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.

Bearandcub Wed 19-Dec-12 08:49:05

I saw the footage on C4 news last night briefly. I really don't know what the Met hoped to achieve with this. I think politicians have little credibility but still held some faith in the police- it is rapidly fading.

hackmum Wed 19-Dec-12 08:55:54

I'm not in the least surprised that the police would fit someone up. It's not as if they've never done it before, is it? I suppose I am slightly surprised that they would be so stupid as to do it to a senior member of the government, but then again, it's rarely a choice between becoming a police officer and being a chair of theoretical physics.

diddl Wed 19-Dec-12 09:05:23

But he did still swear at a policeman, didn´t he?

So I don´t think it absolves him.

Nancy66 Wed 19-Dec-12 09:06:23

not surprised either. Use of word 'pleb' never sounded right either. It sounds like the sort of word someone would claim a toff would use but, actually, they never would.

Nancy66 Wed 19-Dec-12 09:08:35

so what if he swore?

you can tell from the footage that there's no altercation or heated argument. If he muttered 'for fuck's sake' or whatever under his breath because some thick jobsworth copper - who clearly knows exactly who he is - decided to act like a twat....it's not a big deal.

Certainly not something a person should lose their job over.

MrsJREwing Wed 19-Dec-12 09:12:46

Not surprised either.

AuntieStella Wed 19-Dec-12 09:12:55

As the police themselves made it into a question of trust in the police pretty much at the outset, it seems that question has been answered and not in their favour now.

Also, it shows how gleeful "nasty party" bashers manipulate and even fabricate.

chipstick10 Wed 19-Dec-12 09:22:27

I really had the bit between My teeth when this first hot the headlines. I knew something stunk and I could see from a hundred miles that this had all the hallmarks of a total set up. Pleb? I mean really!!! I know it's nothing new the police fabricating evidence on the ordinary folks but was pretty stunned that they went for a serving cabinet minister.
It was also so obvious in its crassness and political spite. How did people really go for it?

hackmum Wed 19-Dec-12 09:46:47

chipstick, I think you're right, but I think Mitchell was stuffed because the Tories' political enemies saw it as a chance to make political capital, and unfortunately, he seems to be not at all well liked in his own party. Also, there seems to be some kind of bizarre unwritten rule that politicians must never be seen to be criticising the police, so he couldn't outright describe the police as "liars" (even though only a week earlier we'd had the shocking story of how the police systematically fabricated the evidence about Hillsborough.)

tiggytape Wed 19-Dec-12 09:47:04

He resigned not because he swore (which he admitted all along and apologised for several times) but because he denied using the word pleb when a serving police officer insisted that he had. This made him seem a liar and his position untenable. He refused to admit the police version of events and everybody chose to believe an apparently corroborated police version over that of a Tory Cabinet Minister.

niceguy2 Wed 19-Dec-12 10:24:58

If it is proven that the officers have lied then I hope they have the proverbial book thrown at them. When officers lie, it throws our entire legal system into turmoil. If we cannot trust the police to be honest then who the hell can we trust?

Pedallleur Wed 19-Dec-12 10:49:51

No-one looks good in this. Mitchell was put out at not being allowed to use the main gate (quite rightly imo) and may have said something. The Police are now in a position of having to justify its actions and having members of its own force commenting via social media.

LittleFrieda Wed 19-Dec-12 10:53:29

He didn't actually insult a policeman. He said something like: "I thought you were supposed to be on our fucking side" allegedly. (The police are part of the Executive.)

We don't live in a country where our politicians resign for swearing.

LittleFrieda Wed 19-Dec-12 10:54:23

Why wasn't Mitchell allowed to use the main gate?

PostBellumBugsy Wed 19-Dec-12 10:56:44

Police corruption - surely not! wink
Mitchell allegedly has a reputation that made him an easy target for this. If you are rude & unpleasant to people for long enough, eventually you get caught out. However, being framed for something, which you are going to lose your job for is wrong, wrong, wrong.

prh47bridge Wed 19-Dec-12 11:04:02

Police have 12 hours to write their notebook reports. They are allowed to confer with each other in doing so. Is this open to abuse? Of course it is.

