Lack of Procedures

Resident arrested for trumped up allegations, detained in Holborn Police Station.

No procedures in place for the safeguarding of personal belongings taken from detained suspect and put into sealed bag.

The bags are easily unsealed and and police have been known to tamper with the sealed bags and then reseal them.

Blundering Bobbies

How police allowed a serial sex attacker to roam free for four years and attack up to 100 women

Acquitted of Sharma'arke Hassan Shooting

Camden New Journal

Mother distraught as trio walk free from the Old Bailey

Published: 17 June 2010

THERE were emotional scenes at the Old Bailey yesterday (Wednesday) after two young men and a teenager accused of murdering Sharma’arke Hassan walked free.

Chen Shire, 23, from Kentish Town, Didi Parkes, 25, from Willesden, and a 17-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, were found not guilty of shooting Sharma’arke, also 17, who lived in Agar Grove, Camden Town.

The jury’s verdict was greeted with loud cheers from the families and friends of the three defendants.

In stark contrast, the victim’s mother lay outside the courtroom in tears, her howls of anguish heard throughout the Old Bailey corridors.

Outside the court, Mr Shire’s uncle, George Shire, offered his sympathy to the Hassan family and accused the police of “bungling” the investigation.

Mr Shire, a prominent Zimbabwean political analyst and university academic, said: “Four black families, including that of the murdered boy, have been mistreated by the criminal justice system.

“His [Sharma’arke] parents needs closure. They too have been failed by police. They have led the family to believe that these boys were to blame. It is grossly horrible.

“One of the most worrying things is the way in which the police have failed to investigate seriously a murder in Camden and what has been going on in the borough.

“They have lost the confidence of the community. The police bungled this from beginning to end.”

Chen was alleged to have “kept watch” during the “revenge and retribution” shooting of Sharma’arke in Gilbey’s Yard, Camden Town, in May 2008 after the younger boy was beaten up and robbed for £10.

The prosecution said the alleged robbery was a gang-related attack.

In the words of prosecution counsel Crispin Aylett QC the shooting “had all the hallmarks of a carefully organised hit”.

Throughout the trial jurors have heard of gun, knife, and hammer attacks in Camden – “part of growing up” in the borough said one QC – and links to the lucrative drugs trade.

The trial had heard how Sharma’arke – known as “Sharkey” to his friends – was believed to be a member of The Money Squad (TMS) gang and had been stabbed at a Hampstead Heath fairground in the months before his death.

The court was told how another member of TMS gang was shot the night before Sharma’arke.

His mother Fatima, who lives in Camden Town, strenuously denied her son was involved in drugs or with any gang crime during her evidence.

Bernard Richmond, QC, for the youngest accused, insisted he had no idea of the identities of the three attackers who had mugged him and left him bloodied, bruised and unconscious.

Sharma’arke was punched and kicked before they “scarpered” in different directions after going through his pockets, the court heard.

The prosecution case rested on “cell site evidence” from mobile phone masts placing the accused in Camden Town that night.

The calls, it was claimed, were made to organise the murder and not, as the youngest accused insisted during his evidence, to mundanely arrange being taken to hospital as he felt unwell after his beating.

The jury were taken through hours of CCTV footage and were told how some of the images were lost after a disk became “corrupted” in a police laboratory. The evidence was not backed-up due to costs.

No murder weapon was found and no forensic evidence linked any of the accused to the scene.

In summing up last week, Harenda de Silva, QC, for Mr Parkes, told the jury the prosecution case was “supposition and conjecture” and that hints of Parkes “having a dark side” were false.

Mr de Silva added: “There is no direct evidence against Mr Parkes. There is no gun and no forensic evidence of any kind to link him to this crime.”

Defence barrister Brendan Kelly, QC, for Chen Shire, who did not give evidence, said he had no links with gangs and had no criminal record.

He said Mr Shire did not have the “capacity” for murder adding that the prosecution case did not “add up” and was based mostly on “speculation” and “guess work”.

In the end, the prosecution was forced to admit there was “no direct evidence” but suggested this was because of the cleverness of the accused.

Outside the court yesterday, his uncle George described a “harrowing” two years.

He said: “I am very angry – not just in terms of my own family. There was no forensic evidence. There was no ID. The CCTV was blurred. They had a hypothesis and that was it.

“The idea that a 15-year-old boy could mastermind an assassination like that is absurd. Why did they assume it was black-on-black crime – why was it a Trident investigation? If they are going to police young people, they have to understand sub-culture. Our example is just one example, but to me it is evidence of systemic failure.”

Mr Shire’s mother, who did not want to be named, said she had visited her son every week for 13 months while he was held at Belmarsh Prison on remand. She added: “I hope they can let us live now and get on with our lives.”

A spokesman for the Metropolitan police said the not guilty verdict was “obviously not what we were looking for”, adding that last night it was too early to know how the investigation would now progress.


Film maker dragged to court for 'stealing' 0.003p worth of electricity... at a cost of over £5,000 to the taxpayer

By Arthur Martin
Last updated at 6:13 PM on 19th August 2009

Read more:

Camden police again.

Inspection Report

Latest inspection report of the Met Police Authority who run the Met Police.

Inspection Report March 2010

Met Commander Jailed
Monday 8 February 2010

Metropolitan Police Commander Ali Dizaei has been sentenced to four years for assaulting and falsely arresting a man in a dispute over £600.

