Tim Hicks announces Operation Countryman II
- - Corruption Buster Tim Hicks previews the launch of the widest-ranging investigation of North Yorkshire Police ever.
Operation Countryman II
“That particularly dubious Constabulary that merits careful consideration” [Lord Maginnis of Drumglass commenting on North Yorkshire Police, following his involvement in the Widow Hofschröer Police and Local Government corruption case].
Whilst corruption can in some circumstances be a criminal offence, it is a word carrying a much wider definition than just criminal conduct.
The Transparency International definition of corruption is: “The abuse of entrusted power for private gain”.
Corruption Buster Tim Hicks is expanding the work he did on the way that North Yorkshire Police Officers allowed a paedophile-ring led by Mayor Peter Jaconelli to operate in Scarborough unhindered for many years, to launch Operation Countryman II, an ongoing investigation of misconduct by Police Officers in North Yorkshire Police.
Police corruption in the UK
There have recently been a series of high profile Police corruption scandals causing widespread public concern:
- Operation Alice, the investigation into Metropolitan Police Officers in the infamous “Plebgate” scandal which so far has led to three arrests.
- The collapse of the trial of eight Police Officers for misconduct, following the wrongful conviction of three men for murder. Their trial was halted because the court was told that files of evidence had been destroyed. They miraculously reappeared in the possession of South Wales Police – after the detectives had been released.
- The collapse of the trial of three men for the murder of Mr Daniel Morgan, because it is alleged, he was murdered to prevent him from blowing the whistle on Police corruption in the local CID. A senior Scotland Yard detective admitted that Police corruption damaged the investigation.
- Operation Elveden, the investigation into bribery of Police Officers by journalists, has led to the arrest of twelve serving Police Officers one of whom – a Detective Chief Inspector – is now serving a fifteen month jail sentence.
- The sacking of PC Simon Harwood following his acquittal for manslaughter over the death of Mr Ian Tomlinson.
- The Operation Douglas investigation, in which police took a murder trial witness to a brothel and allowed him to take drugs. The Supreme Court found some Officers took part in a “prolonged, persistent and pervasive conspiracy to pervert the course of justice“.
Sadly, corruption does not only affect the occasional rotten apple or junior Officer. Most alarmingly, it exists at the highest levels of the Police service as shown in some recent cases:
- The Chief Constable of Cumbria Police is currently suspended over allegations of misconduct.
- The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police has had to resign in disgrace over the Hillsborough scandal and up to 2,444 other officers are being investigated by the IPCC in connection with this mass attempt to pervert the course of justice by corrupt police officers.
- The Chief Constable of Cleveland Police was sacked for misconduct in October.
- The Deputy Chief Constable of Cleveland Police was summarily dismissed earlier this week, an Assistant Chief Officer of that force is suspended, the former Chairman of the Cleveland Police Authority has been arrested and the force solicitor is still on police bail.
- The Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police is currently suspended.
- The Deputy Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police was removed from normal duties following allegations of misconduct and subsequently committed suicide
- Chief Constable Adrian Lee, of Northamptonshire, Chief Constable Suzette Davenport of Gloucestershire Police; Assistant Chief Constable Jane Sawyers of Staffordshire Police and Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale of the West Midlands Police, are all under investigation by the IPCC.
- Twenty-seven percent of Chief Police Officers are not properly vetted to perform their duties.
North Yorkshire Police and the former Police Authority
Well how does this affect North Yorkshire Police?
Many readers will have been shocked at the allegations now emerging that corrupt North Yorkshire Police Officers allowed Scarborough businessman, Councillor and Mayor Peter Jaconelli to run a paedophile vice-ring in Scarborough which included Jimmy Savile and others.
However, misconduct in the North Yorkshire force is a much bigger and deeper-rooted problem than just the Savile case. The force has had a series of high profile scandals, so many in fact that this article will probably be the longest ever published on Real Whitby:
Chief Constable (Retired) Della Canning
- Authorised the expenditure of £6,500 on her very own private personal shower in Force Headquarters, which eventually cost £28,000. Why she couldn’t use the one at home like the rest of us was not explained.