Unfortunately this is not new. Having an interest in potential miscarriages of justice I have long been aware that some of our police cannot be trusted to be honest. The officers guarding Downing Street are in the DPG which means they are armed when on duty and are meant to be the elite. The fact that it seems they felt they could make these allegations with impunity despite the presence of CCTV cameras (which contradict at least some of their statements) says something about the culture within the Met.

prh47bridge Wed 19-Dec-12 11:11:08

LittleFrieda - As far as I can tell it is because the police officer felt like being a jobsworth. Mitchell and others regularly cycled through the main gate, including earlier that day. The rules had not changed but the policeman on duty decided that it was against the rules to cycle through the main gate.

Mitchell's account, I believe, is that he said, "I thought you lot were supposed to f***ing help us". I do not think that is a resigning matter. However, if he did call police officers plebs and use the other language attributed to him that is another matter.

squoosh Wed 19-Dec-12 11:13:57

Mitchell is still clearly a colossal knob.

MrsJREwing Wed 19-Dec-12 11:17:41

It doesn't matter what Mitchell is, three Police officers alledgedly are still colluding to fit people up, this time they were caught out, they can join their mate who killed the man in the protests, out of a job where they abuse their position.

squoosh Wed 19-Dec-12 11:20:02

Yes I get that thanks, I just still have no time for Mitchell.

nochipsthanks Wed 19-Dec-12 11:22:40

Okay you may have 'not time' for Mitchell, but if what is being said is true it looks like someone lost their job because people LIED about him, and set about knowingly and maliciously lying.

That is not fair, and it is not right.

LikeAVirginMary Wed 19-Dec-12 11:24:42

I guess some people are going to think the police were justified in lying given the political colours of the other party involved, but I reckon we would all be utterly appalled if an off-duty policeman had fabricated evidence against any other member of the public.

I also think suggesting that because Andrew Mitchell is a knob/prick/Tory twat he deserves it and it's OK is exceedingly ignorant.

This is a massive fuck-up by the police, and the particular policeman in question, and I think the only correct outcome is that he loses his job, as fabricating evidence must be one of the most serious offences a policeman can commit.

I also think that Andrew Mitchell should be given another job in front line politics. Not because I'm a Tory (I'm not) but because any one of us would expect our job back (or suitable compensation) if we lost our jobs in similar circumstances.

squoosh Wed 19-Dec-12 11:26:44

The Metropolitan police fuck up yet again. People are surprised by this?

imogengladhart Wed 19-Dec-12 11:32:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiggytape Wed 19-Dec-12 11:33:45

I hope nobody thinks it is justifiable to lie about someone, trash their reputation and them lose their job just because you don't happen to like them personally or politically.

Any notion that some people deserve to be treated that way is pretty worrying because whoever you are, there's going to be someone who doesn't like you and doesn't agree with you.

Whatever your views on how likeable Andrew Mitchell is or isn't, if it turns out that he was telling the truth and the police colluded to issue false allegations about him than that is really serious and he has suffered as a result in a way that anyone should feel horrified at.

Nancy66 Wed 19-Dec-12 11:43:13

I've had the police try and manipulate me into giving false evidence.

I saw a police officer use unnecessary force on somebody who was, admittedly, drunk but posing no threat whatsoever.

Police claimed the guy threatened them with violence when I, and two of my friends, heard him say nothing more threatening than 'are there any taxi ranks nearby?'

Police wanted us to say we did not have a clear view of what happened - when we did.

JugglingMeYorkiesAndNutRoast Wed 19-Dec-12 12:07:00

Just had to say love HQ's headliner on this in discussions of the day .... "Gategate" grin

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Wed 19-Dec-12 12:16:29

I"m not surprised. I was always surprised he admitted swearing and apologised for that but repeatedly denied using the work "pleb" - it made no sense at the time.

JugglingMeYorkiesAndNutRoast Wed 19-Dec-12 12:18:07

Being a good lass I've had few encounters with the police, some OK, but two less than good ....