Southwark Crown Court was told Waad Al-Baghdadi was arrested by Dizaei in a row over work on the officer's website.

Dizaei, 47, was convicted of both misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice.

Prosecutor Peter Wright QC said he was guilty of a "wholesale abuse of power" motivated by self-interest and pride.

Dizaei was ordered to spend two years in prison and two years on licence.

Mr Justice Simon said the sentence included a deterrent element "to send a clear message that police officers of whatever rank are not above the law".

The judge told Dizaei: "You knew how the system worked and you thought you would never be discovered.

"You crossed that line and now stand convicted of these offences."

Commenting after the verdict, Mr Al-Baghdadi said: "I would like to thank all those who listened to me after I made my complaint, in particular the jury who have delivered justice and found Ali Dizaei guilty."

Speaking after the trial, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson said: "It is extremely disappointing and concerning that this very senior officer has been found guilty of abusing his position and power.

"He has breached that trust and damaged not only his own reputation but that of the entire police service."

Speaking outside court, Gaon Hart, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Mr Dizaei's corruption, which would have been deplorable in any police officer, was all the more so given his position as a highly-ranked police commander.

"The public should have confidence that we will pursue anyone, regardless of their position, where there is evidence that they have committed serious offences of corruption."

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said "criminals in uniform like Dizaei" were the greatest threat to the reputation of the police.

The dispute between the men came to a head when Mr Al-Baghdadi, 24, demanded payment from Britain's most senior Asian officer for work on his personal website,

Court of Appeal overturns conviction and orders re-trial HERE

Unfair Trial

Robbers freed after 'unfair' trial

By Jason Bennetto, Crime Correspondent
Thursday, 30 March 2000

Two armed robbers, nicknamed "Mad Dog" and "Chainsaw Woody", walked free from court yesterday after a judge ruled they could not have a fair trial because of the involvement of allegedly corrupt Scotland Yard officers in the case.

Two armed robbers, nicknamed "Mad Dog" and "Chainsaw Woody", walked free from court yesterday after a judge ruled they could not have a fair trial because of the involvement of allegedly corrupt Scotland Yard officers in the case.

John Woodruff, 63, and William Hickson, 56, had been accused of taking part in the robbery of £33,000 from a post office in Manor Park, east London, in January 1996, armed with a handgun and a bottle of ammonia. They were jailed for 15 years each in 1997 for the crime but the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial into the case after the officer who investigated their case was arrested on corruption allegations. The defendants claimed weapons had been planted on them.

Their case is one of the first to be overturned because of allegations that trials involving officers accused of wrong-doing in the Metropolitan Police's anti-corruption drive are now tainted. Dozens of convictions are being challenged after the corruption purge at the Yard.

At the Old Bailey yesterday, Judge Grigson cleared the men of conspiracy to rob. He said: "It is my judgment that no fair trial is possible. Serious allegations were made against 25 members of the squad, including theofficer in charge ... of theoperation involving these defendants."

"Mad Dog" Hickson and "Chainsaw Woody" Woodruff, both from east London, have been sentenced in total to 60 years in prison for a series of multi-million-pound robberies. In the Sixties Woodruff was jailed for 12 years for armed robberies with sawn-off shotguns. He was jailed again in 1979 for 18 years for his part in a robbery in Banstead, Surrey, in which an armed gang waylaid a security van, cut into it with a chainsaw and stole more than £1m.

Hickson was arrested after the £6m robbery on a Security Express depot in 1983. Accused of handling cash from the robbery, he was jailed for six years and then went to ground.

CRB checks - Unreliable?

Camden News - By PAUL KIELTHY Published: 27 August 2009

Home Office refuse to explain how convicted abuser landed school job

Victim’s family lodge complaint with police over taxi driver criminal records check failure

THE Home Office and the Met police have declined to clarify how routine police checks on a man who went on to commit child abuse offences while working as a taxi driver for Camden’s schools failed to corroborate his multiple convictions for child abuse in an overseas court

The New Journal reported last week that the man – whose 15 convictions were known about by British authorities but not passed on during criminal record checks when he took the job in 2007 – was given four indeterminate sentences for public protection on separate charges of assaulting one child at Blackfriars Crown Court.

The abuse took place while the child was being driven by the driver and an “attendant” – allegedly asleep during the assaults – hired by Camden Council.

Strict legal rules to protect the identity of the child mean that some details of the case cannot be reported.

Despite jumping bail on his 1991 convictions and facing an extradition hearing in the UK in 2003, the man passed an enhanced criminal records check by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) before taking a job at the private taxi firm which operates Camden’s school-run taxis.

Although the CRB is part of the Home Office, character queries are overseen by Scotland Yard officers.

The Met police said that although his convictions appeared as “intelligence” in the criminal record check run in 2006 – and the man had been arrested by the Met at the request of the overseas’ authorities in 2003 – the officer who handled the query had taken the decision to give the abuser a clear CRB because the convictions could not be “corroborated” by the authorities.

The Home Office said that the CRB system had “worked” but that an “operational decision” by the Met had allowed the abuser to be cleared.

The Home Office spokesman could not say why the abuser was allowed to remain in the UK, or why he was only entered on the sex offenders register in January this year.

Nor could the Home Office confirm the nature of the checks carried out by the UK Central Authority, which was asked by the Met to check with the authorities.

Asked whether any reply had ever been received, the spokesman would only say: “We can confirm that an enquiry was made.”

