Police Complaints: Corruption At Its Finest

On this website I published a story on how West Yorkshire police had settled a claim I had made on behalf of a reader. William Draper had been discreetly filming a group of seemingly armed officers in his high street, who were doing little else but gossiping. One of the group saw him and approached him in a threatening manner. The officer – PC 1148 Nellist – demanded that Mr. Draper stop filming. When he refused, the officer assaulted him by grabbing at his camera.

Mr. Draper caught the whole incident on video and forwarded it to me, asking if there was anything that could be done. I told Mr. Draper that he had a sound basis to sue the police for assault and interference with goods. I prepared a letter of claim for him and he forwarded it to West Yorkshire Police’s legal department. Upon seeing the footage they immediately rolled over and paid out to avoid any county court action. In that article I wrote:

“I advised Mr. Draper not to waste his time with the Police Complaints Process and to begin civil proceedings instead. In the highly unlikely event the police complaints department upheld the complaint, they would either blame the complainant or do nothing to prevent the officer from assaulting members of the public again.”

Well, since writing that, Mr. Draper has kindly forwarded me the completed police report into his complaint so that I can demonstrate, not just how accurate my prediction was, but how worthless and removed from reality the police complaints process is.

Bear in mind that this complaint was submitted after the police’s legal department had seen the video, admitted liability and paid out on the assault. But do you think the legal department’s settlement of a claim, plus conclusive video evidence would in any way dissuade a senior officer from lying for a colleague?

Not a bit of it. 

As is typical with all police complaints, the investigating officer – Detective Inspector Stead – took it upon himself to create a work of fiction in order to help his colleague escape misconduct. For anyone planning on making a complaint to the police, the excerpts below nicely illustrate what you can expect from their fiction factory.

DI Stead’s Report:

“PC Nellist stated there are two reasons why he asked Mr Draper to stop filming the incident, the first was to protect the rights of the detained person’s identity who had been arrested. The second was to prevent his and his fellow colleague’s identities getting onto social media. For both personal and professional reasons he did not wish to be identified as a firearms officer due to potential risks of harm.”

Nellist managed to communicate all of that from one grunt as he grabbed at the camera? What is he, a dolphin? Or just another police liar given the benefit of hindsight by another police liar? If the police are so feely touchy about protecting a ‘suspect’s identity’ while stood in a busy high street, surrounded by passers-by and CCTV, then maybe they should have escorted him to their vehicle rather then stood there 4 abreast, playing boy soldier for all the world to see.

I also love the suggestion that the public, when engaging in perfectly harmless activities, can be regarded as having harmful intent toward the police. If Nellist is so fearful that somebody might post his picture on a social network site as a means to cause him harm, maybe he should take a job more suited to his paranoia.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what deadly firearm incident resulted in 4 armed police officers – including PC Nellist – to be scrambled into the high street, it was a teenager with a toy plastic gun in a shopping bag. I kid you not.
Back to the lies…

DI Stead’s Report:

“He maintained that he was both firm and polite in his request as per the footage taken by Mr. Draper. He agreed that he did use his thumb and forefinger on the telephone when moved it away as it was pushed it towards his face (sic). He stated that he did not push or assault Mr. Draper in any way.”

I love the romantic notion that PC Nellist used only his thumb and forefinger to grab at the camera. As if that made any difference. Only a police officer would believe that lying about how he assaulted someone – making it sound like he was pouring tea out of a china teapot – would somehow void the assault. My more recent posting, describing how a police officer arrested an innocent man for ‘pushing past him in a supermarket aisle’, just so they could take his phone from him and delete some unwanted images, proves that the police are well aware that ANY hostile touching is classed as an assault, no matter how chivalrous they claim that assault to be.

DI Stead’s Report:

“There is no evidence to suggest he has assaulted you…”

…Except, of course, for Mr. Draper’s account, conclusive video evidence and the fact that the legal department paid out on a claim of assault.

DI Stead’s Report:

“As such I am unable to uphold your complaint and do not intend taking any further action.”

What DI Stead actually means by ‘unable’ is ‘unwilling’; a decision he had come to before he had even begun his investigation. The only truthful statement in the entire report is that DI Stead doesn’t intend to take any further action.

Of course he doesn’t.