When I was a student in Bristol a group of us, including some foreign students, had to defend ourselves after a group of local lads demanded our friend get off a games machine using racist insults. A fight ensued in which my friends were only defending themselves. But when police arrived they seemed to overly take the side of the locals against our racially & culturally mixed group of students.

When I reported a beloved ring stolen (from the changing room lockers during a swim) in Brixton I was persuaded to report it as lost or missing and not as stolen. I wasn't impressed with that either. sad

catsareeasier Wed 19-Dec-12 12:18:36

LikeAVirginMary "I also think that Andrew Mitchell should be given another job in front line politics. Not because I'm a Tory (I'm not) but because any one of us would expect our job back (or suitable compensation) if we lost our jobs in similar circumstances."

I agree he should expect his reputation to be restored (on this point). But he still has his job - he is an elected constituency MP. Anything else is just a bonus at the Prime Minister's whim. Downing Street's loss is Sutton Coldfield's gain.

nochipsthanks Wed 19-Dec-12 12:26:32

I have also had a police officer lie blatantly (in court, over the details of a minor traffic incident) about a family member who was completely innocent. It was gob smacking, not least because the whole thing was so minor that I could not even see the point of lying the way he did. My DH got off though. (We were stopped when going about our business and when my DH enquired with bewilderment 'why have you stopped me' the policeman got aggressive and said 'right, I'll do you for dangerous driving' - and did. It was FALSE)

Oh, and for people who say that Mitchell is 'clearly unpleasant' or a 'knob', why do you say that. Because he is a Tory or something else? Because I am NOT a Tory voter, but work in international development and he was a very good and supportive international development secretary, even when members of his own party were against the ring fencing of international aid.

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Wed 19-Dec-12 12:35:30

i saddens me that the actions of the one bad apple will bring the whole service into disrepute.

however - the reports i saw seemed to indicate that there were 3 officers involved and so far only one has been accused of lying. (and rightly arrested and being dealt with)

that means that the fact remains that the other 2 were truthful in their account of what happened.

I think we will find out eventually what has happened but because there is an ongoing investigation no one will be able to comment.

nochipsthanks Wed 19-Dec-12 12:38:28

That is a good point Vicar.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Wed 19-Dec-12 12:45:59

"that means that the fact remains that the other 2 were truthful in their account of what happened"

Not necessarily. The piece linked shows up some glaring errors in the original statements. The duration of the alleged incident is far too short for the amount of interaction that was meant to have taken place. It's clear there has been a lot of embroidery.....

Nancy66 Wed 19-Dec-12 12:47:43

i don't think the other two can have been truthful - otherwise they would have pointed out that the third officer was lying. Staying silent is as bad as lying.

chipstick10 Wed 19-Dec-12 13:00:06

Some really good points on this thread. At the time I was really quite surprised at how the sun newspaper went with this shabby story hook line and sinker. It was almost like a witch hunt, totally with only the word of the officers involved. I wonder if they were trying to make amends. As in the week before if I recall correctly, the whole hillsborough story had broken again showing the terrible lies and cover ups by the police. The sun had massively ballsed up originally when kelvin Mckenzie, the then editor had printed the infamous headlines.

picketywick Wed 19-Dec-12 13:04:11

"The greatest lies are told in silence" Quote often quoted. I dont know its origins; but it rings true.

Then again, I suppose we all keep quiet when we should speak out at times.
On Plebgate, Channel 4 TVs head ferret seems to have got a big story. He used to work for Newsnight. Likes chasing politicians and asking them questions on the run.

Nancy66 Wed 19-Dec-12 13:06:17

i really don't think you can link this to Hillsborough - the findings of the panel were released about 10 days before this story so, in newspaper terms, Hillsborough was old news.

prh47bridge Wed 19-Dec-12 13:07:26

Vicar - We know the account given by the two officers on duty is at least partially incorrect. They stated that there were onlookers outside the gate who appeared shocked at the language used but the CCTV footage clearly shows that this is false. The CCTV footage is silent so cannot directly confirm or refute their account of what was said but the duration of the incident and the demeanour of both Mitchell and the police officers do not seem consistent with the heated encounter described by the police.