However, the spokesman added that the introduction of the sex offenders’ register and changes in the rules for registering foreign sex offenders would make this type of incident less likely in future.

The Met initially said that there had been no internal investigation into the incident, but a spokeswoman then added: “We are reviewing this case to assess whether there is any potential learning for the MPS.”

She declined to give any details of when the review had begun, who was conducting it, or what its remit was. Changes in data arrangements at the Met would mean that in future cases the officer making the decision to approve the CRB would have access to extradition unit information, she said.

The family of the abused boy have decided to lodge a complaint with the Independent Police Complaints Commission over the failure of the CRB check.

They have also lodged complaints against Camden Council, who they say failed adequately to vet sub-contractors working with children, and did not deal sympathetically with their requests to know what procedures had been changed to prevent a similar attack.

The council issued the family of the victim with an apology and called on the police to investigate the CRB system. Changes to its “safeguarding” policies have been devised so that contractors are more closely vetted by the Town Hall in future.

However, the council said that these changes cannot be implemented immediately because it would involve changes to existing contracts with private suppliers.

The system that failed to raise alert

* 1991 – Abuser convicted in an overseas court of multiple sex offences against children and sent to jail.

* 1996
– He appeals, and absconds on bail.

* 2003,
March – The Home Office and Met police are alerted that the abuser is sought in the UK for these offences. The Met’s Extradition Unit believes he is overseas.
* May – Abuser tracked to Leicester, arrested, and brought before Bow Street Magistrates’ court on an extradition warrant. Case thrown out because, according to the Met’s account, under the foreign statute of limitations there is no case to answer after April 2003. Home Office take no further action against the abuser.

* 2006 – Abuser applies for an enhanced CRB check to work for a mini cab company that works with schools. According to the Home Office, the CRB check revealed an overseas conviction.

According to the Met, the CRB check showed “a criminal intelligence report, found at the time of the checks, outlining that allegedly the man had previous convictions overseas, in relation to sexual offences. However, the authorities were unable to confirm any convictions or criminal records in relation to him. “ The abuser was given a clear CRB return.

* 2007 – Camden Council tenders contract for school taxis, and attendants to travel in them. Contract won by firm abuser works for. The council insists on enhanced CRB checks but does not interview candidates individually. Driver commits four sexual offences against a Camden child.

* 2008, May – Council changes rules to introduce “safe recruitment policy”. Abuser pleads guilty to four charges of sexual assault of a child.

* 2009 – Abuser sentenced to four indeterminate sentences for public protection. Neither the council, Met police nor Home Office accept responsibility, although the council apologises to the family.

Wasting Public Money

It ain't half hot Sarge: Scotland Yard's Sunshine Squad, hard at work in the Caymans ... and helping to run up an £8m bill

Read more:

Met Police Complaints

Met police complaints rise by 26%

The number of complaints against the Metropolitan Police has risen by a quarter, Scotland Yard has said.

There were 11,925 complaints in the year up to March, up from 9,464 the previous year - a 26% increase.

Complaints arising out of public protests contributed "significantly" to the rise, said police.

They do not include G20 protest complaints.

Oppressive behaviour allegations against London officers and staff rose by almost 18%.

'Significant increase'

Allegations of incivility rose by 20% and "failure of duty" by 29%, said police.

There were also 885 allegations of discriminatory behaviour - a rise of 40% on the previous year.

There has been an upward trend in complaints since 2004, but the number of allegations per 1,000 officers had always been lower than the average for England and Wales, the Met said.

Clashes between police and protesters at the G20 summit in London in April led to a further 145 complaints, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has said.

They include 70 claims of excessive force by alleged victims or witnesses to brutality, the organisation added.

BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said: "The previous year complaints went up slightly, but even though there is an upward trend, this is a significant increase.

"It may be partly attributable to new methods of reporting and recording complaints, but nevertheless it will be something that will be a worry for the Metropolitan Police."

Complaints on the Increase

Complaints against police up by 8%

Complaints against the police shot up by 8% last year, the Independent Police Complaints Commission has said.

The police watchdog said members of the public made 31,259 complaints against forces in England and Wales in 2008/09.

That is an increase of 2,296 on the 2007/08 total of 28,963 and it means more than 600 complaints are made every week.

One in every four was for "neglect of duty" - officers being slow or ineffective when responding to calls, the IPCC said, and one in five was for officers being rude.

Around one complaint in 10 is upheld, the IPCC said. The figures exclude complaints against the police over the G20 protests on April 1 this year, which fell just outside the reporting period.

They are likely to be worrying for both the Home Office and senior officers, coming despite efforts to make officers more accountable to the public.

Newly released data from the 2006/7 British Crime Survey revealed more than one in four of those asked said their contact with the police had left them "really annoyed".

A Home Office spokesman said: "We welcome the publication of the IPCC's statistical report on police complaints.

"We note the numbers of complaints and allegations have risen, which is likely to reflect in part greater public awareness about the role of the IPCC.

"We also note only 10% of allegations were found to be substantiated, a proportion that has remained steady since the IPCC was established."


Independent Police Complaints Commission

Police Complaints Statistics for England and Wales

2005/6 26, 268 complaints were recorded. An increase of 15% on the previous year.
2006/7 28, 998 complaints and increase of 10% on previous year.
28, 963 zero increase on previous year

Since 2005 complaints about the police have increased by 33%

Miscarriage of Justice?

