On Corruption

Here's a strange boast. As I write this I am the informant in a police corruption investigation. It's not a comfortable position I can assure you, every time I have brought the corruption to the attention of the police I have made a note of who I have spoken to. On a couple of occasions the cops who I made the allegations to turned out to be corrupt themselves - playing a dual role, it is only to be expected of course. Once the police switchboard operator asked "can we phone you back? " Instinctively I answered no absolutely not. I have raised the matter a total of six times since November when I first answered bail.

It's very unlikely to go anywhere. Only the police can investigate a thing like this, and they have a habit of closing ranks. When I first raised the issue with the police (see previous blogpost) I forgot to mention the sergeant who was handling me bounded out of the door a second time with all the bumf for escalating the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, I figure I have played my hand well by not taking that poisoned chalice. Police corruption is not the only plank in my defence, it addresses the motivations of the police force's interest in me. I am able to blog about this now because I learned last week that their investigation into me has concluded with No Further Action.

You might wonder why being the informant in a police corruption investigation is so uncomfortable. Well, let's just say one doesn't know how deep it goes, and it's impossible to manouver into this position without learning things you really don't want to know and if it all goes pear shaped they could harass me for wasting police time, I suppose.

What has all this got to do with anything? We live in a corrupt paranoid society, we mostly collude with it all too. It's everywhere goddammit. Here's two examples brought to my attention just now. One is about a corrupt lawyer, and the other from the New York Times is about the corruption of youth, in the context of the second amendment, no less.

I can offer no tips on how to fire your lawyer or how to tell the police they are corrupt. But the New York Times article may yet inspire me to write a blogpost entitled 'How to make a very comfortable living through astroturfing without really trying'.

A cop with a very poor memory

From my forthcoming memoirs: The Peculiar Mid-Life Crisis of Hengist McStone

My  grandmother always told me first impressions count . So here I record my first impressions of Malcolm Wheeler.

MW : I'm Detective Sergeant Malcolm Wheeler.

I was familiar with the name. A month earlier I had made a Data Protection Act enquiry to the County Council and a Detective Sergeant Malcolm Wheeler (Thames Valley Police) appeared inexplicably to take part in a meeting as far back as January, why this man was pursuing me was a mystery. I was answering bail, it was November 8th 2012 and Malcolm Wheeler had chosen to come out of the shadows.

Me : Could you tell me how long you've been involved in your investigation?

Malcolm Wheeler couldn't. I pressed the point and this is the answer I got.

MW : Since instigation

Me : And when was that?

MW : Can't remember.

Me : You don’t have a very good memory for a policeman do you.

 MW: I deal with a lot of cases.

Malcolm Wheeler got up and left the room to consult the file, he returned with his assistant Rebecca Spall, whom it should be noted is not a police officer she is a “Designated Investigator” basically a private detective employed by the Police.* I had asked to see her warrant moments before and she did not carry one. Malcolm Wheeler leafed through a thick file which he didn’t show me, he pointed to something on a page.

MW : “There 14th June . Referral from Social Services”

Me : You're lying

'This is a corrupt police operation and you are a corrupt policeman' I told him. Malcolm Wheeler didn't ask why I could be so sure and made no attempt to clear up any misunderstanding.  Malcolm Wheeler smirked and pointed out that because he is a sergeant I would have to complain to the Divisional Inspector who isn't in the building, he is in High Wycombe today. Or to his boss. Offering his bosses card with her mobile phone number on it he asked me which would I prefer. You ask too many questions Mr Wheeler, I replied.

Back in reception I made it clear I wanted to lodge the information before I left the building. Out of a door on the other side of the room came Thames Valley's finest. Now whatever your views on the police you have to have respect for a black woman police sergeant. She was very helpful and played it straight. I told her I had a long list of complaints, including one against the custody sergeant at 9 am on the day they arrested me so I could be complaining against her 'I'm not a custody sergeant' she said. I told her what Detective Sergeant Malcolm Wheeler was saying and faltered 'Im saying he's lying, now is that worth writing down ?' Immediately she said yes, It was a moment to leave all other complaints to one side and I followed her instruction to use the phone in reception and I would be given the URN number.

So it's been recorded by Thames Valley police that Detective Sergeant Malcolm Wheeler is lying. I wonder how they will respond.

* A quick google suggests “Designated Investigators” may be peculiar to Thames Valley Police. Be particularly alert to cops employing private detectives in Thames Valley.

Aylesbury Justice Part I

From my forthcoming memoir, "The Peculiar Mid-Life Crisis of Hengist McStone"

In the churchyard of Saint Mary’s Denham, behind the vestry is a recumbent gravestone for the Marshall family. Buried beneath it are Emanuel Marshall and six others.

Passage of time has weathered the slab but a helpful plaque is maintained by somebody, it reproduces the odd words on the grave.


We learn more about the murderer than about the poor souls interred there. In my mind it raises doubts. With all those heavy tools I’d have thought a blacksmith wouldn’t travel to find work. They were barbarously murdered, but is there any other kind? Anyhow John Owens was hanged , seventy-eight days later, not much time for a judicial decision on a capital crime back in those days.


The never ending War on Science at The Australian

When the mood takes me I like to add links to Skeptical Science's Global Warming Links Directory. I only ever add skeptic links, that's because I'm not sure that I'm scientifically literate enough to spot a bias in pro-AGW material. So I read a lot of skeptic material, which I have to say I'm largely sceptical of myself. Now here's some words from the GWPF website that just caught my eye "Even with the impact of climate change on extreme weather, the best advice is it will be several decades before science is able to unpack the impact of climate change from natural variability."

I filed that under 'It's natural variability', but perhaps I should have added a new skeptic argument to reflect the way natural variability has been couched in an uncertainty argument over time. I'd like to ask the author Graham Lloyd of The Australian why his is the best advice.

Lloyd isn't denying AGW but I wonder whether never ending nuanced scepticism from journalists is worse.