Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

by Anna Raccoon on December 8, 2016

An embargoed report was snuck out at midnight, last night.

Just imagine, for one moment, that this report concerned 436 Football coaches dismissed in one 24 month period for ‘abuse of authority for sexual gain’: or 436 Catholic priests dismissed over the same period for ‘abuse of authority for sexual gain’ – the cyber waves would have been alive. We would have been enduring an endless diet of breakfast TV ‘analysis’ over the past 24 months as the victims were paraded by their various agents and their legal representatives. We would have started with one victim bravely waving their anonymity and the NSPCC starting up a special help line calling for more victims to come forward. Legal representatives, specialising in cases of sexual abuse, would have assured us that the victims merely wanted closure but would be mounting a civil case as well…

Yet one institution has managed to stay out of the limelight whilst racking up a horrifying total of 436 victims of sexual abuse. How could that be?

Welcome to the 2016 report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

The perpetrators of these 436 sexual abuses were all police officers or employees of police forces. 

Last year Slater and Gordon represented 1,050 Police Federation members in criminal and misconduct proceedings. Could this be the reason we have not seen personal injury specialists from Slater & Gordon highlighting the harm done to ‘their’ clients by employees of this institution taking advantage of their position of authority to abuse vulnerable individuals?

In 2012, HMIC highlighted what they saw as the growing problem of sexual abuse by police officers that “fundamentally betrays the trust that communities and individuals place in the police” in a little noticed report helpfully titled ‘The abuse of police powers to perpetrate sexual violence’. Four years later they returned to document the improvement they had hoped to see.

We were concerned to find that […] most forces still need to improve the way they recognise and prevent this form of serious corruption.

In fact, in 2016, only one force had managed to get through the period without any of its employees sexually abusing anyone…the individual reports are here, and Ms Raccoon doesn’t intend to go through each one by hand to find out which force it was!

Of the 436 cases HMIC identified, less than half had even been referred to the IPCC. The Police, it appears, on even less keen to investigate cases of sexual abuse committed by its own employees than those other institutions they are so keen to shine a spotlight on.

This comes a matter of days after the ‘football abuse scandal’ was highlighted by one Andrew Woodward. That Andrew Woodward was allegedly fired following claims of sexual misconduct on November 4th – all of 21 days before he went public with his claims on November 25th to have been a victim of sexual abuse that the ‘force had failed to investigate properly’ has been the subject of a vicious war between ‘anonymous editors’ on Wikipedia, resulting in the page being locked for editing other than by senior editors….

“What can be worse than a guardian abusing the trust and confidence of an abused person? There can be no greater violation of public trust.”


*Please don’t take this post as an indication that this blog is reopening for normal service. I have had a thoroughly sleepless night, and can only type with one hand now that the cancer has progressed down my left arm.  

However, Ms Raccoon’s love of original material as opposed to the mainstream media’s spin on such material is well known. This report has such ramifications that it has tempted me out of my silence. I thought that you might appreciate links to the original material, since it took Sky till 4am to even refer to the report, and they were never going to let you read the orignal yourself….

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

JuliaM December 8, 2016 at 7:23 am

To be fair to the ‘Guardian’ (grimaces) they do actually mention Woodward’s conviction.

And welcome back. No matter how briefly, a post from you is always worth reading.

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Anna Raccoon December 8, 2016 at 7:26 am

Thanks Julia – difficult to type with one hand though!

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JuliaM December 8, 2016 at 8:53 am

Yeah, it’s not fair is it?

Men, after all, get to practice this when they first discover the Internet… 😉

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FrankH December 8, 2016 at 10:01 am

“Men, after all, get to practice this when they first discover the Internet… 😉”

Yeah, but typing left handed is… erm… delete that, I have no idea what you mean, none at all. 🙁

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Supergran December 9, 2016 at 9:09 am

Supergran is laffin – thinking about you Anna fondly (have read your posts for a couple of years)

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FrankH December 8, 2016 at 9:59 am

“And welcome back. No matter how briefly, a post from you is always worth reading.”