"HMP Kingston prisoner Anthony Patrick Nolan (DOB 23/08/1960) was discovered in his cell at 8.15am on Tuesday 22 December 2009. Prison staff tried to resuscitate Mr Nolan, but he was pronounced dead at 11.14am. The cause of death is not yet known.

Statement of Anthony Nolan taken from the Miscarriages of Justice UK website.

Behaving Badly

Camden borough police

Example 1
Camden resident who is having serious problems with anti-social neighbours and local council housing officers, goes to his local police for help but is then targeted by police officers who
  • harass him on the street
  • park an unmarked police car outside his home for weeks
  • make false statements about him
  • fail to protect him from a criminal neighbour who he had an injunction out against
  • unlawfully arrest him
Fearing for his own safety and wel-being he is eventually forced to move out of the borough.

Example 2
Camden woman is arrested by a DC from Holborn Police Station on trumped up allegations of harassment. Whilst in custody and unbeknown to woman, DC breaks open the sealed bag of the woman's belongings that were being held in the custody suite (where was the custody sargent?) takes woman's door keys from bag and goes to woman's home, enters, searches around then steals 2 items. DC justifies this by claiming the items are 'evidence' in a crime.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPPC) upholds complaint that said entry, search and seizure was unlawful.

Example 3
Single mother is harassed and abused in her home by a neighbour who works for Camden Council, the Police at first intervene and issue all kinds of warnings and cautions to the neighbour but then fail to prosecute the council worker when the abuse and harassment continues. The police then turn on the woman and issue her with a harassment warning for complaining about the council employee.

Credit Card Abuse

Amnesty for Met credit card abuse

More than 1,000 police officers and staff who misused corporate credit cards will not be punished, a police watchdog has decided.

The Metropolitan Police Authority found 1,183 Met employees used the American Express cards for personal spending.

They were given "training and guidance" instead of punishment.

But Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) member Jenny Jones said training was "not enough" and called for disciplinary action to be taken.

The MPA audit found that one in three of the 3,533 Met officers and staff issued with corporate credit cards misused them.

At one point £3.7m of public money was unaccounted for.

The majority of this money was paid back but legal action is expected against two officers who owe £82,000 and £1,100.

Money repaid

People who made "potentially unacceptable" use of the credit cards, including cases of suspected fraud, were labelled "category A" by the MPA and passed to anti-corruption detectives.

The 1,183 people who misused a card but did not break the law were labelled "category B".

These included officers and staff who purchased personal items and later repaid the money or bought equipment that should have been purchased by other means.

The internal MPA document stated: "It was agreed between all interested parties that due to the volume of files involved, those officers that are deemed to have category B files would receive no formal discipline sanction for their card use, but would receive 'training and guidance' with regards their use."

But Ms Jones said: "I find it unacceptable that the police have just let these officers go with guidance.

"They must have known what they were doing was wrong."

She added: "Having police who do not obey the rules is damaging for public confidence in the Met because you ask: 'What other rules do they break?'"

A Met spokesman declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said: "The IPCC agreed with the Met that any cases where there were possible misconduct or criminal offences committed would be referred to the IPCC, all other cases would be dealt with locally by the Met."

Fifty cases of Met credit card misuse have been referred to the IPCC so far, she added.

"Of those, three officers have been convicted, two are awaiting trial, 14 have been given written warnings, one has received words of advice, one has received a formal reprimand and two are awaiting misconduct hearings."

The Met has introduced a new Barclaycard corporate credit card system with tighter spending controls.

Inquiries into corporate credit card use by Met officers and staff are expected to continue until March 2010.

Special Investigation


Waterboarding at the Met and why the force faces the biggest police scandal in decades

By Tom Rawstorne and Stephen Wright
Last updated at 2:20 AM on 04th July 2009

In his first-ever media interview, Nigerian immigrant David Nwankwo stands by his claim that he was tortured by police. An outrageous smear? Perhaps. But it's part of wider allegations of corruption, theft and brutality that dog the Met.

A nondescript terrace house in North London and a police drugs raid is in full swing. On a bedroom floor, David Nwankwo is sitting, semi-naked, with his hands handcuffed behind his back as a plain- clothes officer yells: ‘Tell the truth.’ The 24-year-old Nigerian-born immigrant is repeatedly kicked and slapped, on one occasion even being struck around the head with a Bible.

On the landing, another suspect has a bucket placed over his head. While one policeman beats out a rhythm on the bucket with his hands, another breaks into a mocking dance.

For Mr Nwankwo, it is about to get even worse.

Hauled to his feet, he is dragged into the bathroom. The door is closed and the officer places the plug in the sink and turns on the taps. As the water rises, Mr Nwankwo is grabbed around the back of the neck and his head forced downwards.

‘I was screaming and screaming,’ he says. ‘I was trying to pull my head up. I was so near to the water that it touched my nose. He wanted to intimidate me.’

Though the incident was brought to an end when another officer entered the room, the ramifications of Mr Nwankwo’s claims have a long way to run.

His description of his alleged torture by the police — published here for the first time — is at the centre of the most significant investigation into police corruption for decades. Six police officers with the Enfield borough crime squad, based at Edmonton, North London, are suspended from duty while an investigation is carried out by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

If there is sufficient evidence, criminal prosecutions and sackings could follow.

