most irrelevant crock of shit, triggered by senses of entitlement on both sides and given really long legs by the media.
Tiresome at best.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Thu 20-Dec-12 00:15:04

There's evidence of false statements that conveniently contain the same incorrect information. That's pretty much all you need to demonstrate a conspiracy hmm. Police officers deciding to stitch someone up and doing so in such a casual manner is an abuse of power. You may find it 'tiresome' but some of us who would naturally support and defend the police otherwise find this kind of thing truly shocking.

Want2bSupermum Thu 20-Dec-12 00:58:16

It is shocking that a member of the police has been found to have potentially fabricated evidence. It is even more shocking that the police are still backing the stories of the other two policemen when there is reasonable suspicion to conclude their side is not factually correct. The police could have, and should have, said they are taking this very seriously and review the account of events submitted by each policeman.

Given the expenses scandel it is a shame that it appears our police seem to be as corrupt as our politicians.

prh47bridge Thu 20-Dec-12 01:22:08

funnyperson - The CCTV pictures are timestamped. It is therefore clear that the pictures of the "public" were recorded at the same time as the incident.

As Mitchell said to the police, it is common practise for the gates to be opened to allow cyclists through. Mitchell himself had been allowed to cycle through the main gates earlier that day. It is not clear why the officers on duty refused to open the gates on this occasion.

And whilst a passing member of the public might well be a serving policeman, the serving policeman who claimed to have observed this incident appearst to have admitted to a journalist that he was not there. His description of the incident has him there with his nephew and a small crowd of onlookers. The CCTV does not show any group fitting that description.

nametakenagain - If we believe Mitchell's account he said, quietly but audibly, "I thought you lot were supposed to f***ing help us", for which he apologised repeatedly. Is that unacceptable swearing at police officers?

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 20-Dec-12 04:39:01

Pan if you don't think it's important, try living in a country where police corruption is the norm- where people do just get fit up because the police don't like them or because they've got form and the police can't be arsed to actually do an investigation and find the real culprit. You tend to find those countries don't function very well. This is all the more bizarre because there never was any crime that anyone needed to be fitted up for, so it's not even a "pressure of crime statistics" story.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 20-Dec-12 04:41:02

It's splitting hairs but I would say "You've a fucking twat" (example: not said in this case) is unacceptable swearing at someone" whilst "I thought you were supposed to fucking help us" is still swearing at someone, but not as bad.

Xenia Thu 20-Dec-12 06:32:45

Yes, the CCTV seems to suggest the fake police witness is a liar and probably that he was in cahoots with his colleagues whose own statements are therefore now highly suspect sa they show a longish winded incident which clearly did not happen. "I thought you lot were supposed to f***ing help us" is all Mitchell said he said and is probably exactly right. It was a few seconds as he went through. have the police said why they let him through on his bike earlier in the day but not later?

picketywick Thu 20-Dec-12 13:05:25

Perhaps we should wait for the report. They have 30 officers on it. Which is a bit OTT

tiggytape Thu 20-Dec-12 13:37:34

I don't understand anyone thinking this isn't a big deal. It is a massive deal.

The whole of UK justice is based on the premise that police tell the truth - always. And a police account of any situation is assumed to be 1000 times more reliable than the account of any other person even if that person is a government minister or in a trusted position.

If you or one of your family is in court and it is your word against that of a police officer, you will not be believed - the system relies entirely on the police being objective, professional and not having a personal axe to grind. If that cannot be trusted and taken for granted then frankly we should all be pretty scared.

I agree we need to see what the report finds but I for one am glad that any sniff of police conspiracy or corruption leads to 30 officers working round the clock on it.

tiggytape Thu 20-Dec-12 13:41:59

actually I should say - I am glad it is seriously investigated. I am not so sure I am glad it is the police who are left to investigate it now.

Want2bSupermum Thu 20-Dec-12 16:18:54

I agree with tiggytape. I am surprised they only have 30 officers working on this. This is extremly serious as the courts rely on police statements all the time.

