This is getting boring now. Yet another blog about James.Â Well, this sorry saga has crept along just a little bit more since I spoke to you last.Â As you know I asked the Met how much Jamesâ€™ Disciplinary Enquiry had cost to date.Â They replied and said that they didnâ€™t know because they donâ€™t routinely â€˜costâ€™ such things.
Well, unless the world is spinning backwards, they always used to so why wouldnâ€™t they now?Â They normally want to know the cost of every paperclip and biro.
So I appealed, asked for an Internal Review of their response.Â The reply I eventually got to that was;
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has completed its review and has
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Uphold the original decision
The information requested is not held by the MPS.
By now I had the hump, so I fired off a complaint to the Information Commissioner. After just over a week I have only had an automated response to indicate that they have received my communication, so who knows, maybe theyâ€™re beavering away on it as we speak, but they havenâ€™t had the courtesy to supply me with a case reference number, so we shall see.
In the secound of my double-barrelled attacks I sent an FOI request to the Force that conducted the review of evidence in Jamesâ€™ case and recommended that it be downgraded from Gross Misconduct (Sackable) to Misconduct (Not Sackable).Â I asked them this;
â€œI have reason to believe that officers from your Professional
Standards Department recently carried out a review of a
Disciplinary Enquiry being conducted by the Metropolitan Police
Service against one of its own officers for an alleged offence of
I am in possession of the officer’s rank and name if you require
Could you please tell me the total cost of the review carried out
by your Force and whether or not that amount was invoiced to the
Not an unreasonable request, and to the credit of the Force concerned they replied in a prompt and efficient manner.Â Their reply was this;
â€œFollowing receipt of your request searches were conducted within xxxxxxxxx Police;Â however, from the information provided , we have been unable to identify anyÂ information. â€œ
Perplexed by this I phoned them up and asked if that meant they hadnâ€™t been able to identify an invoice, or they hadnâ€™t been able to identify a cost for the review.
I was utterly amazed when (after speaking with her â€˜colleagueâ€™ the lady at the Freedom of Information Office said â€œI have been told to tell you that we cannot find any information at all in relation to your requestâ€
So now Iâ€™m left asking myself â€œ Who did this bloody review, where are their notes, how long did it take and how much did it cost?â€Â There has to be a paper trail from the Met to xxxxxxxxxxx Police asking for the review in the first place.Â Or is this a late contender for the 2014 Melton Mowbrays?
Something, somewhere is not right and hasnâ€™t been for a long, long time now.
There is a big difference between Gross Misconduct and Misconduct, both in the consequences and the manner of behaviour alleged.Â A review was conducted and the charge reduced accordingly as the result of that review, but where is it?Â The Force that conducted the review can find no information (or so Iâ€™m told).
Transparency and Ethics at their very best, but who is guilty, and what are they guilty of?