I think this will lead to a huge crisis of confidence in the police but also a lot of criminals demanding the witness evidence in their cases gets looked over again.

It will cost a fortune and more importantly stop people from trying to help the police.

picketywick Wed 19-Dec-12 13:14:21

Truth is the first casualty of war. And it looks as though this was a war between politicians and police.

gingercat12 Wed 19-Dec-12 13:20:11

It seems to me the nasty party is back. I am so enjoying this!

Takver Wed 19-Dec-12 13:20:48

"Met fits up member of the public" . . . not exactly hot news, is it grin

prh47bridge Wed 19-Dec-12 13:25:03

It seems to me the nasty party is back

Why? Does the police lying about a politician somehow make his party nasty?

Callisto Wed 19-Dec-12 13:32:45

Personally, I couldn't give a shite whether a member of the cabinet comes across as nice or nasty or a complete nob. As long as he/she can do their job effectively and well then personality should not come in to it. And as far as I am aware, Mitchell was extremely good at his job and well respected by most.

The police are facing cuts like everyone else, the scary thing is that unlike most civil servants, they can do serious damage to peoples lives at will. Holding cabinet ministers to ransom like this is truly appalling.

niceguy2 Wed 19-Dec-12 13:32:48

Mitchell is unpleasant at best.

I don't know him so cannot comment on that but regardless of whether he's a nice man or not. The police cannot make stuff up because they dislike someone.

Mistakes of course are made and I could have accepted that maybe the officer misheard and genuinely believed he was called a 'pleb'. If that was the only issue then maybe....but it does seem like that as time goes on, there are more inconsistencies coming to light and it's starting to look like a total fit up.

If that is the case, not only should the officer in question lose his job, I'd like to see him prosecuted and put in prison.

gingercat12 Wed 19-Dec-12 13:41:26

prh47bridge Police allegedly lying. Even a policeman is presumed to be innocent until found guilty. Mitchell's deputy had it in for him though.

picketywick Wed 19-Dec-12 13:46:48

War between Tory Party and police is news. They traditionally were on same side. So this may be a runner.

LikeAVirginMary Wed 19-Dec-12 13:50:42

catsareeasier - yes I should have said given his position back in front line politics, rather than getting his job back, as I realise he did not lose his seat.

tiggytape Wed 19-Dec-12 13:56:33

It seems to me the nasty party is back
How is this anything to do with party politics?
It is about CCTV now released that shows the incident couldn't have happened as police describe it and it is about an officer who may have posed as a member of the public to back up his colleagues version of events.

Whatever the full story is here, if it emerges a police lie or seveal police lies colluded to trash a man's reputation, it doesn't matter what political party he belongs to or what job he does. That is plain wrong.

If you go down the road of thinking it is O.K to invent stories against people or groups of people you dislike, that is a very dangerous path to tread no matter how anti Tory you may be. Not to mention the huge harm it causes to the police and the public perception in general.

Xenia Wed 19-Dec-12 14:18:23

Bad police and the earlier investigation cannot have been much good if they did not look at the CCTV. The day there was disptue about what Mitchell said everyone was saying look at the CCTV. The CCTV shows these non existent members of the public who witnessed the whole thing were not there at all. So class war? The police right up to their leader in London Hogan whatever he is called are working class to the core and Mitchell is not exactly that.

The bigger issue is have the police ever done this before? And sadly there have been other cases.

CinnabarRed Wed 19-Dec-12 14:23:11

Why did it take this long for the CCTV footage to emerge? And how did it come to see the light of day?

TunaPastaBake Wed 19-Dec-12 14:23:23

The Diplomatic Protection Group - DPG - Doorways Pavements and Gutters as they are know within the police ,are not exactly the brightest bunch wink

Bloody idiots - puts all police in a bad light

prh47bridge Wed 19-Dec-12 14:28:32

gingercat12 - Mitchell's deputy appears not to have liked him but, in passing on the email to the PM, he was only doing his job.

Shall we start discussing which people in the Labour party or the LibDems have it in for each other? Does that make them nasty parties too?

