How corrupt is Britain? --Liverpool May 10th 2013

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How corrupt is Britain? --Liverpool May 10th 2013
« on: May 08, 2013, 08:26:43 AM »

Note that this 'Crime & Justice' organisation has been in existence since 1931, & they claim to be 'very influential'.
If that be so, how on earth does 'Justice' in Britain come to be in the state it is?
What on earth have these people been doing for the last 82 years?
It is obvious they live in 'Academic Fairyland'!
Can you attend & drag them into the real world? I would like to do so, but for obvious reasons am unable to.
I WILL be writing to tell why I had to flee from the land of my birth & seek refuge in Ireland!
 Norman Scarth. Meeting in Liverpool Friday.May 10th 2013

Holding the police to account
Joanna Gilmore and Waqas Tufail of the Northern Police Monitoring Project explain how individuals, groups and communities can collectively challenge corrupt policing practices and monitor instances of police violence and harassment.
Police corruption has traditionally been conceptualised as an abuse of power and authority by individual officers. Such definitions have tended to result in a restrictive understanding of 'rogue' officers operating within police institutions.

In recent years, a series of high profile cases of police corruption have suggested that such practices are an institutional rather than individual phenomenon. In January 2011 the trials of six environmentalist activists charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass collapsed following allegations that the Crown Prosecution Service had deliberately tried to suppress evidence that might have exonerated them. Allegations that the group had planned to occupy the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station were withdrawn after the defence discovered that one of the one hundred and fourteen activists that had been arrested in a pre-emptive raid was PC Mark Kennedy - an undercover police officer who had infiltrated the group and secretly recorded activists' conversations.

As the network of police spies planted inside protest groups began to unravel, allegations that police officers operated as agent provocateurs, attempted to 'fit up' activists in criminal proceedings, sexually exploited women in order to boost their credibility with activists and used the identities of dead children as aliases, caused a serious crisis of legitimacy for an organisation supposedly founded upon a principle of 'policing by consent'.

These cases have also called into question the legitimacy of official state organisations that ostensibly exist to hold the police to account. We know, for example, that in the last three decades, the numbers of those who have died in police custody have increased; however, no police officer has ever been successfully prosecuted for these deaths, despite the existence of official investigative bodies such as the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

We also know that legal reforms such as the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 - an attempt to regulate police behaviour - have legitimised existing practices and resulted in less rather than more accountability.

A radical alternative is the establishment of independent police monitoring groups to track instances of police deviance and corruption and hold police forces to account. The recent creation of the Northern Police Monitoring Project (NPMP) suggests that such spaces of resistance can be found. Launched following a vibrant meeting in Moss Side, Manchester in October 2012, the NPMP acts as a forum from which individuals, groups and communities can collectively challenge corrupt policing practices and monitor instances of police violence and harassment in our communities.

The NPMP works within communities suffering from undemocratic and unaccountable forms of policing to provide advice, advocacy and access to specialist legal assistance and to support emerging campaigns as and when they are established. The NPMP aims to provide a genuine challenge to the official narrative around crime and policing in our communities and thus operates entirely independently from the police and other official state agencies.

Joanna Gilmore, one of the founding members of the NPMP, will be speaking alongside activists and academics at the 'How Corrupt is Britain?' conference at the University of Liverpool on 10 May 2013. The conference provides a vital opportunity to unite the campaigns against corrupt policing practices, expose the failures of official state mechanisms for holding corrupt police officers to account and discuss the possibilities of radical, community-based alternatives.

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How corrupt is Britain?
Dr David Whyte says we need to challenge abuses of power in politics, the police and corporate sector.
What is it we mean when we talk about "corruption"? The World Bank's definition of corruption, probably the most widely used is simply "the abuse of public office for private gain". This is the definition used by the major anti-corruption NGO Transparency International. But the historical experience of Britain shows that this definition is far too narrow to allow us to understand the problem in all of its dubious glory. It is a definition that has its origins in thinking about the problem of corruption as something which affects developing or economically 'backward' societies that fail to respect the liberal division between 'public' and 'private' domains. But there is a growing awareness in academic research, media reporting and public discussion that the problem of corruption actually has its origins closer to home. As anthropologists Dieter Haller and Cris Shore noted a decade ago, after the collapse of Enron and Worldcom: "Europeans and Americans cannot assume that grand corruption is something that belongs primarily to the non-Western 'Other' or to public-sector officials in defective state bureaucracies [but] can also be found in the very heart of the regulated world capitalist system."

There is now a daily diet of corruption scandals hitting the headlines in Britain, a country that previously claimed a proud, if naive and largely mythical tradition of fair play, of open politics and clean business. There always been more than a vague whiff of racism in the claim that we're not a corrupt democracy, unlike many of our European - especially Mediterranean - counterparts. If we have corruption in British public life, we have always been told, it is only at the margins of our public and private institutions. Thanks to the daily reporting of major newspapers getting involved in phone taping and pay offs to police officers, the seemingly endless examples of the falsification of police statements in some of our highest profile cases such as Stephen Lawrence and Hillsborough, LIBOR rate-fixing, personal protection insurance mis-selling, horsemeat in our burgers, arms companies bribing foreign governments, drug companies illegally paying other drug companies to keep accessible medicines off the market, politicians being paid to ask questions and fixing expenses claims and so on and on and on, this whopping great myth is not longer plausible.

