When I transferred to the Isle of Wight, I could see that it was a beautiful place but there was a dark side which thankfully most people and police officers may never come across.
The policing of the Isle of Wight was very poor, selective and the posting was known as a “punishment” posting which; seemed odd being such a nice place and one that could be easily policed.
It became apparent that this was a place where some rogue and lazy officers were sent to. I felt sorry for probationary police officers who were sent there as their first posting as they would not receive a good start and probably end up believing that this style of policing was the norm.
There is obviously too much to write about in one post so this first chapter concerns Paedophilia which is topical at present with all the historical enquiries which have been in the public domain. Subsequent posts will concern quality of life matters such as anti social behaviour, racism and domestic abuse.
I had raised my concerns in the appropriate way at the time and there was a subsequently a collective failure which; not only failed the public but resulted in a serious campaign of victimization and harassment.
My disclosures were made to Ch Supt Adrian Whiting; the head of Hampshire PSD and subsequently taken over by Supt Derek Stevens who became the head of PSD.
My disclosures were leaked almost immediately back to the Isle of Wight, although the names were provided of specific officers spreading malicious rumours, no action was taken to stop the rumours escalating.
Mr Whiting subsequently transferred to Dorset police which seemed to be a closely connected force with officers transferring back and forth on promotion including the present Deputy Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary.
Deputy Chief Constable Ian Readhead was responsible for dealing with my disclosures however; there was a whitewash and Mr Readhead took the case personally after concerns were raised with the HMIC regarding the conduct of Hampshire PSD in this matter.
The HMIC advised that Mr Readhead’s conduct was reported to Hampshire police Authority (HPA) in line with the procedure at that time however; the Police Authority failed to investigate the officer’s conduct which can be best described as a personal vendetta.
The victimization and harassment was aimed primarily at my wife and I but also extended to a Hampshire police federation representative and a DCI from another police force who was also a police federation representative and supporting us.
Relevant organizations failed to protect us including the Independent Police Complaint’s Commission (IPCC) who acquiesced by their lack of action in allowing corruption to go unchecked resulting in a devastating set of circumstances.
50 Allegations were submitted in a report to the IPCC,and eventually passed directly back to Hampshire PSD who refused to record or investigate the allegations which; was predictable as they would be investigating themselves and one of the allegations concerned the Head of PSD at that time Ch Supt Peacock.
Hampshire Police Federation must also take some responsibility for its failure to take positive action and in some cases hinder the efforts of police federation representatives from other police forces to assist its members.
I have approached the present chair of Hampshire Police Federation Mr John Apter and have not seen any improvement in the service or culture.
I would like to have seen a proactive stance taken by Mr Apter considering the treatment we endured also affected police federation representatives who were supporting us. one attempted to take his own life and the other contemplated this.
Mr Apter’s involvement appeared to be simply passing on my correspondence rather than taking any pro active steps to try and resolve matters. Hampshire Police Federation will be discussed in a separate article along with the Police Federation generally. The photo of Mr Apter above was taken after he had been supplied with my report concerning allegations against DCC Sara Glen.
Prior to publication of this article, Simon Hayes the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire ‘PCC’ at that time and Andy Marsh now the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset police had been given several opportunities to try and rectify matters.
A meaningless letter was received from Kevin Gardner of the PCC effectively passing the buck to the police, this was despite a request that Mr Gardner not be involved in this matter due to his previous involvement which will be highlighted in a later post.
Simon Hayes was the chair of Hampshire Policy Authority at the time of these early disclosures and formal complaints were made to Hampshire Police Authority at the time who failed to investigate the conduct at that time of Deputy Chief Constable Readhead who was responsible for dealing with the disclosures.
Despite representations made to Chief Constable Paul Kernaghan at that time, he refused to permit another police force to investigate these matters.
The chair of the present Police and Crime Panel ‘PCP’ Cllr David Stewart will also feature in this article as the case unfolds. I will assist by helping to join the dots allowing readers to form their own opinions from the facts.