It's funny how quiet the opposition, the Police Federation and the press who were after him have gone......

Xenia Wed 19-Dec-12 14:42:45

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

prh47bridge Wed 19-Dec-12 15:16:30

Which is odd given the officers' statements say there was a small crowd outside the gates when there clearly was not. However, that doesn't really tell us anything about what Mitchell did or did not say.

Personally I think the police should complete their notebooks within minutes and without conferring. The current rules allowing them to complete their notebooks up to 12 hours after an incident and allowing them to confer are an invitation to abuse in my view.

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Wed 19-Dec-12 15:25:38

no one is going to know for sure what it is those other officers statements because a statement is a restricted document - not for public consumption, so all speculation about what is or isnt in those other statements is exactly that - speculation.

the idiot who lied was an off duty officer who claimed to be there as a bystander from what i can tell - he obviously saw it as an opportunity to stick the boot in for what this government has done to the service - (i am currently off work with depression due to the stress i have been personally placed under due to lack of staffing, unrealistic work loads and colleagues suffering serious injuries due to having no back up available, being sent to things like pub fights alone etc)
This does not excuse that idiot officers behaviour.

the truth will out i have no doubt but it will be when the full investigation has finished. The met will be keen to distance themselves from any "bad apple" and i would be surprised if he keeps his job. Its very damaging to the service and its a hard enough job without such foolishness.

chipstick10 Wed 19-Dec-12 15:28:25

The sun newspaper is still at it this morning, claiming "shamed Tory mp Mitchell has launched a fresh attack on police".

Xenia Wed 19-Dec-12 15:28:30

But he must have been in cahoots with those other two who were there and lied about the crowd. He must have got together with them and said I will be the non existent member of the public and all 3 of them must have been stupid enough to think the CCTV would not be looked at.

Why do some people get depressed due to stress from lack of staffing and other people have masses of stresses on them and keep coping? It is a big issue of our day. Is it diet perhaps and exercise which makes some people better able than others at coping with their job?

Xenia Wed 19-Dec-12 15:29:45

Also poor you.... I hope you are better soon. What is the payment when off sick if you're in the police?

If the state paid no sick pay for the first 3 days off sick and then you just claim statutory sick pay after that like everyone else in the country we might not have such a fiscal deficit.

prh47bridge Wed 19-Dec-12 15:38:56

Vicar - The police log of the incident was printed in the Daily Telegraph. The accuracy of the Telegraph's version of the police log has not been disputed. It states that there were several members of the public present and that they looked visibly shocked by Mitchell's comments. This is clearly contrary to the CCTV evidence.

It may be that the Telegraph's version of the police log is incorrect but currently it seems to be accepted as accurate.

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Wed 19-Dec-12 15:43:09

i dont necessarily think that that is the case xenia, that they must have done those things.

like i said. the truth will out.

i have never been depressed before, and i have been subject to other stressful situations through out my life, however this time i have had both work related stress and personal problems, plus physical ill health to contend with. I intend to be back putting my life on the line in no time at all thanks to the treatment from the gp which i am paying for. smile

Nancy66 Wed 19-Dec-12 15:56:08

it's pretty obvious that the police officer at the gate also lied - there is no way that in the 4 seconds that Mitchell is at the gate that he 'several times' refused to use the side gate.

There is also no way that the police officer, in that time frame, explained the reasons why. It is a 4 second encounter.

Likeliest exhange

copper: you'll have to use side gate

Mitchell: fucking hell.

nochipsthanks Wed 19-Dec-12 16:28:50

Hope you are soon better Vicar. You are one of the MN'ers that when you post i take notice of, and feel i 'know' you a bit. You have always been on hand to offer thoughtful advice to people- based on your experiences and knowledge. I am very sad to hear of the stress you are under. thanks

You are right that one bad apple does not a bad force make. That is true. Earlier i wrote my post with a 'well police lie' generalising slant, which your next post brought me up on. SOME police lie. Lots of people lie. Some of them just happen to be in positions where we hope that they do NOT lie, for all our sakes.

