March 21st, 2009

If he drowns, he’s not guilty

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

When I went to training school back in 1979, I had to learn stuff. I’m not sure that is the case these days, but that’s something for another time. One of the things I learned was the Theft Act. In the days when we had to type our own court files, you had to type out the offence & the act & section, so you pretty much got to know them off by heart. Much I have forgotten these days. I did learnt that if you took possession of stolen goods & used them to your own ends you might be guilty of handling stolen property.

All of which is a tenuous link to the story today that PC Steve Bettley of Merseyside Police has been sacked after his name was found on that BNP membership list from last year. The list that was stolen from the BNP & published on the internet.

The PSDs up  down the land grabbed this stolen property & went through it trying to find police officers who might be on it. They did. They must have been rubbing their hands with glee.

I’ve said before that I have no truck with the views of the BNP but that I hope in due course the ban on membership for Police Officers will be found illegal & a breach of our (I can’t say ‘our’ now, can I?) human rights. I believe we should be judged on our actions not our beliefs. I do find it morally unacceptable that the PSD can use evidence obtained through an illegal source against one of their own. I mean, what would happen in a court of law if the police tried to enter  into a trial evidence which had been obtained illegally?

Ex PC Bettley  has apparently stated his intention to appeal against the Witchfinder General’s – I mean chief constable’s decision. He has his work cut out. His wife’s name was on the same list & he is saying a family member enrolled him in the party without his knowledge. Good luck with that one, the Federation are supporting his appeal.

The sooner  the police get taken to court for this policy the better, as far as I’m concerned.

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  1. Chris says:

    Merseyside Not Manchester

    March 22nd, 2009 at 07:39

  2. Andy says:

    Actually we still do learn that stuff – I had to recite half of it for my tutor while we out on a call last week.

    I have to agree with you about the infringement on our human rights. It seems to me, from my very limited experience, that police are exempt from the human rights legislation – at least as far as the government is concerned.

    I don’t know, but maybe that’s something we should all be worried about, not just PC Bettley

    March 22nd, 2009 at 08:43

  3. 200 says:


    thanks, now corrected.

    March 22nd, 2009 at 11:31

  4. Alpha Tango says:


    I think that the police service/force ( delete as applicable, both options can be deleted!!) hasn’t come to terms with racism or alleged,since the Macpherson report. Bless Stephen Lawrence, perhaps more incompetence, than racist, none the less a tragic event.

    Recently in the news there are over 1,000 serving Police Officers with convictions for Theft, dishonesty- we will put that down to lying!!, Violence against the person, etc. I don’t condone any of the above offences.

    He has possibly been judged on his personal beliefs, ” without fear favour or malice” have any suspects/ victims of crime made a complaint as to how the ex officer treated them? at the time.

    If so, he should go, aswell as the other 1,000 officers still serving.

    I know of an officer from an ethnic minority, who has been arrested for domestic violence on more than one occassion, including an incident out of force where the officers attending were assaulted.

    He is still in his job! interstingly, he has served in PSD/PDS.

    Police, including the dog with the ginger eyebrows have to start playing on a level playing field as regards their officers irrelevant of alleged offence.

    March 22nd, 2009 at 13:53

  5. constableconfused says:

    I think your title sums it up nicely. No doubt it would be a witchhunt with only one outcome once an “investigation”, with input from the BPA was concluded.

    Once again a force all too eager to prove it’s own righteousness. How can they pursue a persecution, sorry investigation, on “leaked” papers? Was their provenance confirmed or was it just another malicious series of events?

    Once again I give up, in this job “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”.

    Before the “if you don’t like it you can always leave” (quoted from other blogs and posts) brigade start I have a family and mortgage so can’t really afford to just get out.

    March 22nd, 2009 at 18:28

  6. MarkUK says:

    As a MOP, I find it incredible that the police still has a Victorian attitude as to what the “lower orders” are allowed to do.

    If a constable wishes to join the Anarchist Party (isn’t that an oxymoron?), Sadomasochists North West, Fulham Supporters Club, the Gardners’World panel or the BNP it shouldn’t matter unless it interferes with his/her duty. Good grief, officers can be members of the Masons or even the Cliff Richard Fan club.

    I would have an issue with them joining Islamic Jihad, but then again I’m probably racist.

    I’m a firm believer in Civil Liberties (boo and hiss as much as you like) but we don’t have civil liberties unless everyone has them – even those who wish to join such an obnoxious group as the BNP.

    March 22nd, 2009 at 22:05

  7. Tony F says:

    The BNP is still (unfortunately) a legal party. Membership open to anyone. As is the Labour, sorry, nuLabour. Perhaps Police should be disallowed from being members of secret organisations, the Freemasons, for instance….

    March 23rd, 2009 at 18:56

  8. Weary says:

    I’ll get the inevitable statement out of the way. I’m not a supporter of the BNP. As it happens, I grew up in the rough areas of the West Midlands and then moved to the rough areas of East London, so I’ve lived in the breeding areas for extreme right wing thought. I even resent them putting their leaflets through my front door. But … They’re a legal party. How can it happen that officers who are (or are alleged) to be members of a legal organisation be dismissed. PC Bulls**t. If they’re acting accordingly, dismiss them on that basis.

    March 23rd, 2009 at 21:56

  9. Dr Dan H. says:

    Alright, so this list of BNP members turns up.

    It is from a completely unknown source.

    The data on it has not been subject to any audit trail at all.

    The BNP won’t confirm or deny the accuracy of the list and you have no other way of auditing the accuracy or otherwise of the data.

    Now, you observe that there are policemens’ names on the list.

    Do you:

    a) Have a quiet word with the coppers involved reminding them of the rules on membership of dodgy organisations but no more.

    b) Issue a memo to ALL officers reminding everyone what the rules are.

    c) Take immediate legal action against those people listed based on your unfounded assumption that the list has not been tampered with in any way whatsoever.

    March 24th, 2009 at 11:27

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