The present Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney and Michael Lane PCC are also aware of this situation and appear by their actions and/or lack of action to perpetuate the cover up and failures of their predecessors.
This first article relates to Paedophilia and child protection within Hampshire.
Paedophilia and Child Protection
Although there have been a number of incidents in the public domain concerning police officers in Hampshire having been arrested for offences against children and vulnerable persons, the accounts below are from my own personal knowledge having been directly involved with these cases.
Isle of Wight
Having transferred from the Metropolitan Police, Hampshire Constabulary at that time refused to recognize any experience or qualifications from other police forces.
Before being able to return to the CID I had to go through Hampshire’s own selection process and in the interim I was a uniformed Patrol Sergeant.
I was based at Newport on the Isle of Wight and had a small team of uniformed police constables, whilst there I noticed that regularly matters involving children and young persons were not formally recorded and the relevant information was not being passed to partner agencies.
It was a similar situation with regards to domestic abuse and I took some interim measures to ensure that those matters were dealt with appropriately on my shift.
I had a good team and motivated them by actively patrolling and encouraging them to deal with those matters that I found were neglected on the Island including child protection matters.
Whilst on duty one of my officers informed me that he had been approached by a young teenage girl who informed him that she had seen a male who had previously abused her and been involved with social services and the police in the company of young girls of the same age as she was at the time of the abuse.
She was now 14 and the girls were aged around 9 and 10 years old. The suspect worked in Staples and the young girls would assist him in putting together flat pack furniture at the rear of the store.
The same suspect had previously run a small shop where he would get the young girls to try on dresses upstairs which was part of the previous case involving the 14 year old informant.
I had conducted some initial enquiries and felt that this was a matter that was best dealt with by the local child protection team or the CID.
I was at that time a patrol sergeant and dealing with instant responses; effectively 999 calls with on occasions just a couple of PCs who were not qualified in any event to deal with such matters.
The local child protection unit was not interested at that stage because no allegation had been made and that the children were not at risk as I had advised the parents and the children were unlikely to return to associate with the suspect.
The CID was also not particularly interested and I found that there was a them and us situation with regards to the uniform branch and the CID.
In general, I found the CID on the Isle of Wight to be lazy; I had also attempted to improve the relationship between the two departments without much success.
I approached DI Stewart who at the time was the Detective Inspector in charge of the CID. This was also not very fruitful but I was able to negotiate with Mr Stewart in supplying additional staff to assist me in searching of premises if this became necessary.
I then conducted the investigation and kept the CPS updated as their permission would be required to charge suspects if the investigation reached that stage.
I sensed something was not right from the outset; the previous file held in the local child protection unit concerning the abuse against the now 14 year old girl could not be located.
My own uniform Inspector was reluctant for me to deal with the case which he stated the CID should deal with but he did not appear to have much influence in this matter.
During my investigation I was able to identify grooming and gather sufficient evidence to show that the suspect had taken young girls on a bus to his home address and had bought them mobile phones.
The next phase would be to arrest and interview the suspect.
I arrested the suspect at his place of work and he was taken to the police station to be processed and interviewed.
Authority was obtained to search the suspect’s home address and DI Stewart allocated two officers to assist me as my own officers were actively deployed dealing with our core function of responding to emergency calls.
One of the officers was an intelligence officer PC Lyness who basically worked in the local information unit dealing with information and intelligence that would come in via various means including intelligence reports being submitted by police officers.
Previously these were known as collators and the font of all local knowledge concerning criminals, receiving information and intelligence and also any rumours.
The second officer; although I did not know this at the time was under investigation and should have not been operational having been confined to the police station. He was to work within the local intelligence unit whilst under investigation by the Professional Standards Department ‘PSD’.
I booked the prisoner out of custody and we all drove to the suspect’s home address.
As we turned the corner into the suspect’s street a vehicle sped away from the direction of the address and I later discovered this to be the vehicle owned by a person who was to be a second suspect in this case.