- Defended the use of expensive Land Rover Discovery’s and Volvo V70s as “essential” for Senior Officers to command and perform their duties, when in fact the Audit Commission found that the said Senior Officers were not competent or qualified to drive them, that senior officers were unlikely to command incidents from the so-called “command vehicles” and they were in reality used for little more than commuting. The vehicles had to be replaced.
- Tried to buy alcohol when she was in uniform and was forced to remove her hat and epaulettes by the shop staff before they would serve her.
Assistant Chief Constable (Retired) David Collins
- Assistant Chief Constable Collins went off sick claiming stress, but simultaneously ran a life-coaching consultancy services business. Instead of being sacked, he was allowed to retire (thereby preventing any possibility of disciplinary action, or reclaiming the money he was paid).
Superintendent (Retired) Paul Ackerley
- Superintendent Paul Ackerley was the officer in charge of the force training unit. His wife Peta’s training companies received £385,000 from North Yorkshire Police “without proper procurement procedures” Instead of being sacked, he was allowed to retire (thereby conveniently preventing any possibility of disciplinary action).
Deputy Chief Constable (Retired) Adam Briggs
- Deputy Chief Constable Adam Briggs was found guilty of misconduct for trying to use his influence to obtain a job for a relative with North Yorkshire Police.
- Deputy Chief Constable Adam Briggs also received £31,647.00 in unaudited and unaccountable ‘training allowances’ which no one can explain on what it was spent, and an additional £11,750 on training which he should have financed himself, or through his training allowance. A grand total of £43,397.00. Instead of being sacked, he was allowed to retire (thereby preventing any possibility of disciplinary action or criminal prosecution). In the words of IPCC Commissioner Nicholas Long:
“It is utterly unacceptable that more than £30,000 of public funds can be handed to an officer without any means to audit how that money is used. Although the police authority stipulated what the money was to be used for, they did not check. Although Mr Briggs has retired, one would think he would want to take an opportunity to explain what he did with the money and why he claimed a further £11,750 from the public purse. I find his decision not to assist our investigation or answer our questions disappointing. It leaves us with an expenses claim that does not appear to withstand scrutiny and the actions of a senior police officer that do not appear justifiable. The police authority’s remit is to scrutinise the expenditure of a police force and hold the senior officers to account.”
- The Police Authority tried to avoid an investigation by deciding not to refer Deputy Chief Constable Briggs to the IPCC for investigation. The IPCC overruled the Police Authority and ordered that an investigation into Deputy Chief Constable Briggs should take place.
- So serious were the allegations made against Deputy Chief Constable Briggs that during the investigation, the IPCC took advice from the Crown Prosecution Service on arresting and prosecuting Deputy Chief Constable Briggs for a criminal offence.
- If that wasn’t bad enough, in response to enquiries from the IPCC as to what he had done with the money he had received, Deputy Chief Constable Briggs criticised both the IPCC and his former employer North Yorkshire Police for having the audacity to investigate him alleging they were wasting time and resources and refusing to answer any of the IPCC’s questions.
Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell’s Personal Assistant
- Chief Constable Maxwell’s PA “authorised” payments of invoices for training provided to Deputy Chief Constable Briggs which he should have paid for himself through his training allowance, not charged to North Yorkshire Police.
- Incredibly she did this without reference to the Chief Constable or the Chief Financial Officer Ms Carter.
Chief Constable (Retired) Grahame Maxwell
- Allowed Superintendent Ackerley to retire and thereby avoid any misconduct charges.
- Allowed Deputy Chief Constable Adam Briggs to retire, and therefore avoid criminal charges.
- Was found guilty of misconduct for trying to use his influence to obtain a job for a relative with North Yorkshire Police.
- Initially he denied the charges, then admitted them. The disciplinary investigation into offences he subsequently admitted cost £218,456.00 which could largely have been avoided if he had admitted his guilt in the first place.