Well said Julia, well said.

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james higham December 8, 2016 at 7:50 pm

To be fair to the Guardian! Fair!

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Bandini December 8, 2016 at 9:41 pm

JuliaM, the reference to Woodward’s dismissal (rather than ‘conviction’) was inserted into the online version of the story without mention of it having been edited/amended (i.e. the earlier online version made no mention of the fact). According to a commentator on BarthsNotes the printed version DID include the reference.

The inserted paragraph was incorrect, though, when it stated that Woodward “was dismissed LAST WEEK after a disciplinary tribunal for having a relationship with the adult sister of a crime victim”; the article appeared on the 16th November and the dismissal was “with immediate effect” on the 4th. (There is an amusing note on one of those Wikipedia edits: “replaced the link to the “corrupt police” website which is clearly not a reliable source, with a link the The Guardian, which is.” I wonder if without the former the latter would ever have slipped that tiny paragraph into its article, albeit with their reliable aversion to proof-reading/fact-checking.)

Meanwhile another spanking new vehicle putters off the forecourt (though it may be bound for a spaghetti junction pile-up of randy coppers & conflicted PI lawyers):
http://www.theoffsidetrust.com/
“Welcome to the official website for “The Offside Trust” which has been formed by Andy Woodward, Steve Walters and Chris Unsworth as an independent Trust to support players and their families who have suffered from abuse… …The Trust would ask for donations from the FA, PFA, The Football League and all other commercial organisations who profit from the game.”

[Raises a glass to The Landlady.]

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Dioclese December 8, 2016 at 8:47 am

Thinking of you, darling…

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Supergran December 9, 2016 at 9:12 am

Dioclese! Why has your blog been removed??????????? Gutted, although I do read the other one, which I can’t type here as I’m at work 😉

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Pattaya December 8, 2016 at 8:55 am

A world without The Venerable Ms Raccoon would be by far a poorer place.
Keep up the good work….thank you.

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Mazz December 8, 2016 at 10:16 am

It is great to have you back, no matter how briefly, keep on fighting the good fight, Anna!

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The Jannie December 8, 2016 at 10:26 am

Well done, ma’am. I’m so pleased to see that you’re using your good hand to stick a finger in the eye of those who need it!

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Lord T December 8, 2016 at 12:34 pm

‘only one force had managed to get through the period without any of its employees sexually abusing anyone’ or at least they were not reported.

Good to see you are still of good cheer. Best wishes.

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Len Drayford December 8, 2016 at 2:14 pm

Isn’t it 436 allegations, so you of all people should know that unles the allegations are found to be true,that the people making allegations aren’t victims?

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windsock December 8, 2016 at 2:44 pm

You might want to address that point to the police themselves when they make their appeals for more “victims” to come forward when “allegations” have been made by “credible” witnesses, which are being “investigated”.

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Anna Raccoon December 8, 2016 at 3:01 pm

Normally I would agree with you – but this is the police who invented the word ‘victim’ for allegators….

I did do a double take further on in that report, when after talking about the alleged assaults it then said that 93% of victims were satisfied with the police performance…..

They do get themselves in a pickle with this word ‘victims’.

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Ho Hum December 8, 2016 at 4:09 pm

That one may well have been unintentional, but I’m still going to need a new keyboard…. 🙂

But, more seriously, should 436 allegations against 334 PCs and PCSOs/other staff maybe make one wonder a little as to whether or not these will all have proved justifiable, especially given the levels of apparently false, or sometimes just plainly ridiculous, accusations made against teachers and other professions, even DJs, whose client and fan groups don’t necessarily seem to be made up entirely of the most scrupulous people on the planet?

Otherwise, good to hear that still have the form to write on such. Best wishes to you and Mr G

Ho Hum

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Anna Raccoon December 8, 2016 at 5:30 pm

The police of all people, must be more liable to false allegations made from revenge….

But that is going to require them to acknowledge the scale of false allegations…

Delicious.