I was able to establish that both suspects lived at the same premises and also shared a computer which was located within a cupboard in the second suspect’s bedroom.
I again sensed that something was not right whilst at the premises as the two officers appeared reluctant to search anything and I had to instruct them what to do including seizing computer equipment.
I did not know at the time that the second suspect was a prominent figure on the Isle of Wight in local government and a director of a youth trust.
My instinct was that the second suspect had been tipped off and the area around the computer station had been rapidly cleared of any relevant discs from dust marks that had been left on the surfaces.
However, in the hasty cleanup operation a screwed up piece of paper was left in the waste bin which appeared to have been printed from the computer.
The image was of a vagina, I ensured that the document was forensically preserved and secured, this was then booked into the police station in accordance with policy and procedure.
I had also seized the computer and 2 floppy discs which had been concealed above the door frame inside the cupboard.
What then followed appeared to be a series of acts designed to scupper the investigation.
The first was when PC Lyness informed me that the DI had instructed me to return the computer I had just seized to the second suspect and that he would be attending the station shortly to pick the computer up.
I thought the officer was joking initially and then confirmed the information with DI Stewart; I was informed that the second suspect was making a complaint about me and that I was not to arrest him and to restore the computer to him.
Despite my representations I was ordered to return the computer under the threat of disobeying a lawful order.
The second suspect drove into the back of the police station yard as though he owned the place and left his car blocking other vehicles.
He did not make any allegations at that time and appeared very flustered. The two PCs and DI Stewart had made themselves scarce,
If a complaint had been made about me, it was also surprising that I was the one tasked to return the computer which could have caused additional friction.
I was surprised that I was allowed to continue with the investigation despite the alleged complaint. I was to find out much later on that in fact no complaint had been made.
Following interviews with the first suspect and my additional enquiries I was able to charge the first suspect with 4 child abductions and unlawful sexual intercourse with an underage girl who now had a child by him.
Having been successful in returning to the CID I was posted to the Public Protection Unit at Southampton as a DS and became increasingly concerned with regards to what was happening with this case on the Isle of Wight.
This was not a matter of simply trying to scupper the case but a determined attempt to prevent the case being resurrected and prevent a prosecution against the second suspect.
The two officers involved in the search of the second suspect’s premises subsequently made a statement inferring that I had planted 2 floppy discs.
There statements were fabricated and differed from the statements made at the time following the search of the premises.
I believe that this was done because it was not known at that stage by either police officer whether or not the discs contained child porn.
I reiterate no complaint was ever made and I was never interviewed regarding this matter.
I attempted to establish what had happened with the first suspect when he appeared at court and was informed that the case had somehow been dropped in return for the suspect agreeing to an adult caution, know at that time as a ‘simple caution’. This again was unusual to say the least.
An e mail from the CPS corroborating this information has been passed to Hampshire police.
Additionally, I was also concerned that there was no record of a previous sexual assault on a child where the suspect had appeared at Crown Court on the Isle of Wight and had been acquitted on an earlier occasion. The suspect appeared to have also changed his name.
My concerns not only fell on deaf ears but I was then victimized at the highest levels to silence me.
In the interim there were the deaths of the children in the Soham case involving Ian Huntley.
An opportunity arose to again raise these concerns when Detective Superintendent Linton from Hampshire Special Branch sent an e-mail around the force requesting information to assist in the force response to the Bichard enquiry.
I don’t think Mr Linton was quite expecting the information I was to provide him to assist in the force response to the Bichard Inquiry.
Mr Linton contacted PSD regarding my concerns, the wheels started turning but unfortunately another cover up was to take place.
On this occasion the officer in charge of the case was Detective Superintendent Patricia Ogden from the Professional Standards department.
By this time DI Stewart had been promoted and was a Detective Chief Inspector in PSD working directly under Det Supt Ogden.
Detective Inspector Jason Hogg from Special Branch, now ACC in Thames Valley police was assigned to deal with this matter and I met him at Costa Coffee at West Quay Shopping Centre in Southampton.