- The definition of Gross Misconduct is “an act of misconduct so grave as to justify the summary dismissal of the employee“. In any other organisation, Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell would have been sacked and marched off the premises. However, the Police Authority supported him, he was protected from any consequence for his conduct, kept his job and walked off with a £250,000 payoff.
- Real Whitby has discovered that he received the same unauditable and unaccountable ‘training allowance’ as did DCC Briggs. However, the Police Authority are refusing to respond to any questions on the matter, so it is unknown how much he received.
Assistant Chief Constable (Retired) Steve Read, now Director of NYP Professional Standards Directorate
- To be the subject of a separate article
The Barbara Hofschröer Case
It has been alleged, in Parliament, that corrupt Police Officers assisted in the abuse of an old-age pensioner in which she was deceived and forced out of her home.
It is further alleged that other corrupt Police Officers have ignored Force safeguarding policy and blatant misconduct by a Police Officer to protect him from arrest.
- Chief Constable Madgwick is currently refusing to follow the recommendations of the IPCC that the case should be re-investigated.
- Chief Constable Madgwick will not follow standard police policy of asking for an investigation by officers from another force.
- In this context, it is interesting to note that a recent poll across three Forces showed that only half of Police Officers would report a colleague for a serious act of misconduct and that Officers were “unwilling or unlikely” to report unacceptable behaviour by colleagues, even when they knew their actions were wrong.
Deputy Chief Constable Sue Cross
- To be the subject of a separate article
The Scarborough paedophile-ring cover up (Jimmy Savile and Peter Jaconelli)
- It has been alleged that corrupt North Yorkshire Police Officers allowed the prominent Conservative politician, businessman and Mayor of Scarborough Peter Jaconelli to run a paedophile/vice ring in Scarborough which included Jimmy Savile and others. North Yorkshire Police are refusing to comment.
- North Yorkshire Police are also refusing to confirm the names of the Officers that commanded policing in Scarborough over the period of Jaconelli’s offending.
Temporary Chief Constable Tim Madgwick
- To be the subject of a separate article
Mr Simon Dennis the NYP Force Solicitor
- To be the subject of a separate article
Mr Jeremy Holderness Chief Executive of the former North Yorkshire Police Authority and now Chief Executive to the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner
- To be the subject of a separate article
County Councillor Jane Kenyon (Chair of the former North Yorkshire Police Authority)
County Councillor Jane Kenyon is in business with her life partner Councillor Thomas William “Bill” Miller and is the former Chair of the North Yorkshire Police Authority, the organisation that was supposed to hold North Yorkshire Police to account during the period the above instances of misconduct occurred. Their business activities are closely intertwined.
- She has been routinely deceiving her electorate, by withholding information about her business interests, to conceal the fact that she is an Officer of Belvedere Computers Inc., a bankrupt company in the United States suspended for non payment of taxes which she jointly managed with Councillor Miller.
- She recently committed a criminal offence under the Localism Act 2011 by not fully declaring her interests to the North Yorkshire Police Authority.
- Lied to a Monitoring Officer to conceal her connection to Belvedere Computers Inc and pervert the course of a Standards investigation.
- Failed to declare an interest in Dales Timber Limited, even though it was trading with Ryedale District Council while she was serving on the North Yorkshire Audit Partnership.
- Failed to declare that Dales Timber Limited was trading with North York Moors National Parks Authority.
- Had a member of the public ejected by Police Officers from a public meeting of the North Yorkshire Police Authority for lawfully questioning her about these matters.
- Was Company Secretary of a company that she has confirmed submitted forged documents to Companies House. It has been alleged that these documents were forged by Councillor Kenyon’s partner Councillor ‘Bill’ Miller.
- Failed to report the crime of forgery of her signature on an official document, issue a correction, or take any action.
- She has recently featured twice in articles in Private Eye highlighting misconduct, thought to be a record since the 1970’s and the Poulson/T Dan Smith/Miss X affair.