As a result, the Crown Prosecution Service is reviewing a string of cases in which the officers were involved. If it is found that their evidence is tainted, scores of suspects could walk free.

As well as investigating Mr Nwankwo’s allegation of water torture, the Daily Mail can reveal that anti-corruption investigators are probing claims that a number of others were subjected to ritualistic humiliation. Victims were almost always vulnerable people living on the edge of society, such as the homeless or illegal immigrants.

Sources say the officers took particular delight in humiliating women, but chose their victims carefully.

A source said: ‘It was gratuitous violence on people who were unlikely to make complaints or whose complaints were unlikely to be taken seriously.’

Investigators are also examining claims that suspects’ property was stolen and evidence fabricated. Another source added: ‘This is without doubt the most serious corruption scandal facing the Metropolitan Police since the Seventies.

‘The complete lack of supervision of this squad beggars belief and is a major indictment of how Scotland Yard has been managed over the past few years.’ Two senior officers have been transferred to non-operational posts by Met chief Sir Paul Stephenson.

Insiders believe the allegations of a lack of leadership could damage the reputations of some of Sir Paul’s most trusted lieutenants, not to mention causing public outrage.

Perhaps most shocking of all are the allegations of torture.

Until today, Mr Nwankwo has not spoken publicly about the circumstances surrounding his arrest. News of his ordeal leaked out three weeks ago, when it emerged that the IPCC was investigating an allegation of police torture.

At the time, it was widely described as waterboarding, a term used to describe an interrogation technique whereby a victim is tied down and water poured down their nose and throat to make them feel as if they are drowning.

It was used routinely on terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay.

Police sources have attempted to play down the incident, claiming it has been exaggerated.

A colleague of those suspended spoke out against the ‘false claims’ that threatened to destroy the careers of the officers, all of whom have denied wrongdoing. ‘The only thing this investigation has achieved is letting drug dealers go free,’ the source said. ‘It’s a joke.’

But there are two sides to every story. While Mr Nwankwo’s claims must be treated with caution, they are sufficiently credible that they are being taken seriously by the police authorities. He has given statements to the Directorate of Professional Standards, the Met’s anti-corruption squad, and to the IPCC.

He and his lawyers are also considering civil action against the police.

If even half of what he has to say is true, then it paints a deeply disturbing picture of brutality at the heart of one of London’s biggest crime squads.

Mr Nwankwo came to Britain four years ago and is legally allowed to live and work here.

While his lawyers have advised him not to discuss his background, it is worth noting that he has been in trouble only once, when he was cautioned after travelling as a passenger in a car that failed to stop for police.

Mr Nwankwo’s arrest took place shortly after 10pm on November 4 as police tracked a consignment of smuggled drugs. Intelligence had shown that a parcel containing 10kg of cannabis had been delivered from South Africa to a North London address.

An individual from that address had been followed to the home in which Mr Nwankwo and four other men were living. On the night of the raid, Mr Nwankwo was returning from an off-licence when four plain-clothes officers emerged from a vehicle parked outside the house and wrestled him to the ground.

‘I saw some men coming from a car and I thought they were robbers,’ he says. ‘They never told me they were police. They tackled me to the ground and handcuffed me.’

Because Mr Nwankwo did not have his house keys, the officers broke down the front door, dragging him up the stairs. He cut his hand badly on a broken bottle and his trousers were ripped off.

Once upstairs, Mr Nwankwo says he was not taken to his own room, but to that of another tenant, a man called Victor. It quickly became clear that he had fled out of the window as the police entered the property.

‘When they came into the room, they went immediately to the window,’ said Mr Nwankwo. ‘They were angry. They were saying they had lost the job.

‘They were asking me: “Where is the boss?” I was telling them I did not know who is the boss. They were telling me they wanted Victor, they wanted to see Victor.’

A subsequent search of the bedroom discovered a number of packages of cannabis resin hidden under the bed. ‘One officer opened up a package and brought it to me,’ said Mr Nwankwo.

‘They were telling me to tell the truth. I was telling them that I had never seen cannabis, that it was a shared house, that I didn’t know Victor very well and I had lived there for only eight months.’

In total, six officers were involved in the raid.

As they dispersed through the house arresting two other men, Mr Nwankwo says he was left in the custody of a single officer for about 45 minutes.

He claims the policeman repeatedly slapped him around the head and whenever he tried to straighten his legs, he was kicked. ‘I have never done anything wrong, so I was asking: “Why are you beating me up?” I was told that if I told them the truth I could go free.

‘The same officer took a Bible and he hit me with it. He said: “Do you go to church?” I said “Yes” and when I said I didn’t know anything, he hit me hard on the head with the Bible.’

Mr Nwankwo was able to see on to the landing, where two officers were dealing with another man they had arrested, 33-year-old Ajah Mpakaboari. ‘One of the officers went to the toilet and brought out a bucket. They put the bucket on Ajah’s head,’ said Mr Nwankwo.

‘There was a little water in it, and it spilled out. One (officer) was beating on the top of the bucket and one was dancing and laughing. 'Ajah was struggling to get the bucket off. It lasted a few minutes, two or three minutes.’

Meanwhile, he claims another officer joked that a plasma TV in the property would ‘look good’ in his house. Another is said to have tried on a jacket he found and then asked his colleagues what they thought of it.

‘They were making a mockery of us,’ said Mr Nwankwo. ‘I felt humiliated because I couldn’t believe they would do this.’

