A comment late in the piece attracted my attention:
Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey said: “Corruption has no place in the Met Police — and people need to know that they cannot hide behind the veil of the past.”
This is the same Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey who buried the allegations that Deputy Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball had perverted the course of justice.
Below is the meat of my letter of 9th July 2013 to Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe regarding, among other issues, Deputy Commissioner Mackey perverting the course of justice in that he concealed alleged perversion of the course of justice by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball:
9th July 2013Sir Bernard Hogan-HoweCommissionerMetropolitan Police ServiceNew Scotland YardLondonSW1H 0BGMPS Reference: None provided by MPSDear Commissioner,Perversion of the course of justice byDeputy Assistant Commissioner Helen BallDeputy Commissioner Craig MackeyDetective Chief Superintendent Alaric BonthronFormer Assistant Chief Constable Michael PageConduct ofDeputy Assistant Commissioner Patricia GallanFormer Chief Constable Peter NeyroudI am writing to you with respect to concerns of the utmost seriousness about the integrity of Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball, and Detective Chief Superintendent Alaric Bonthron. I suspect each of these officers to have perverted the course of justice.I also believe that a former Thames Valley Police officer, the then Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page, may have perverted the course of justice in giving untrue evidence to the Hutton Inquiry.I further have concerns about the conduct of Deputy Assistant Commissioner Patricia Gallan with respect to the failure of the Metropolitan Police Service appropriately to investigate the allegations regarding Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ball and about the conduct of former Chief Constable Peter Neyroud, with respect to the former ACC Page’s investigation and untrue evidence to the Hutton Inquiry.If my understanding of the Law is correct then you are required, in all the circumstances, to make a mandatory referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commision of the matters of concern to me no later than the day following your receipt of this letter.Further background is to be found in my letter of 25th May 2013 to the Serious Misconduct Investigation Unit.The present letter, while lengthy, gives only a compressed account of these matters. I am willing to give a statement to an IPCC-appointed investigator.Consideration of my concerns by the Metropolitan Police ServiceOn 25th May 2013 I wrote to the Serious Misconduct Investigation Unit regarding what I considered to be gross misconduct by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball.I received an acknowledgement dated 31st May 2013 from Detective Chief Superintendent Alaric Bonthron.I later received a letter dated 7th June 2013 from Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey.The superficial impression of Deputy Commissioner Mackey’s responseOn the face of it Deputy Commissioner Mackey’s response seems laudable.He openly lists my concerns regarding the conduct about DAC Ball, not least with respect to the suspected perversion of the course of justice.He gives detailed consideration of the criteria of what, in Law, constitutes a “complaint” and, in the light of that consideration concludes that he should not record a “complaint”.Further, again seemingly laudably, he indicates that I may appeal to the IPCC against his decision.However, a more careful consideration of the letter reveals serious cause for concern.The dishonesty of Deputy Commissioner Mackey’s responseA more careful consideration of Deputy Commissioner Mackey’s response of 7th June raises serious concerns.I view Deputy Commissioner Mackey’s letter to be dishonest. Its effect is to assist with concealment of the serious concerns about DAC Ball’s conduct. In effect, the letter assists in perverting the course of justice.While it is true that Deputy Commissioner Mackey’s letter gives a detailed consideration of the concept of a “complaint” it is remarkable that he provides no information at all about his consideration of whether my concerns regarding Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ball’s conduct may constitute a recordable “conduct matter”.I believe that Deputy Commissioner Mackey knew, or ought to have known, that an allegation of perverting the course of justice is a recordable “conduct matter”.Nor does Deputy Commissioner Mackey consider whether such a recordable “conduct matter” is, by Law, required to be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.I believe that Deputy Commissioner Mackey knew, or ought to have known, that he had a duty to refer a recordable “conduct matter” to the Independent Police Complaints Commission “without delay”.Two explanations occur to me for such glaring omissions:
- That Deputy Commissioner Mackey and the Serious Misconduct Investigation Unit are unaware of the concept of a recordable “conduct matter” and that such a recordable “conduct matter” should be referred to the IPCC “without delay”, or
- That Deputy Commissioner Mackey premeditatedly sought to conceal from me that DAC Ball’s conduct, as I perceive it, constitutes a recordable “conduct matter”. DC Mackey also concealed from me the requirement in Law, at least as I understand it, to make a referral of the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.If DC Mackey’s omission was due to ignorance it raises serious questions about the competence of the Metropolitan Police Service’s investigation of recordable “conduct matters”.If, as I consider more likely, Deputy Commissioner Mackey’s omissions were due to dishonesty that raises concerns of the utmost gravity about the integrity of senior officers in the Metropolitan Police Service, not least questions about the integrity of the Serious Misconduct Investigation Unit of the Metropolitan Police Service.If the Professional Standards component of the Metropolitan Police Service is itself corrupt then what possible basis is there for the public to trust anything that the Metropolitan Police Service does?Conduct of Deputy Assistant Commissioner Patricia GallanI understand DAC Gallan to be in charge of Professional Standards in the Metropolitan Police Service.If that is the case, then the possibility exists that DCS Bonthron, in the first instance, may have discussed my concerns about the integrity of DAC Ball with DAC Gallan.The possibility exists that DAC Gallan may have been party to the drafting of Deputy Commissioner Mackey’s letter of 7th June 2013.If that is the case it, in my mind at least, raises serious questions about the integrity of DAC Gallan.I ask you to ensure that whether DAC Gallan played any part in this matter is thoroughly investigated.In all the circumstances