There is now more than enough evidence in the public domain to show that corruption is endemic in our political institutions, our businesses and our police and security forces. We live in a world in which the boundaries between public and private power are increasingly blurred. Corruption appears to be spread through British public life using increasingly complex systems of capillary connections which show no respect for the boundaries between public and private domains. The narrow terms of accepted definitions of corruption simply don't capture what is going on.

It is for this reason that the University of Liverpool and the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies is organising the conference "How corrupt is Britain?" The conference will challenge the long-outdated assumption that firstly, corruption is a problem that is most serious in far-away places, in governments that do not have our traditions. And secondly, that corruption is something that we can understand merely as a problem that stems from the actions of a minority of public officials who are 'on the make', rather than something that cuts across a growing plethora of powerful institutions, whether they are nominally 'public' or 'private'.

The conference will have speakers and activists who are determined to challenge the abuse of power in politics, in the police and in the corporate sector. Rarely, if ever, do we talk about those things in the same place; even the best investigative journalism fails to make direct links across those different spheres of public life in Britain, or fails to question why all of this is beginning to rise to the top in all of our most trusted and venerated institutions. 'How corrupt is Britain?' will begin to join the dots across the public and private domains, and will begin a dialogue between campaigns for police accountability, tax justice, executive pay, political and corporate accountability, and the transformation of the financial sector. We invite you to join this dialogue.

Dr David Whyte, University of Liverpool

To find out more, click here -

Previous comments about this article:

On 30/04/13 at 12:34pm Anne Greagsby wrote:

I fear it will be more corrupt Britain with elected crime commissioners appointing their political friends to office.

On 30/04/13 at 12:41pm Nick Lynn wrote:

I agree entirely with your piece. However, I as an academic who was (until recently) a serving police officer (a domestic abuse specialist - so not a 'real' police officer in my colleagues eyes), I can testify from personal experience how difficult it can be to challenge (in my case) the police organizational culture and individuals within it who operate according the the informal (and also some formal) organizational 'rules' and etiquette.

My experience has been that a large number of police officers are not really 'corrupt' in the strongest sense of the word; but they do engage in behaviours and practices that if the public knew about them, they would be offended, angered and dismayed. Officers are aware of this and use a variety of discursive strategies to misdirect. 'Cuffing" for example, is officially frowned upon; but all officers at all levels are aware of how to do it and, engage in the practice more often than they realize. Those who do it well pass unnoticed. Only when it is clumsily done and becomes visible will the public or supervisors take action.

Within the context of the police these practices are seen as pragmatic and necessary to make the system work (I've watched and heard lawyers do likewise). To challenge these practices is to risk excommunication, verbal abuse, and formal censure. It is to be actively not 'one of us'. Believe me, this is difficult to endure and for all the valid theoretical points I was able to make and argue; I was unable to make little inroad into changing practice.

I have no doubt the hidden wiring of politics and business works in the same way as it is one of my academic interests to explore these things. I will be interested in your conference.


On 01/05/13 at 11:00pm JB JB wrote:

A former soldier and specialist in Counter Terrorist Operations with combat experience in Northern Ireland, I left the Army with an EXEMPLARY record and using my resettlement grant attended a Scenes of Crimes Officers Course at the National Training Centre. After 22 years service, over 6 years on Operations in Northern Ireland and the former Yugoslavia, I thought I would use my unique experience in the fight against crime.

Sadly as a civi I was treated with utter contempt by bullying senior police officers, who had little understanding of their job let alone mine. Quote "the trouble with you civis is you don't realize your part of a disciplined force". I know what a disciplined force is and now know how to get on in the police; Women, drop your knickers, men role up your trouser leg.

In 4 years I was a Crime Scene Manager looking forward to becoming a Senior SOCO. However, never tell a DCI he's cocked up a Murder Investigation. After working for over 27 hours a complaint was made against me for not processing a footwear mark by a busted DI, who later resigned after being arrested on pornography charges. The Investigating Officer changed my disciplinary charge to Gross Misconduct and I was sacked. That Officer killed himself last year after being arrested for the 3rd time on Corruption Charges.

Apart from 3 weeks work in 2012, ended without explanation, I have not had a full paid job since. Corrupt Britain, Police, Press, Politicians.

On 07/05/13 at 4:27pm David Ellis wrote:

A debate over 'how corrupt is Britain' is long overdue in my opinion and seems to bypass the mainstream media time after time. It seems that any time an occurence of impropriety in our public institutions has been proved, it is treated in isolation and glossed over with the age-old argument of a 'few rotten apples spoiling the barrel'. With the ongoing economic crisis, it has opened a lot of people's eyes to the level of political influence the financial sector, in particular the City of London, has over our democratic institutions, whether by directly funding the Tory Party, or the funding of ideologically compliant right-wing think tanks. Other incidences of corruption that are presented as historically specific, such as Hillsborough and the Stephen Lawrence case, show that it is in fact endemic and the protagonists are often the usual suspects like the media, politicians, the judiciary and the police. It will be good to hear so many diverse cases of corruption in one event and I will be very much looking forward to attending this conference.

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« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 08:42:18 AM by the leveller »

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