Having spoken to other police officers who have raised similar issues concerning Paedophilia, for some reason Special Branch become involved, such officers are usually not seasoned detectives and I suspect that their involvement is to protect reputations.
I felt that he was a good officer and empathized with what was happening to me but also felt from his questioning that this case was not being dealt with appropriately as an allegation of corruption or misconduct concerning officers involved in this case. This was after all a criminal matter of perverting the course of justice.
Mr Hogg’s investigation also revealed that there wasnot even a trace of a caution being given to the first suspect.
He also identified that the intelligence I had submitted in this case was no longer on the police intelligence systems. It should not be forgotten that this was the department that PC Lyness worked in at Newport Police Station.
The Crown Prosecution Service ‘CPS’ were unable to supply any information to Mr Hogg as to why the charges were dropped and apparently their papers also appeared to have gone missing. This may be because of the considerable delay of several years before PSD were forced into doing something.
It was not for some time despite numerous requests that I was given an update also in an unusual manner.
By this time I was now working in the main CID office at Shirley Police Station in Southampton.
DCI Colin Smith stopped me in the corridor and gave me a file to look at and informed me that I only had a couple of minutes to flick through it and was not permitted to make any notes and ushered me into an interview room.
DCI Smith became a Det supt in Hampshire PSD and will also feature in later posts.
I speed read as much as I could of the file and it became apparent that Mr Hogg had not been assigned to investigate the allegations of corruption but to conduct a ‘critical review’ of my own investigation.
In relation to the relevance of this investigation known as “Operation Bondfield”, at a subsequent whisltleblowing employment tribunal, the force suppressed this report stating that it could not be located. The disclosure officer at the time was Mr Graham Love. Following my complaint, this file has since been located and is now apparently stored within the offices of PSD. This was an important document and the Judge and employment tribunal members were deprived of this evidence.
It would also be remiss of me to mention that the most important documents in a subsequent police operation against me known as “Operation companionway” which will feature in a later post went missing. Mr Smith was in charge of the operation at one stage which was at the very least unethical having previously been one of my line managers who also failed to deal with my disclosures.
During the short amount of time I was permitted to Fortunately someone had left a pen and some pages of interview forms on the desk and I was able to scribble down some notes on the back of the forms.
In fairness to Mr Hogg he appeared to carry out what he was instructed to do and fortunately agreed that my search and seizure of property had been lawful. He had been hindered in his review by the statements of PC Lyness and PC Hughes for whatever reason now being missing from the file.
Due to the manner that the enquiries were carried out by Mr Hogg, this effectively protected Mr Stewart from being disciplined as he was not served a formal notice informing him of his rights, not cautioned and any secondary investigation could be argued as an abuse of process.
Whilst police discipline was now unlikely, the allegation was a criminal offence which is not effectively time barred where police forces can ask for a dispensation if matters have taken place over 12 months ago.
If the police are able to investigate the much publicized historical abuse committed by celebrities, there should be no reason these matters should not to be investigated, realistically I think all we can hope for is public awareness to reduce the risk of reoffending.
From my police service I have found that in relation to offences against children, leopards do not change their spots no matter how much time has elapsed.
The critical review was to set the scene for further incidents where rather than attempting to deal with the issues of corruption and other wrongdoing; the force would target the whistleblower as an easier option.
This is often know as ‘Shooting The Messenger’, over the years of assisting other officers in similar situations I adapted ‘Shooting The Messenger’ for police purposes and have found it to be fairly accurate.
A copy of this can be found in this blog.
From what I was able to glean from the short amount of time I was able to view the file, DI Hogg had interviewed Mr Stewart who had now been promoted to Detective Superintendent and was working at Bramshill.
The interview seemed to be on the pretext of seeking information to help the force in respect of the Bichard Inquiry.
Whilst based in the CID office at Shirley Police Station I was surprised how easily children’s case files would go missing. An e mail would usually be sent around the force to see if anyone had seen the case papers.
A copy of such an e mail has been supplied to Hampshire Constabulary.