If this policeman who is accused of gaving a false statement is found guilty the punishment should be severe. Personally I thought the MP's who fiddled their expenses should have gone to jail. They were caught stealing and should have been punished. Given that they are MP's it should be a sackable offence. If I was caught stealing at work I would lose my job even if I paid back the money. I would also expect jail time as I hold a position with fiscal responsibilities - IE I know better.

nametakenagain Thu 20-Dec-12 23:59:19

He wasn't sacked for his use of an inappropriate word [pleb], he was sacked for his lack of self control and inappropriate behaviour.

He behaved very badly and so should have resigned anyway. An apology is not enough for the role he was taking on.

Attempting to defend the indefensible undermines your credibility.

He behaved badly, and should have gone. The investigation is a separate issue.

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Fri 21-Dec-12 07:49:28

I thought he resigned.

Xenia Fri 21-Dec-12 08:04:54

That one sentence for which he apologised is not particularly bad. However the alleged stitch up is very bad. I hope the 30 officers are not working on how to get their 2 colleagues who were on duty off. I hope they are looking at call records between those two and emails with the off duty man. The second man arrested is alleged to have helped the off duty officer with his emails I think.
Meanwhile Mitchell will be glad Hogan H has gone on holiday until early January.

So someone needs to be asking the 2 policemen on duty at the time where is this non existent crowd on the CCTV? I agree with them that there usually are members of the public where and may be there were and they were shocked but if so why has none of those people come forward to say I was there. I was one of those visibly shocked? Probably because they don't exist.

They also need to look into the role of Mitchell's deputy if any in this.

tiggytape Fri 21-Dec-12 08:17:15

nametakenagain - I do agree - swearing is not acceptable. But he apologised. The police accepted the apology.
And if every professional person who had a bit of a sweary mutter under their breath got the sack - they'd probably be a lot of them. He was wrong to do it but what he did (in his version of events) was not that bad - f word used once and not directed as an insult but as a frustration.

He had to go (resign before pushed) because his colleagues and the public nolonger trusted him when the police said one thing and had witnesses whereas he kept insisting it wasn't true.
It wasn't the f word that was ever the issue - it was the alleged use of the word pleb and the fact he insisted on denying it when the police insisted it was true. It just made him look like a total liar.

You can be a minister if you use the f word.
You can't be a minister if you insult the police in front of witnesses and then lie about it.
The police version of events say he did just that - lied about something many witnessed. Now there is a large doubt over whether the police version is true. That's the issue - not the sweary muttering.

picketywick Fri 21-Dec-12 13:39:27

Hogan-Hough talks the talk. Does he walk the walk?.

picketywick Fri 21-Dec-12 13:41:15

The MET probably needs splitting up

Xenia Fri 21-Dec-12 15:32:55

HH is on holiday which may not be very wise.

Pantomimedam Fri 21-Dec-12 23:38:33

The stitch up is v. bad indeed but in a way it is satisfying to see politicians having to learn that they are not exempt from police malpractice.

Thing is, Mitchell has never admitted what it was he did say, merely that he swore.

Unfortunately it will make it easier for the govt. to cut police budgets, cut police numbers and push ahead with privatisation. While wasting money on police and crime commissioners who have merrily awarded new jobs and fat salaries to their bessie mates.

gingeroots Sat 22-Dec-12 09:18:25

From what I understand ( happy to be corrected ) Mitchell's behaviour ( swearing ,attitude towards police ) is an arrrestable offence .

But police advised not to arrest unless can prove that members of public observing such behaviour were visibly distressed .

which makes the non existent crowd and made up story from a policeman who wasn't there even more of a fit up .

ledkr Sat 22-Dec-12 09:31:59

The police are sworn at all the time and will act on it to suit themselves.
I was a residential worker for years and was constantly attacked threatened and sworn at at work. On the rare occasion we resorted to calling the police we were told that it was expected as part if our job hmm well I'd say its more expected in their job but that doesn't stop them pressing charges to suit.
Working all my life with vulnerable clients I have seen the police behave appallingly as I have at times with my own sons.
The IPCC is a joke and I think the power these people hold is very frightening.
Dh is police and agrees and on the rate occasion I have met his colleagues I have to say some if them come across as power hungry Neanderthal individuals.
Example "what department do you work in"
Reply "kicking down fucking doors love" hmm
That said I work a lot with the dc and cp teams who I have found to be dedicated a d professional.

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