July 30th, 2008

To let the punishment fit the crime, the punishment fit the crime

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

The culturally aware amongst you may recognise the title of this entry as the lyrics from the Gilbert & Sullivan Operetta "The Mikado".

Ex-Superintendent Chris Pretty of West Midlands Police may well be wondering whether his punishment fitted the crime.

The punishment was demotion to chief inspector, the crime was making an inapropriate comment during his leaving bash.

Supt Pretty was transferred from head of training in Birmingham to Coventry & held a leaving do during which he was presented with a toy BMW car. – he collects model cars On receiving the gift he joked "Oh, black man’s wheels". Two people complained & the force sent the case to the IPCC who promptly returned it (presumably becaus they didn’t consider it worthy of their investigation) back to the professional standards department at West Mids. At his misconduct hearing recently, he was demoted.

I don’t know what service Chief Inspector Pretty has but let’s assume that he was on the middle pay scale for a superintendent (£61,000) & had a further 5 years to serve. His punishment would amount to about a fine of about £55,000 plus many thousands more in loss of pension.

A force spokesman said: "West Midlands Police expects the highest standards of professionalism & integrity from its officers & staff & has robust procedures in place to deal with behaviour which falls below those standards."

Does the punishment fit the crime? You decide.

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