Before finishing this particular post, I would like to highlight an article published by the BBC and my own comments in this regard.
Becky’s Story – presented by Fiona Bruce BBC1 10-35pm Tuesday 29 August 2006
(Cut and Pasted BBC News & Current Affairs article)
A 14-year-old girl placed in a council children’s home was prostituted to a group of depraved middle-aged men because staff were powerless to stop her going out.
The horrific story of ‘Becky’ is highlighted in a BBC programme presented by Fiona Bruce this week which reveals how she was sexually abused by 25 men over two years – despite being known to social services and having been placed on the Child Protection Register.
Even when she was put in a children’s home – six months after her earliest allegations of abuse -staff allowed her to be used as a prostitute for fear their intervention might infringe her human rights.
The investigation has been drawn from her case notes. The local authority cannot be named in case it identifies the child, now 16, and living with a foster family.
Initially, Becky went to the police claiming she had been sexually abused by her stepfather – but they said there was not enough evidence to prosecute.
She then sought solace at the home of one of her mother’s friends.
But even when police and social services became aware the woman’s boyfriend was a registered sex offender, with a predilection for underage girls, they did nothing to remove Becky.
Only after she complained she had been raped by the man and then turned to drink and drugs and began to self harm – slashing her wrists – did social services move her to a children’s home.
There, however, Becky was allowed to run riot – even being picked up from outside by a man 22 years her senior who forced her to have sex with him and his friends.
Becky absconded from the home 36 times and confided in a staff member what was happening to her – yet at no time was any recommendation made to place her in a secure unit, or restrain her from going out on the streets.
One staff member at the children’s home was concerned, but the case notes reveal she was told by colleagues she was powerless to restrain the teenager. The staff worker, who has since resigned, took the notes to the BBC.
Andrew Webb, director of the Association of Social Services, when confronted with the findings of the investigation, defended the actions of Becky’s carers.
He said: ‘We are bound by regulation not to curtail young people’s liberty – they have rights. Human rights. The issue isn’t one of the care home – it’s an issue of the men who are prepared to have sex with children and pay money to have sex with children.
‘The law takes the balance of civil liberties and human rights and says there has to be a really strong case… (to restrain a child).
‘The law prevents an ordinary community children’s home from locking the doors and preventing children leaving…if you wanted to…prevent a young person from being sexually exploited in conditions that you’re describing then you’d have to apply for a secure accommodation order.’
But Liz Davies, senior lecturer in Social Work at London Metropolitan University, who has been involved in many investigations of child abuse, says Becky was let down by a crumbling social services system.
She said: ‘Becky told a wide range of professionals over many months that she was suffering sexual and physical harm from abusers in her family as well as by strangers and known child sex abusers.
‘At every stage it appears the authorities were letting Becky take responsibility for her problems, rather than trying to help her defeat them.
‘She was expected to pull herself away from the most terrifying number of serious sexual predators – a network of abusers from the way she spoke.
‘That’s pretty scary for a 14-yearold child and is symptomatic of a system which is being run down by Government policies.
‘It is becoming a disaster. There are too many performance targets which say every child should be monitored by the local authority rather than focusing on those most likely to be abused or who are being abused.
‘Removing the Child Protection Register – which will happen by 2008 – effectively cuts spending but at what cost?
‘The focus is being taken away from detecting paedophiles and child abusers outside the family.
‘There were viable and valuable systems in place which involved all the agencies liaising to investigate whether abuse was taking place –and then dealing with it.
‘But these appear to be being ignored, or not being put into place – the consequences are that more children like Becky will slip through the net.’
Becky’s shocking story is symptomatic of widespread sexual exploitation of troubled young runaways, according to children’s charity Barnardo’s – which says up to 100 ‘Beckys’ are fleeing to the streets of Britain every week.
A spokesman said: ‘Every year we are helping 2,000 young people who are being exploited in this way across the UK.
‘And that is only in small pockets where we have enough money to help. So you can imagine the numbers of young people at risk who are not getting the help they need.’