I note that today they have opened an inquiry into the 20 allegations of sexual abuse at football clubs – but not mentioned this report!

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DtP December 10, 2016 at 1:45 pm

I seem to have got confused as to what distinguishes a victim from a survivor – the anguish is simply exasperating!

All the best AR, hope all’s, well, you know xx

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Paul Widdecombe December 8, 2016 at 4:07 pm

You can’t let them unplug the website when you go – I haven’t finished reading all the posts yet!

Thanks for all the thought and effort you’ve put into this blog and for somehow managing to infuse serious topics with your humour as you battle your tumours.

Peace of the Lord be with you. This is not the end; rather it is your finite self’s meeting with the infinite – to be free from mortal constraints.

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cam mcarthur December 8, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Thanx

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The Blocked Dwarf December 8, 2016 at 6:20 pm

M16 are changing their firm’s motto to: die bona nuntius malorum sepelire
…at least i don’t recall the PM headlines mentioning the report in their lead.

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Cascadian December 8, 2016 at 7:09 pm

I appear to be the only person who lived in England and was NOT sexually assaulted by an adult in a supervisory position or position of authority, is there a right-on legal practice out there that would represent me as a person who has been grievously discriminated against?

Then again, what the heck constitutes sexual assault these days?

Pleased to see the landlady back on form, even if “Jimmy Saville” seems to be obstructing her typing skills.

Merry Christmas to the landlady.

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Penseivat December 8, 2016 at 7:22 pm

I understand that the report does not break down the numbers of Police officers and the number of staff, including office staff and CAPs, employed by the Police, though am willing to be corrected. As a now retired (thank goodness) Police officer, I had a number of allegations made against me, in every case by someone I had either arrested or reported for an offence. Fortunately, I had a very good mentor who warned me of this and advised me to buy a mini dictafone and a load of cassettes and batteries. I was not allowed to use them in my evidence for the offence, but I did use it several times to prove the claimed assault, or promise of no action for sexual favours, did not take place. Of course, any warranted officer who offers special treatment for sexual favours deserves to be dealt with by the full force of the law. As an aside, I wonder what the percentage is of doctors, lawyers, politicians or central and local authorities (especially those in housing departments) who have committed similar offences to those pointed at Police (including Police staff).
Great to have you back, by the way, Anna.

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Penseivat December 8, 2016 at 7:24 pm

Should read ‘CSO s’ and not CAP s’. Sorry, autocorrect!

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Sackerson December 8, 2016 at 7:49 pm

Great respect for your work, courage and determination.

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LANCE December 8, 2016 at 9:13 pm
You must be Joe King December 8, 2016 at 9:20 pm

Absolutely spiffing to clap eyes on you, madam. Battling on……

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suffolkgirl December 9, 2016 at 7:36 am

Sparkling piece, as ever. All my admiration and best wishes…et bon courage..

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Fat Steve December 9, 2016 at 10:33 am

Pleased to see Anna that whilst typing with one hand, the other hand is raised in your customary V sign to the hypocrites of the world

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Gildas The Monk December 9, 2016 at 1:26 pm

Good to see you have still got it, Boss. Best wishes to you and Mr G. x

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Carol42 December 9, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Great to see your post Anna, you do more with one hand than most with two! Sorry the cancer is progressing but it hasn’t dented your spirit. Amusing to think the police now find themselves facing ‘victims’ a bit ironic. Have as good a Christmas as you can with Mr. G and best wishes for a peaceful New Year.
Carol

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missred December 9, 2016 at 3:57 pm

I am so glad I followed my instincts (something I should do more often) and opened your link.
I had read of your embargo, alas too late, and it was with a heavy heart I said my good-bye to you by blowing it into the wind.
Your site has never failed to amuse, educate, and sometimes it is just an excellent read.
My very best wishes to you and Mr. G and I hope your Christmas and New Year are filled with a joyful peace.