- Following the articles in Private Eye and Real Whitby, instead of issuing a full public rebuttal or suing for libel, she abused her position as Chair of the North Yorkshire Police Authority by using North Yorkshire Police as her “weapon of choice” to try and have me arrested for harassment.
- She had a Detective Chief Inspector and two of the most experienced detectives in North Yorkshire Police misdirected from legitimate policing to interview me under caution at Fulford Road Police Station about accurate and legitimate articles I had written for Real Whitby and Private Eye about her, in furtherance of her own personal best interests and to prevent legitimate public scrutiny.
- I have asked for a copy of County Councillor Kenyon’s statement and the transcript of her interview with North Yorkshire Police, but this is being withheld by Chief Constable Tim Madgwick.
- I have also asked for information on what it is I have done to County Councillor Kenyon that constitiutes any criminal offence and my request for this information has been denied by Mr Simon Dennis the Force Solicitor on the basis that I am being “vexatious”.
- I have made a complaint to the Police Authority about County Councillor Kenyon trying to have me arrested and the response was that she had made her complaint in her personal capacity and therefore it had nothing to do with the Authority, although I have had no contact of any sort with Councillor Kenyon in her personal capacity and I was accused in the interview of having “damaged North Yorkshire Police”.
- North Yorkshire Police are still maintaining that I am the subject of a criminal investigation for harassment of Councillor Kenyon at her request, although they have been unable to produce any evidence of any offence. I presume this is intimidate me into silence, thereby preventing the possibility of any further adverse publicity for County Councillor Kenyon in the run up to the County Elections.
- Apparently abused her position as Chairman of the Police Authority to obtain a mobile telephone from the North Yorkshire Police Authority to which she was not entitled.
- Apparently submitted expense claims for the cost of telephone calls and rental to obtain payments to the value of £2,300.53 to herself, for a mobile telephone which she was not entitled and should have paid for herself, using the money from one of her Allowances paid to her for this purpose.
- I have made a complaint to the Police Authority about the alleged misuse of this telephone and enquire what the explanation was and of course the complaint was ignored.
I am incredulous that Councillor Kenyon intends to contest the forthcoming elections with these grave allegations unresolved and completely unresponded to. Should she wish to publish a denial and rebuttal of these allegations, Real Whitby will of course publish it in full.
I will be releasing further shocking allegations of misconduct about County Councillor Jane Kenyon in a separate article.
Related articles on County Councillor Jane Kenyon and her life partner Councillor Miller can be found below, they make gruesome and alarming reading.
In summary, with a few exceptions, every Chief Officer of North Yorkshire Police for several years, the Chair of the Police Authority and members of civilian staff have been involved in serious misconduct of one sort or another and failed miserably to set the appropriate example of probity and integrity to their subordinates.
There is a clear pattern of Officers who are accused of serious misconduct that in any other profession or organisation would result in them being summarily dismissed and even of receiving a criminal conviction, being completely and perfectly protected by other Police Officers and the erstwhile Police Authority.
There is also a pattern of the Police Officers trying to protect Councillor Kenyon from legitimate public comment and abusing their positions by allowing themselves to be used for Councillor Kenyon’s own personal, political purposes.
It is also obvious that there has been a complete failure of financial control in North Yorkshire Police.
This situation is absolutely unprecedented in the history of the British Police Service.
No other force in the UK has a history of misconduct by successive Chief Police Officers, coupled with the failure to address issues of corruption as grave as these, as the North Yorkshire Police – yet no one has been disciplined for it.
Put bluntly, North Yorkshire Police and the former Police Authority simply will not prosecute or criticize a Police Officer of Inspector rank or above for misconduct, no matter how blatant or serious it is.
Action taken to combat police corruption
Until recently, investigation of the Police has been left to individual Police Forces and the Independent Police Complaints Commissioner (IPCC), which has been described as woefully under-equipped and failing to get to the truth of allegations of misconduct.