the questions about DAC Gallan’s conduct may appropriately be considered by you to be a possible recordable “conduct matter” which requires to be referred to the IPCC.Clearly, if DAC Gallan was party to what I view as a premeditated dishonesty with regard to this matter it raises serious concerns about her integrity and about her suitability to head Operation Alice.If it is the case that DAC Gallan acted improperly in any way with regard to the allegations regarding DAC Ball, it surely cannot be appropriate that she continues to be in charge of Operation Alice.Perversion of the course of justice by Former ACC Michael PageThe former Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page was in charge of the investigation in 2003 into the suspicious death of Dr. David Kelly.He gave untrue evidence to the Hutton Inquiry about fingerprint evidence about a break-in at the surgery of Dr. Kelly’s dentist.There are reasons to doubt the reliability of other aspects of the former ACC Page’s evidence to the Hutton Inquiry.I consider that ACC Page may have perverted the course of justice by assisting in the concealment of the true cause of death of Dr. Kelly.Conduct of former Chief Constable Peter NeyroudThe then Chief Constable Peter Neyroud was ACC Page’s superior officer in 2003.I ask that Mr. Neyroud’s conduct be referred to the IPCC for investigation since the possibility exists that he was party to the untrue and unreliable evidence given to the Hutton Inquiry.The basis in Law indicating a mandatory referral to the IPCCIn this section I set out why I believe that you are required by Law to refer to the IPCC “without delay” the matter to which I draw your attention and, in all the circumstances which apply, no later than the end of the day following receipt of this letter.My belief that a referral to the IPCC may be required by Law is based on my reading of the Police Reform Act 2002, the Police (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2012 and the Statutory Guidance issued by the IPCC in the document “Statutory Guidance to the Police Service on the handling of complaints”.The matter I am reporting to you is, I believe, such as to constitute perversion of the course of justice by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ball (as she now is) with respect to failures to investigate the suspicious death of Dr. David Kelly.I consider the actions of Deputy Commissioner Mackey and Detective Chief Superintendent Bonthron, similarly, to constitute perversion of the course of justice since they, in effect, conceal what I believe to perversion of the course of justice by DAC Ball.I believe that those concerns each constitutes a recordable “conduct matter” within the meaning of the relevant legislation.In Paragraph 8.13 of the IPCC document “Statutory Guidance to the Police Service on the handling of complaints” it is stated that “perverting the course of justice” is considered to be “serious corruption”.In the boxed list immediately before Paragraph 8.5 of the IPCC Statutory Guidance it is stated that “serious corruption” is a mandatory referral criterion.Paragraph 8.14 of the IPCC document makes it clear that allegations of serious corruption must be referred to the IPCC “without delay”.“Interested person” statusI believe you have a duty to provide a copy of this letter and my letter of 25th May 2013 to the IPCC when making the mandatory referral.In that context I ask the IPCC that I be accorded “interested person” status as provided for in Section 21(3) of the Police Reform Act 2002.I give consent in terms of Subsection 21(3)(b) of the Police Reform Act 2002.I am willing to make a statement on these matters to an investigator appointed by the IPCC and/or, as appropriate, provide further written evidence of the basis for my concerns.Copying of this letterIn fairness to you I think I should let you know a little of how I intend to copy this letter.First, given the possibility that the failures in handling of my concerns may be generic among Police forces, I will in due course write to the IPCC asking them to investigate whether or not these failures may be widespread among Professional Standards departments. Should that be the case, as I’m sure you’ll understand, the possibility exists that multiple other recordable “conduct matters” have been concealed, in my view dishonestly concealed across the country.Second, given the recent Inquiry by the Home Affairs Select Committee into Leadership and Standards in the Police Service, I will in due course be writing to the Chairman, Keith Vaz MP, regarding my concerns on this matter, not only with respect to how this matter has been handled by the Metropolitan Police Service but also its handling by Thames Valley Police and the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner.Third, I will be giving access to the matters contained in this letter to various media outlets. In fairness to you and to give you time to take the actions that an honest Commissioner might take I intend to impose an embargo on that disclosure of 00.01 on 17th July 2013.Actions required of you by LawIn this section I briefly list the actions that I believe to be required of you by Law.First I believe that you are required by Law to refer this matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission “without delay”.Second, before appointing an investigator into the conduct of Deputy Commissioner Mackey I believe you are required by Law to consult the Home Secretary, as well as consulting the IPCC.Third, I believe that you are required promptly to take all necessary steps to ensure preservation of the evidence relevant to this matter.Actions I request of youI very much hope that you will resist the temptation to indulge in “institutional protectionism”. In all the circumstances the temptation for you to do so is evident.In the first instance I would be grateful if you would acknowledge receipt of this letter.Given that you are, I believe, required by Law to refer this matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission “without delay” it would be helpful if you at the time of acknowledging this letter also informed me how you propose to proceed with regard to the referral of this matter to the IPCC.I also ask you to give serious consideration as to whether, in all the circumstances which apply, you should suspend Deputy Commissioner Mackey, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ball, Detective Chief Superintendent Bonthron and Deputy Assistant Commissioner Gallan. It should be a matter of a brief conversation with each to establish whether there is a basis for suspension, not least in the interests of the credibility of the Metropolitan Police Service and its Professional Standards function.I look forward to hearing from you.Yours sincerely(Dr) Andrew Watt
Commissioner Hogan-Howe did reply but refused both to record the "conduct matters" referred to in my letter and also refused to refer the conduct matters to the IPCC.