The above article is as a result of a whistleblower from the Social Services approaching the BBC and the perspective is from a social worker.
The police have an equal responsibility and also failed ‘Becky’. I am aware of the identity of the child who regularly visited the police station where I served in the CID.
The child was regularly either sitting outside the station or in the foyer for protection.
She was not taken seriously despite numerous warning signs. Her photograph was also on the wall alongside local young criminals indicating that she made false allegations.
The reality was that she was not treated sympathetically and would clam up and on occasions refuse to be examined because she did not think officers believed her and would not provide her protection.
Uniform officers would regularly take her back to a children’s home when she would go missing.
It was rumoured that officers would also have sex with the juvenile. I was aware of an official allegation of an officer having sex with ‘Becky’ and the matter not being investigated properly.
I became involved in this case because I was also investigating a case involving a vulnerable adult with learning difficulties who was married to a paedophile. ‘Becky’ was the other female who slept with the paedophile in the same house in an unusual relationship which usually ended in violence.
I was involved with the social services in re-housing the vulnerable adult and also protecting her from another paedophile that had been taking nude photographs and having sex with her.
In a nutshell, my concern here is that an allegation of rape towards a juvenile by a police officer was not investigated properly. The investigating officer had sought to write the crime off immediately because initial enquiries showed that the officer was not shown on duty that day when dates can often be mistaken by victims especially by vulnerable persons.
I was also concerned at the mindset adopted by officers as a result of the child’s photograph being placed on a board amongst local criminals.
Prior to going on a career break, I sent an e-mail to Detective Superintendent Linton expressing my concerns and I also raised the issue again in a report to Chief Constable Paul Kernaghan.
Whilst this will form another post, it is relevant to point out at this stage that Chief Constable Kernaghan made a decision to terminate my services which, was approved by Hampshire Police Authority on the pretext that I had disobeyed a lawful order from him.
Mr Kernaghan was another senior police officer who targeted the whistle blower rather than deal with the evidence of corruption placed before him. I don’t know whether it is surprising or not that when he left the force he went on to become the first ever House of Lords’ Commissioner for Standards and is now the Judicial appointments and Conduct Ombudsman at the Ministry of Justice.
I was the only police officer known to have ever been removed from a police force in this way without being afforded the protection of a police disciplinary hearing, why? Because in this way, his conduct would be kept secret.
You will hear later of an employment tribunal case concerning whistle blowing where Mr Kernaghan went on a course with the presiding Judge before the case had even been concluded, unethical perhaps but perhaps not as concerning as the conduct of the tribunal hearing conducted by part time employment Judge Paul Housego.
In order to understand how officers are connected in this case it is necessary to join the dots, something that I believe Mr Housego ignored including the evidence of a several credible witnesses. During this case which is not just about the police it will become apparent how far tentacles can spread so that those in authority can protect each other.
Irrefutable evidence is available that the content of a subsequent Judgment from the Tribunal is seriously flawed.
Over the next few weeks I may remind you at certain points of various incidents to assist in joining the dots however; the information that I provide in the main is directly related to my treatment or those somehow connected in this case.
If anyone else has any useful information I would in the first instance ask you to provide it to the IPCC or Crimestoppers and send me a copy.
The officers and other public officials who had knowledge of and failed to take appropriate action include all those depicted in the photograph at the top of this page.
Joining the dots
The following officials involved in this situation have since gone on to perform other public functions and as such I feel it is necessary to highlight their present roles.
DI Stewart is now leader of the IOW Council and Chair of the Hampshire Police and Crime panel.
Jacqui Rayment was Chair of Hampshire Police Authority and responsible for my dismissal at the request of Chief Constable PaulKernaghan, she is now Councillor and also member of Hampshire Police and Crime Panel. I had previously provided Mrs Rayment with a 76 page document in this matter highlighting the Paedophilia matter however; she has now joined Mr Stewart as a member of the HPCP .
Simon Hayes, former PCC and now election candidate for local elections in Romsey.