It has become notorious for failing the public and bungling investigations. In February 2008 over a hundred lawyers who specialise in handling police complaints resigned from its advisory body, citing various criticisms of the IPCC including a pattern of favouritism towards the police, indifference and rudeness towards complainants and complaints being rejected in spite of apparently powerful evidence in their support.
The Home Secretary has now announced new measures to prevent Police corruption.
Interestingly, these new measures will prohibit Police Officers facing misconduct allegations from being allowed to retire until the allegations have been resolved, (thereby preventing any further action and wiping the slate clean), which is to be applauded.
Under new legislation already passed after the Deputy Chief Constable Briggs fiasco, the IPCC can compel officers to attend and respond to questions.
Had these measures been in place last year, Deputy Chief Constable Briggs would not have escaped disciplinary action and could have been compelled to attend and be interviewed by the IPCC instead of ignoring its entirely reasonable requests for an explanation of what he had done with the money.
Whilst it must be said that the vast majority of British Police Officers are honest and do a very difficult job to the best of their ability, I have evidence of North Yorkshire Police Officers and members of civilian staff being involved in a wide range of criminal offences of conspiracy to defraud, theft, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, misuse of police intelligence, misconduct in public office, witness intimidation and harassment of those that make complaints against Police Officers.
This involves officers at Fulford Road Police Station, York and Selby CID, Force Headquarters, the erstwhile North Yorkshire Police Authority, the Force Intelligence Bureau and – most concerning of all – the Professional Standards Unit.
I also have evidence of corrupt Police Officers being protected by the very Police Officers in the professional Standards Department whose duty it is to deal with their misconduct.
Operation Countryman II
In 1972, Sir Robert Mark took over Command of the Metropolitan Police and found there was widespread corruption within the CID, which was endemic, not confined to those below the rank of Sergeant and had been acquiesced to by a succession of weak Chief Police officers
After investigative journalists from The Times and the Sunday People ran a series of successful and high-profile ‘sting’ operations on corrupt Police Officers, giving him the evidence he needed to act, Sir Robert Mark initiated a purge of the Metropolitan Police, successfully arresting or dismissing 487 corrupt Officers.
His investigation into corruption was referred to as “Operation Countryman” because so deep rooted was the corruption within his Force that he had to bring in Officers from the County forces to conduct the investigation, rather than rely on Metropolitan Officers whose integrity and impartiality could not be relied upon.
He then set up a separate Anti-Corruption Branch to deal with allegations of corruption impartially.
This was a traumatic time for the Met, but it emerged a stronger and better Force because of it.
In marked contrast, Temporary Chief Constable Tim Madgwick is currently resisting calls for an investigation by another force into allegations of misconduct by a group of named North Yorkshire Police Officers and continues to ignore the recommendations of the IPCC on the Hofschroer case that it should be re-opened.
Under these circumstances, to highlight the issue of Police corruption in North Yorkshire Police I will be running a series of articles exposing corrupt Police Officers and civilian staff in North Yorkshire Police.
These articles will be run in the public interest, on the same lines as the original article in the Sunday People and The Times that triggered Operation Countryman, with the intention of obtaining a similar investigation to Operation Countryman into corruption and misconduct by North Yorkshire Police Officers by officers from another force.
To distinguish them from other articles on Real Whitby, they will be run under the name of Operation Countryman II.
The next Chief Constable
On the 16th of April 2013 the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire will select a new Chief Constable for North Yorkshire.
Following the scandals referred to above, there has been a sea change in attitudes to police corruption in the UK.
Temporary Chief Constable Madgwick has shown that he is still personally wedded to the old ways of “The Blue Wall”, of closing ranks and protecting his colleagues no matter what. In modern policing terms he is a dinosaur that along with others has accepted unacceptable practices and fostered a culture of impunity within North Yorkshire Police.
An Officer of the honesty and integrity of Sir Robert Mark to purge North Yorkshire Police of corrupt Police Officers and practices.
Operation Countryman II:
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Read (Retired). Director of the North Yorkshire Police Professional Standards Directorate