But it is the allegations of water torture that are causing most consternation at Scotland Yard and beyond. What did Mr Nwankwo think the officer was doing when his head was forced down towards the water in the sink?

His answer is unequivocal: ‘I felt that he was torturing me.’

He started to scream, which alerted another officer, who knocked on the door and asked what was happening. ‘I didn’t answer,’ said Mr Nwankwo. ‘So he asked his mate. He said I had wanted to use the toilet. I told him that he was lying.’

From the bathroom, he was taken into his own bedroom for the first time. There he was shown cannabis that police said they had found on top of his wardrobe.

Mr Nwankwo told them he had never seen the drugs before and could not understand how they had got there. He and two other men from the house, Mr Mpakaboari and Bernasko Adji, 37, were taken to the police station, where they were charged with drugs smuggling.

Victoria Seabrook, 24, and Nicholas Oforka, 25, who were arrested at a different address, were also charged. All entered not guilty pleas.

In his initial interview with police, Mr Nwankwo did not mention the alleged assaults. He says he did not see the point because all police ‘work together’.

But in subsequent interviews with his lawyers, he did outline the claimed abuse. As it turned out, Mr Nwankwo and his four co-accused would never stand trial.

The case was set for a six-day hearing in March at Wood Green Crown Court. But when lawyers for the defence requested information about the character of the police witnesses, it became clear there was a problem.

The prosecutor applied for a public interest immunity certificate, a legal device to allow a hearing to be held in secrecy.

After two days of discussions with the judge, the CPS announced it was dropping the cannabis charges.

The reason? The officers who had arrested Mr Nwankwo were the subject of an internal investigation into allegations of corruption.

‘If we had continued (with the trial), we would have compromised a wide-ranging criminal investigation into the activities of a number of officers,’ said a CPS spokesman.

The previous month, a number of officers at Edmonton had been suspended or placed on restricted duties following an internal investigation by the Met. This followed the conviction and imprisonment of a female civilian worker at the station, who was jailed for stealing from the stores, where items seized from suspects are held.

Following this, the Met’s anticorruption directorate is understood to have placed video probes and listening devices inside the police station to gather evidence.

Initially, the directorate’s inquiry is understood to have focused on claims of theft of property — including computers, flat-screen TVs and iPods — from people who had been arrested.

Why the investigation widened is unclear.

One legal source has told the Daily Mail that those involved in the arrest of Mr Nwankwo were caught by the covert cameras discussing what had happened on the night of the arrest.

Another suggestion is that a police officer on the raid blew the whistle on his colleagues. Whatever the reason, with the collapse of the drugs trial, Mr Nwankwo was immediately interviewed by police investigators.

When the matter was referred to the IPCC, he was interviewed for a second time.

The Mail understands that the bucket allegedly placed on Mr Mpakaboari’s head has been seized by the IPCC as evidence. In the meantime, Mr Nwankwo is trying to get on with his life.

He has moved house and continues to maintain that he had nothing to do with the drugs found in the raid. Indeed, a central plank of his defence was to have questioned exactly how those drugs came to be in his bedroom.

Mr Nwankwo says that on being taken into the house, he repeatedly asked to be allowed into his own room, but that he was not taken there for an hour. Only then was he shown the drugs that the police claim to have found there.

He also says fingerprint and DNA tests would have shown he’d never had any contact with the cannabis. While angered by his treatment, he admits to being concerned that if he does decide to sue the police, they might ‘come after him’.

‘I have never seen British police beat people up, so this was my first experience,’ he says. ‘And it was me they beat up.’

So does Mr Nwankwo trust the British police?

‘That question is very difficult to answer,’ is his cautious reply, before he adds: ‘No comment.’

But one thing is certain. What he alleges took place has caused shock and deep unease at the highest levels of the Met.

Only in time will the full story of the goings-on at Edmonton police station emerge.

The fear is that when it does, it may rank as one of the greatest police scandals of our age.

Police Oath

Section 83 of the Police Reform Act 2002 requires all UK Police officers to swear the following oath of office:

"I, .. .. of .. .. do solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that I will well and truly serve the Queen in the office of constable, with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according equal respect to all people; and that I will, to the best of my power, cause the peace to be kept and preserved and prevent all offences against people and property; and that while I continue to hold the said office I will to the best of my skill and knowledge discharge all the duties thereof faithfully according to law."

A police constable swears this oath in a ceremony before a Justice of the Peace (Magistrate) who then grants them a Warrant card. The warrant card awards the constable his/her authority - on condition they uphold their sworn oath.

DNA Taken from Children

DNA snatched from children in Camden
04 June 2009
Ben McPartland

TEENAGERS with no criminal record are being arrested so that their DNA can be stored in case they commit future crimes, a police officer has admitted.

An investigation by the Ham&High into how Camden police take DNA from under 18s led to the admission from the officer, who asked not to be named. He says police acting on intelligence will target only known troublemakers they believe are heading for a life of crime.

His comments come as an FOI request revealed how 386 under 18s had their DNA taken and stored by police last year - more than one a day.

The police were not able to say how many of these arrests led to charges but the officer's comments suggest the DNA collection will be used to build a database of likely future offenders.

The officer said: "It is part of a long term crime prevention strategy. We are often told that we have just one chance to get that DNA sample and if we miss it that might mean a rape or a murder goes unsolved in the future.