I feel for Andrew Mitchell actually. I have been the victim of lies spread about me, and it was awful- and several years later I still feel pain and impotent fury. He never ever denied he swore... the rest of the stuff though just smelled bad and the hysteria was like a lynching.

piprabbit Wed 19-Dec-12 16:37:49

The really sad bit is that the original situation happened around the time the two female police officers were murdered. I think people were very wary of implying that the police could act in anyway improperly, mostly out of respect for the dead officers. There was an acceptance that the police do a very difficult job and that it would be disrespectful to suggest that the police officers in Downing Street might have blurred the truth in anyway.

And now it seems that some numpty off-duty officer took it upon himself to undermine that respect and trust in order to make some sort of cheap political point.

EldritchCleavage Wed 19-Dec-12 16:58:24

Wishing you better, Vicar.

JoanByers Wed 19-Dec-12 17:05:07

Remember that the police were using this for extensive political capital against the Conservative Party, trying to draw a parallel between the shootings of police in Manchester and Mitchell's alleged disrespect in London, and the head of the police commission called for Mitchell to resign.

Obviously the police stitch people up all the time - it's easy to find people from any walk of life who would say 'well he was a bad egg anyway, he deserves it', about someone accused of something, irrespective of the truth of the matter.

The interesting things is to see this stitch-up played out so publicly, and towards a relatively powerful, well-resourced and respectable figure, rather than some scrote on a council estate.

This is an American tape, and we don't have the same rights they do, but the point is clear: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc. Never trust the police, try to avoid contact with them, they can fuck you over and it's not worth the risk.

Abra1d Wed 19-Dec-12 18:26:10

I have to say our local police are pretty well all lovely. Any time i have met them, they have been very reassuring and helpful. I am in Thames Valley.

conantg Wed 19-Dec-12 19:22:04

Amazing coincidence that the alleged emailer just happened to live in the Deputy Chief Whip's constituency!! - the deputy who was so unhappy about Mitchell's appointment as Chief Whip.

LittleFrieda Wed 19-Dec-12 20:49:07

prh47bridge - Agree re the police completing their notes promptly, without conferring.

The whole point of police notebooks is to record what actually happened not some revisionist group-think constructed 12 hours later.

funnyperson Wed 19-Dec-12 21:13:10

*I hope nobody thinks it is justifiable to lie about someone, trash their reputation and them lose their job just because you don't happen to like them personally or politically-*Tiggytape

Reading this is like a breath of fresh air.

funnyperson Wed 19-Dec-12 21:24:30

How do they know the cctv pictures of the 'public' were recorded at the same time as the incident.
At the time my instinct was that the minister should not have sworn at the policeman. Of course the main gates cant be open unless there are enough guards to rush any invading members of the public ready to seize their chance to enter no 10. Its not rocket science. I suspect a passing 'member of the public' might well be a serving policeman though I am lightly surprised they are not SAS etc.

Anyway the key issue here is what tiggytape said. Which is why this must not be brushed under the carpet

nametakenagain Wed 19-Dec-12 21:52:22

Mitchell swore at police officers, which is not okay however you look at it. He was leaving work so a higher standard of behaviour can be expected of him than if when he's at the car boot sale or whatever he does of a weekend.

I have no connection with the police incidentally, I just think you shouldn't shout or swear at people just getting on with their jobs, whoever they are.

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.

tiggytape Sat 22-Dec-12 09:49:54

gingeroots - you are correct. Swearing isn't an offence as such but a public order offence is defined as behaving in such a way as to cause 'alarm or distress.' So if you swear with no witnesses to care about it, it doesn't matter in the same way as if you go into an expletive filled rant and upset or shock a lot of people. If you do that, you can be arrested.
Any suggestion of fabricated crowds of 'shocked' witnesses therefore is very serious because it turns an ill-advised, sweary moan into a potential criminal act.

gingeroots Sat 22-Dec-12 10:05:31

Thanks Tiggy ,that's it ,that's what I was clumsily trying to say !

Pantomimedam Sat 22-Dec-12 11:09:32

The coppers involved seem to have been a bit dim, or arrogant, thinking no-one would check the CCTV, or that it didn't matter if they did.

