April 16th, 2011

20% allegation, 100% bollocks

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

One of the recent backlashes from the News of the World ‘phone hacking scandal’ was the release of information from actor Hugh grant who published a transcript of a secret recording made with a News of the World reporter. Paul McMullan is quoted as having alleged that 20% of Met officers had “taken backhanders from tabloid hacks” for information provided to the papers on stories.

With some 30,000 Metrpolitan officers one wonders how a single journalist can know about 6,000 of them. It struck me as an incredibly high amount & reminded me of the fact that 89.7 per cent of all statistics are made up.

In 32 years with the force I have known of occasions when officers have called the press to give them information on stories. I once rang the Sun’s night desk to tell them about a heard of horses who had rampaged through an urban street wrecking parked cars & numerous fences, hedges, gates & lawns, not because I wanted some money but I thought it was quite an interesting & unusual event. It got about one & a half inches on page 16. I wasn’t offered any cash nor would I have accepted any. I know of several people who spoken with journalists & given them a true account of an event when someone higher in the organisation has provided them with corporate spin, or in other words, just lies. I’ve never heard of anyone being offered any money much less accepting it.

The plain fact of the matter is that the vast majority of police officers don’t have information which any journalist worth their salt would consider spending their beer & burger allowances on.

Unless they want to know which unemployed drug-fuelled burglar has got which handout-leaching chav pregnant, or how often they’ve threatened each other on Facebook.

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5 comments

  1. Gary says:

    Strangely enough I don’t think that we are talking about low level stuff. I suspect that this is something much further up the food chain and I doubt that anything as sordid as money would be shown. No I suspect we are looking at the more intangible things like ‘working lunches’ ‘fact finding holidays’ or that ‘regular column in a national daily’ after retirement etc

    April 17th, 2011 at 17:06

  2. Plodnomore says:

    Journalists have only one loyalty and that is to the newspaper that pays their wages. They take great delight in cultivating ‘relationships’ with Police officers and other emergency services operatives in order to obtain information which will, (a) help them sell papers, and (b) help them in their career as an investigative journalist. The truth is a very lowly second to their ambition tempered only by the political views of their publisher. That is why you can read different versions of the same story dependant on the paper you read. In fact, they could be clones of senior Police management

    April 17th, 2011 at 20:23

  3. shazbot says:

    In my dealings with the press i find that telling them nothing wrapped up in police jargon and then referring them to the Press Officer, who generally will trot out some more meaningless SMT bollox works, that and always remembering they are scum.

    April 17th, 2011 at 22:05

  4. Officer Dibble says:

    I wonder if Hugh ever kept a secret recording of the conversation he had with Divine Brown prior to LAPD tapping on the window of his car early hours.

    April 18th, 2011 at 01:20

  5. Brother Random says:

    I suspect that ‘statistic’ was an english journalist talking bolloks to impress a hollywood actor

    April 18th, 2011 at 06:54

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