Below is the text of my letter of 12th February 2014 to Sarah Green. I think it is fairly self-explanatory.
In addition to matters relating to West Midlands Police it also raises similar issues with regard to concealment of "serious corruption" by the Metropolitan Police Service.
12th February 2014
Sarah Green, Deputy ChairIPCCPO Box 473Sale M33 0BWDear Ms Green,Plebgate: Police Federation Conspiracy
- IPCC failures
- Request that IPCC require recording of Police “serious corruption”I am writing to you in your role as the IPCC Commissioner with territorial responsibility for the Metropolitan Police Service and for West Midlands Police.You are likely aware of the media coverage today of statements by retired PC Ian Richardson to the effect that the Plebgate incident was hijacked by the Police Federation.You are, I imagine, also aware that I am deeply concerned about what I perceive as misconduct by your predecessor as Deputy Chair, Deborah Glass, and the cover up of that misconduct by Dame Anne Owers.One effect of the perceived misconduct by Ms. Glass was to impede proper investigation of the role of the Police Federation in the Plebgate and SuttonColdfieldgate incidents.I write to put on record my deep concern about continuing IPCC failures to uphold the Law on this matter. Failures which may also be yours given your territorial responsibilities.Midlands Police Federations ConspiracyOn 28th October 2013 I wrote to the Chief Constables of West Mercia, West Midlands and Warwickshire alleging that Inspector Ken Mackaill, Detective Sergeant Stuart Hinton, Sergeant Chris Jones and Sergeant Ian Edwards had conspired to oust Andrew Mitchell MP from his post as Chief Whip.The allegation was that inter alia each individual had committed a criminal offence. In my view the allegations constitute “conduct matters” and the Law requires recording of those allegations by the Police and referral to the IPCC.I later forwarded to the three Chief Constables and the IPCC a critique of the Reakes-Williams which demonstrated serious failings in that investigation.Contrary to the view conveyed to the Home Affairs Select Committee by Ms Glass there were visible, serious deficiencies in the Reakes-Williams investigation.The Chief Constables of West Mercia and Warwickshire acted in accordance with the applicable Law and referred my letter of 28th October 2013 to the IPCC. I assume, but cannot be certain, that they recorded the matter as a conduct matter with respect to the officers in their respective forces.The Chief Constable of West Midlands did not do so.I ask that you exercise the powers conferred on the IPCC by virtue of Paragraph 11(5) of Schedule 3 of the Police Reform Act 2002 and that you require West Midlands police to record the conduct matters with respect to Sergeant Chris Jones and Sergeant Ian Edwards.Metropolitan Police Federation ConspiracyOn 29th October 2013 I wrote to Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe regarding the possible participation of John Tully of the Metropolitan Police Federation, among others, in a conspiracy to destabilise Andrew Mitchell MP.That letter was copied to Deborah Glass.I received a platitudinous response from one of Sir Bernard’s staff.To the best of my knowledge Sir Bernard has neither recorded the allegation regarding John Tully nor referred it to the IPCC nor taken any steps to investigate it.I ask that you exercise the powers conferred on the IPCC by virtue of Paragraph 11(5) of Schedule 3 of the Police Reform Act 2002 and that you require the Metropolitan Police Service to record the conduct matter with respect to John Tully.As you will see from my letter of 29th October 2013 I at that time had already arrived at the view that others in the Metropolitan Police Federation were likely to be involved in any such conspiracy, as indicated by careful consideration of contemporary media reports.Plebgate – Actions of PC Toby RowlandOn 31st January 2014 I wrote to Deputy Assistant Commissioner Patricia Gallan, communicating to her the case that PC Toby Rowland may have committed an offence contrary to Section 137 of the Highways Act when he prevented Andrew Mitchell MP exiting Downing Street on 19th September 2012.As I understand the Law, an allegation of a criminal offence is a recordable conduct matter.Accordingly, I ask that you exercise the powers conferred on the IPCC by virtue of Paragraph 11(5) of Schedule 3 of the Police Reform Act 2002 and that you require the Metropolitan Police Service to record the conduct matter with respect to PC Toby Rowland.IPCC failures – the need for a public statementThe IPCC, in the person of Deborah Glass, has visibly failed the public and Andrew Mitchell MP with respect to the IPCC handling of Plebgate and SuttonColdfieldgate. At least that’s my considered opinion.Given your territorial responsibilities it occurs to me that you, too, may be party to those serious failures by the IPCC.I ask that the IPCC gives serious consideration to making a full public statement honestly admitting its failures in handling these matters.Action requested of youFor the avoidance of doubt the actions I request of you are these:
- That you promptly acknowledge receipt of this letter,
- That the IPCC accords me “interested person” status with respect to my reporting of the conduct matters regarding Sergeant Ian Edwards, Sergeant, Chris Jones and John Tully as well as those conduct matters referred to the IPCC by the Chief Constables of Warwickshire and West Mercia. I give my consent to being kept informed.
- That the IPCC requires the West Midlands Police to record the conduct matters regarding Sergeant Ian Edwards and Sergeant Chris Jones
- That the IPCC requires the Metropolitan Police Service to record the conduct matter relating to John Tully
- That the IPCC makes a comprehensive public statement on Plebgate and SuttonColdfieldgate including full acknowledgement of the past failings to which I refer earlier in this letter.It seems to me that if the IPCC is incapable of competently and lawfully handling matters relating to the Plebgate and SuttonColdfieldgate affairs it raises grave concerns about the capability of the IPCC to handle any major investigation.In that context I am giving serious consideration to the possibility of my writing to Lord Justice Goldring drawing his attention to the basis for my very serious concerns about the competence and integrity of the highest echelons of the IPCC.I look forward to your early reply.Yours sincerely(Dr) Andrew Wattcc Rachel Cerfontyne, Deputy Chair, IPCC