There has been a recent case on swearing at the police where the judge basically said get over yourselves to the coppers - I forget where I saw it but it suggested it will be harder for police to pretend to be maiden aunts who are shocked and horrified if someone says 'blimey' in their prescence.

MrsJREwing Sat 22-Dec-12 12:52:12

The behaviour of the three officers makes me feel their entire careers and integrity should be called upon as suspicious.

If I had any dealings be it victim or criminal with those three, I would want the case reviewed, those police can't be trusted to do their job.

I hope the book is thrown at them, they are the lowest of the low trusted to the highest order.

Pantomimedam Sat 22-Dec-12 13:16:30

Interesting that the cabinet secretary seems to have known about the CCTV footage all along... seems Mitchell has made a lot of enemies in his time.

Xenia Sat 22-Dec-12 19:49:07

Mitchell should have been allowd to see the CCTV ages ago and when did Cameron see it?

Isityouorme Sat 22-Dec-12 21:02:17

MPs are screwing the police with pay and conditions. Mps need to practice what they preach. Two Pcs were killed the day before so emotions were high. At the end of the day had Mitchell not sworn and shouted, as he admits doing, there wouldn't be an issue.

tiggytape Sat 22-Dec-12 21:43:17

So if the police fit someone up for a crime they didn't commit just because they've done something criminal in the past - that's O.K then is it? Because afterall they wouldn't be in the frame at all if they hadn't once done soemthing wrong?
Or if you get done for doing 36MPH in a 30 zone but the police say you were doing 80MPH - that's O.K then is it - because afterall if you hadn't been speeding, they wouldn't have been able to fit you up and made it look much worse?

It may be a cliche but two wrongs don't make a right. Yes Mitchell was rude to the police but that doesn't mean they can (if it is true) make up lies about him that will make him so disliked and untrusted that he cannot keep his job.

Pantomimedam Sun 23-Dec-12 10:58:49

Isit has a point, public opinion was influenced by the death of two officers the day before. Mitchell's timing was appalling. And that matters in politics.

As for the police fitting people up, yeah right. Ordinary people actually suffer from police malpractice - look at Hillsborough. What was the impact on Mitchell? He didn't even lose his job, he was merely demoted to a backbench MP.

I met him a while before all this happened. He seemed perfectly pleasant, but wasn't actually under any pressure (was at a reception for the Gates foundation).

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sun 23-Dec-12 11:39:48

"What was the impact on Mitchell? "

Severe. Not simple the loss of a high-profile job but, in his article in the Times today, he tells how he received a thousand hate-filled e-mails and suffered depressive symptoms as a result. It's not that long since a nurse killed herself after being subjected to public humiliation. Trashing someone's reputation and making them a hate figure is no joke.

What concerns me is that the police seem to have casually lied about a relatively trivial matter, unlike in the past when they've been trying to cover up very serious negligence or malpractice. This wasn't a shooting gone wrong, a national disaster or a dead newspaper seller.... this was a bad-tempered exchange that wouldn't have rated so much as a raised eyebrow if they'd been policing chucking out time on a Saturday night, and they chose to exaggerate and lie about it seemingly to get their own back.

mumzy Sun 23-Dec-12 15:33:50

It's interesting that the police officer , Keith Wallis, who pretended to be an witness to the event has links with the Hong Kong Police force - his dad was in the military police there - and his accomplice Clarence Ng is also from HK. Having spent some time in HK per 1997, police corruption was a way of life there and several of my business acquaintances had to pay regular back handers to the police in order to stay open. I remember at one point it got so out of hand there were TV adverts warning public servants including the police against corruption sad

niceguy2 Sun 23-Dec-12 16:20:59

At the end of the day had Mitchell not sworn and shouted, as he admits doing, there wouldn't be an issue.

That is without a doubt one of the most stupid sentences I've read this year on MN and that's saying something.

The police cannot simply make stories up to suit the 'crime' so to speak. If he indeed committed any crime then the police could arrest him and charge him. What they cannot do is make shit up no matter what their personal opinions are of him.