When I read posts like this, it just strikes me that I cannot believe so much sexual abuse is happening on such a large scale. Have we, as human civilization everywhere, really sunk this far? With the loose definition of sexual abuse (he/she looked at me “wrong”) is this just more hysteria.
Munchausen springs to mind.

Thank you, Anna, for you.

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FrankH December 10, 2016 at 8:36 am

I understand that the report does not break down the numbers of Police officers and the number of staff, including office staff and CAPs, employed by the Police, though am willing to be corrected. As a now retired (thank goodness) Police officer, I had a number of allegations made against me, in every case by someone I had either arrested or reported for an offence. Fortunately, I had a very good mentor who warned me of this and advised me to buy a mini dictafone and a load of cassettes and batteries. I was not allowed to use them in my evidence for the offence, but I did use it several times to prove the claimed assault, or promise of no action for sexual favours, did not take place. Of course, any warranted officer who offers special treatment for sexual favours deserves to be dealt with by the full force of the law. As an aside, I wonder what the percentage is of doctors, lawyers, politicians or central and local authorities (especially those in housing departments) who have committed similar offences to those pointed at Police (including Police staff).
Great to have you back, by the way, Anna..

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Anna Raccoon December 10, 2016 at 10:34 am

I think we all recognise that police officers are in a particularly vulnerable position when it comes to people making allegations based on grievance for being arrested or investigated.
My interest in this report was two fold – firstly that since the largest provider of legal services to those who claim to have been abused was inextricably tied into the police federation and thus possibly drawn towards representing alleged perpetrators in this instance, rather than alleged victims, was resulting in a marked difference to the glee with which the media would normally have fallen upon a story regarding 436 alleged incidence of abuse within one institution…
Secondly, that the police, having been behind the initial demand that all victims were credible and truthful, would now find themselves hoist by their own petard in terms of trying to prove that there was such a thing as a false or malicious allegation….
On the first point, there has not been one single incident of an alleged victim being paraded on the breakfast sofas to drive forward further allegations, nor has there been a demand for more victims to come forward, nor an offer by the NSPCC to set up a specialised hotline….nor even a statement of intent to hold an internal investigation – and the ‘football abuse’ continues to dominate the media.
On the second point, the leaders of the various police forces are remarkably silent…
I have no reason – logically even – to believe that police officers, or politicians, or priests, or any other section of the population are any more likely to be sex offenders than anyone else – though I would make an exception when it comes to paedophilia in that offenders are logically more likely to be attracted towards opportunities to work with children. You could make the same point about people being being attracted to positions of authority when it comes to adult offenders.
I note that not only does the report fail to differentiate between police officers and civilian employees, other than singly out victims of domestic abuse as being a large section of the victims, it also fails to differentiate the victims by age….

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Mudplugger December 10, 2016 at 2:39 pm

436 allegations against 334 PCs and PCSOs/other staff maybe make one wonder a little as to whether or not these will all have proved justifiable, especially given the levels of apparently false, or sometimes just plainly ridiculous, accusations made against teachers and other professions, even DJs, whose client and fan groups don’t necessarily seem to be made up entirely of the most scrupulous people on the planet?

I cannot believe so much sexual abuse is happening on such a large scale.

All my admiration and best wishes…et bon courage.

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Alexander Baron December 10, 2016 at 9:40 pm

Just found this about Woodward:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2189993/Andrew-Woodward-Armed-burglary-trial-collapses-detective-pulls-faces-defendant.html

can’t be sure about the rape allegations but this is clearly a bloke who enjoys playing the victim.

I would imagine a lot of these women police are supposed to have abused started the relationships. Very dangerous for any professional in a position like that. Best never to shag a woman at work or connected with it.

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Jeff Wood December 10, 2016 at 9:51 pm

I see that I must have commented before at some point, and take this chance to express gratitude to La Raccoon for all her work.

I must mention that some kind and clever soul captured and Archived the work of the good Nightjack before he disappeared, pursued by Internal Affairs or some such. If our hostess doesn’t mind, perhaps someone with the necessary skills could do the same here.

Best Wishes, Dear. Vale.

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