"Have we got targets for young people who have not been arrested yet? The answer is yes. But we are not just waiting outside schools to pick them up, we are acting on intelligence. If you know you have had your DNA taken and it is on a database then you will think twice about committing burglary for a living."

Already this year 169 under-18s have had their profiles uploaded.

Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Holborn and St Pancras Jo Shaw obtained the figures. She said: "Storing the DNA of innocent people as young as 10 is unlikely to solve Camden's crime problems, but is a really costly way of stigmatising young people. If you're innocent, you shouldn't have your data kept for years."

DNA samples, which are taken by police after an arrest is made, are turned into a number known as a profile, which is kept on a national database indefinitely.

Ch Insp Sean Wilson from Camden Police said: "The DNA database is a nationwide one. Legislation governing the recording and retention of DNA is fully adhered to by Camden Police."

In response to criticism of the DNA system the government is now proposing that youngsters who have only been arrested once for minor offences and been acquitted will have their DNA profiles destroyed once they reach the age of 18.

The Office of Constable

"The independent Office of Constable operates within, and is accountable to, the rule of law.

The rule of law is the principle that no one is above the law. Perhaps the most important application of the rule of law is the principle that government authority is legitimately exercised only in accordance with written, publicly disclosed laws adopted and enforced in accordance with established procedural steps.

The principle of the rule of law is intended to be a safeguard against arbitrary governance.

The law must be accessible, intelligible, clear and predictable and must apply equally to all. It must also afford adequate protection of fundamental human rights. It is the independent and impartial holder of the Office of Constable who is tasked with upholding and enforcing the law". (Source: Police Federation of England and Wales May 2008 )

Read the full text HERE

Met Suspends 9 Officers

Met suspends nine police officers in corruption inquiry

Enfield officers removed from duty over allegations of 'mishandling of property', says Scotland Yard, Tuesday 17 February 2009 18.56 GMT

Scotland Yard suspended nine detectives today over corruption allegations.

The nine are based in the north London borough of Enfield and face allegations concerning stolen flat-screen televisions, computers and other consumer electrical goods.

Anti-corruption detectives have been investigating claims that the electrical goods were taken from criminal suspects.

The Metropolitan police, which is Britain's largest force, has fought a decades-long battle against corruption in its ranks. Senior officers hoped reforms and efforts to stress the importance of integrity to officers would make such scandals a thing of the past.

Officially the Met said the allegations focused on the "mishandling of property". It said a further two officers had been placed on restricted duties.

All those concerned are detectives in Enfield's crime squad, part of that borough's CID unit. Police said they were not of senior rank.

The Met said there had been no arrests, and that its investigation, which is believed to have been running for more than a year, was continuing.

In a statement, the Met said: "The MPS [Metropolitan police service] demands the highest levels of honesty and integrity from its officers and staff. All allegations of malpractice are taken extremely seriously and are investigated swiftly and thoroughly."

Scotland Yard's anti-corruption squad is an elite unit of hand-picked detectives that has been nicknamed "the ghost squad". In the mid-1990s, Scotland Yard began a new drive against corruption, setting up the special squad, which included retired detectives and even accountants. Their investigation led to a host of trials and several convictions.

Tampering with Evidence

Reminder to police: it is not good practice to doctor evidence

David Williams and Jonathan Owen

Sunday, 19 October 2008

That the police shot dead the wrong man was a mistake. That one officer has been force to admitt doctoring the records of exactly how and why they came to shoot him threatens to turn the mistake into something more enduring.

The notes of the officer – identified only as "Owen" at the inquest of Jean Charles de Menezes – were altered the day before being submitted as evidence to a Metropolitan Police solicitor earlier this month.

The officer told the court he did not see the deleted evidence as relevant, even though it appeared to contradict the testimony of Deputy Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, who led the ill-fated operation resulting in Mr de Menezes's death.

The former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Imbert said last night that the doctoring row is a "wake-up call" for officers.

The Met faces intense scrutiny over the shooting of the Brazilian electrician in Stockwell in 2005 after he was mistaken for a failed suicide bomber. Public confidence has been sapped by the recent resignation of Sir Ian Blair and a spate of race rows involving senior officers.

Lord Imbert, who led the force between 1987 and 1993, said last week's revelation, that a Special Branch officer had altered notes submitted to the inquest as evidence, presented an opportunity to remind officers of correct procedure. "It is certainly not acceptable to alter your notes," he said, and condemned the doctoring of evidence as "not good practice".

"This is a wake-up call, and officers must be reminded of the correct way of doing things."

He added that the practice of officers collaborating to produce a single written statement, while not wrong, should also be kept within "proper limits".

Anthony Scrivener QC, former chairman of the Bar Council, went further and said "What is needed is a reminder of the rules regarding taking statements," he said. "You can alter it, but it has to be by way of an official statement. A police officer should not decide what is relevant or not. That's for the court to decide."

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and the Metropolitan Police Authority will now investigate the officer's actions.

The controversy is likely to swell the growing numbers making formal complaints to the IPCC.

The IPCC's latest figures reveal public complaints over "irregularity in relation to evidence/perjury" have almost doubled in the past four years – rising from 493 in 2004 to 931 in 2008. And the number of complaints made each year accusing police of "corrupt practice" has almost tripled over the same period – up from 91 to 251.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: "The Met continuously reviews policies and procedures to ensure we can deliver greater policing and operational effectiveness. We will of course consider any options for learning and best practice that may arise from the inquest.