I've been to many countries where police corruption is the norm. If anything cracks off you hope to get away before the police arrive. I'm so grateful that in this country if I need to call a police officer that they will almost certainly be impartial and honest. So the times we do find they are not, we should clamp down hard.

TheOriginalLadyFT Sun 23-Dec-12 18:57:49

It's an utter disgrace, police lying to bring down a cabinet minister for political motivated reasons. And as for the whole "well he's a twat" argument - seriously? If this had been a Labour minister being fitted up, there would be pages and pages of MNers screeching for blood

mumzy Sun 23-Dec-12 19:04:16

Agree with niceguy2. This case isn't about whether Mitchell sworn at the police or not its about the police making up a story about him which suits their purposes. If a minister can get fitted up by the police what's the hope for the rest of us and we should all be very worried indeed about these events. Politicisation of the police and army is how dictatorships in countries such as Zimbawe arise.

mumzy Sun 23-Dec-12 19:09:06

I also think the very generous pay rises and changes in terms and conditions for all public servants including the police and doctors, made by the last Labour government has politicised who the majority of these workers will support in future

Pantomimedam Sun 23-Dec-12 19:15:57

Mitchell refused to say exactly what words he had used, and I think he's still being evasive about that - apart from admitting he swore. Damaged his own case very badly there, because the only account of it was from the cops. He is partly responsible for his own downfall, it's not just the untrue police account. (He has also clearly made lots of enemies on his own side who were only too happy to pile in when he was under pressure.)

I think it was Have I Got News For You this week where the panellist read the supposed police log against the footage - the words clearly didn't fit, they went on way after he'd actually left the gate. So the police officers were extremely stupid. Not just the one who lied about being a witness (and claimed to be a member of the public) but it seems the officers at the gate as well.

It is interesting that the politicians are suffering from police malpractice - now perhaps they will have more sympathy for members of the public who are victims of police wrongdoing.

Brycie Sun 23-Dec-12 19:16:32

He resigned because the Police Fed insisted that if he stuck to his story that would mean the police log was wrong, and for a serving member of the government to insist that the police log was not a trustworthy document is not acceptable. It's more a union thing than a police thing. This is a labour union fitting up a conservative.

Brycie Sun 23-Dec-12 19:19:26

Tiggytabpe: yes, it was deemed swearing at police shouldn't be an arrestable offence because they had heard it all before therefore couldn't be offended.

Pantomimedam Sun 23-Dec-12 19:21:05

mumzy, there's a couple of theories about the amazingly generous GP contract the last government signed. First, that civil servants and ministers were far too arrogant - they underestimated what GPs already did routinely, so gave loads of incentive payments for doing stuff that was already happening. Second, that it was a machiavellian stunt to make GPs unpopular, so they could bring commercial interests into the NHS and no-one would listen to protests from GPs.

I think the first is more likely than the second, personally.

As for other public servants, I don't think any had massively generous pay rises. Nurses and other healthcare workers who earn far less than doctors were woefully underpaid by the Major government for the responsibility and workload that they carry, and had far less significant pay rises than doctors. Chief execs and directors of local authorities, NHS trusts, quangos and so on were paid far too much - largely because the Blair government wanted to bring in people from the private sector and claimed salaries had to go up to match - but ordinary public sector workers didn't enjoy a bonanza.

Xenia Sun 23-Dec-12 20:23:13

In the SUnday Times Mitchel discloses yet another police lie - the Police Federation apparently said at a meeting between Mitchell and their officials 3 weeks after the offence Mitchell did not tell them the words he had used. He said he had.

They were again saying he was a liar. Then he discovered a Conservative press officer had taped the whole meeting and it clearly proved that Mitchell had said what words he had used!

The police seem particularly incompetent in their corruption here, even less clever (those involved anyway) that we had thought they were.

Brycie Sun 23-Dec-12 21:50:33

Xenie - yes - it's a union thing, not a police thing. Union corruption and mendacity. Entirely possible the same thing goes on with teaching unions, health unions - deliberate efforts to sabotage.

torychicetc Mon 21-Jan-13 14:44:56

he Met had 30 officers on it so the report will soon be out.It is difficult to turn the clock back

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