Met Police Blunders

Police blunders that left ANOTHER serial rapist free to attack 20 more terrified women on their doorstep

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:32 AM on 27th March 2009

Police yesterday apologised for appalling blunders that left a sex beast free to claim at least 20 extra victims.

Kirk Reid became a prime suspect in 2004 for dozens of attacks on women walking home alone. But, because officers failed to question him, he was able to extend his reign of terror for four more years.

The 44-year-old chef and children’s football coach was arrested last year only after the case was passed to specialist detectives. They took five days to crack the assaults dating back seven years.

Reid’s DNA was found to link him with a rape and two indecent assaults in 2001 and 2002. In all, the detectives connected him to attacks on 71 women in South London but believe there may have been hundreds more.

Many of the victims were fumbling for their doorkeys when Reid – described as having ‘crazy eyes’ – pounced.

A jury convicted him yesterday of 26 attacks, including two rapes. The inexplicable failure by officers to arrest him when he formally became a suspect has rocked Scotland Yard.

It has referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. The Met has also taken the unprecedented step of issuing a full apology to the women who could have been spared a terrifying ordeal had officers done their job properly.


* Victim: 'It's shocking, he could have been caught years earlier'

Commander Mark Simmons, who has overall responsibility for investigating serious sex attacks, said: ‘It is clear from the evidence heard in court that the standard of investigation was not what we as an organisation, or the victims, should have expected.

‘Reid should have been arrested sooner and I, on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service am sorry those women who were subsequently attacked by him have been caused unnecessary suffering.’

The blunders are even worse than those made in the case of John Worboys, who was convicted earlier this month of drugging and sexually assaulting women in the back of his taxi.

The black cab rapist attacked 30 women after he was arrested and released.

One senior Met source said: ‘Reid is ten times worse than Worboys. This was horrendous mismanagement on a massive scale. It was total and abject failure not to catch Reid sooner and there is no excuse for it.’

Deborah Glass of the IPCC said the four-year delay in the case was a cause for concern.

She added: ‘It takes courage for victims of serious sexual offences to come forward and report their ordeal to police.

‘That is why they have every right to expect the highest possible level of response.

‘When this does not happen, victims should have confidence the police will be held to account – and that real change will result.’

Following a review, the Met has decided to place its borough Sapphire sex offence units under central command.

At Kingston Crown Court, Judge Shani Barnes praised the officers who caught Reid but voiced sharp criticism of the ‘years of inadequate work’.

Reid would follow lone women on their way home on the Tube or on night buses after nights out in Central London. A keen athlete, he used his powerful 6ft 2inframe to overwhelm his victims on their doorsteps. They would be wrestled to the ground where he would molest them.

Most attacks took place in Balham, Clapham and Tooting – not far from Reid’s home in Colliers Wood.

In September 2002, the Met linked 26 crimes and had obtained DNA of the offender. By the end of 2004, the number of assaults under investigation had risen to 60.

Reid had come to the attention of police 12 times by then but was never visited or asked for the DNA sample that would have condemned him.

Finally, in January 2008, the case was passed to the Met’s homicide and serious crime command. Within five days, Detective Inspector Justin Davies and his team had charged Reid.

They managed to trace only 50 of his 71 victims because of the length of time that had elapsed.

Reid pleaded guilty to two attacks and, following his sixweek trial, was convicted of 26 more, including rapes in 2002 and 1995. He will be sentenced later this year after psychiatric assessment.

Police found hundreds of horrific porn films on his computer depicting stalking and rape.

His half-brother Roger, a Met police constable, played a role in bringing him to justice.

The court heard that Reid confessed the crimes to him during a conversation in cells at court.
He said his brother wore a ‘pathetic’ expression before suddenly saying: ‘I did it.’

Arrest without a Warrant

Part III Arrest

Arrest without warrant: constables

[ F1 24.
Arrest without warrant: constables
(1) A constable may arrest without a warrant
(a) anyone who is about to commit an offence;
(b) anyone who is in the act of committing an offence;
(c) anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be about to commit an offence;
(d)anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be committing an offence.

If a constable has reasonable grounds for suspecting that an offence has been committed, he may arrest without a warrant anyone whom he has reasonable grounds to suspect of being guilty of it.

If an offence has been committed, a constable may arrest without a warrant
(a) anyone who is guilty of the offence;
(b) anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be guilty of it.

But the power of summary arrest conferred by subsection (1), (2) or (3) is exercisable only if the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that for any of the reasons mentioned in subsection (5) it is necessary to arrest the person in question.

The reasons are
(a) to enable the name of the person in question to be ascertained (in the case where the constable does not know, and cannot readily ascertain, the person's name, or has reasonable grounds for doubting whether a name given by the person as his name is his real name);
(b) correspondingly as regards the person's address;
(c) to prevent the person in question
(i) causing physical injury to himself or any other person;
(ii) suffering physical injury;
(iii) causing loss of or damage to property;
(iv) committing an offence against public decency (subject to subsection (6)); or
(v) causing an unlawful obstruction of the highway;
(d) to protect a child or other vulnerable person from the person in question;
(e) to allow the prompt and effective investigation of the offence or of the conduct of the person in question;
(f) to prevent any prosecution for the offence from being hindered by the disappearance of the person in question.

Subsection (5)(c)(iv) applies only where members of the public going about their normal business cannot reasonably be expected to avoid the person in question.]