Socialist Worker

An abusive police officer is allowed to keep name secret

Issue No. 2778

The police officer will have his identity protected

The police officer will have his identity protected


A male police officer who harassed a female domestic abuse victim has been granted lifelong anonymity to “protect his welfare”.

The specially trained domestic violence officer bombarded the young woman with messages as he pursued an “improper emotional relationship” with her a ­misconduct panel heard last week.

He was accused of ­sending her wink-face emojis with kisses, asked her on a cocktail date, invited her to his home, and gave her hugs and a kiss.

The panel ruled last week that the Hampshire officer’s actions amounted to gross misconduct but his name will stay hidden.

It’s not the first damning revelation about Hampshire police. In December, six members of the force’s serious ­organised crime unit were found guilty of gross misconduct.

A covert bug had recorded them regularly making offensive remarks, including ­wishing death on foreigners.

An investigation found that part of the office where a black officer worked was called “Africa corner”.

System

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The officers were named in that case.

But in June a former police sergeant who used racist and homophobic language in messages to a fellow officer with was not named.

Deputy chief constable Ben Snuggs told the Guardian newspaper that he did not believe there was a culture problem in Hampshire.

He argued there has been a backlog of disciplinary cases because of Covid that are now coming through the system.

Meanwhile five ­undercover police officers who infiltrated political groups in the 1970s and 1980s—including the Socialist Workers Party—have been allowed to give evidence in secret to a public inquiry.

They include two officers who admit they had sexual relationships with women using their fake identities.

It appears that the secrecy will prevent those women from finding out what ­happened to them.

Sir John Mitting, the retired judge leading the inquiry, made the decision to allow the undercover officers to give their evidence behind closed doors.

Mitting has previously said that women who had sexual relationships with ­undercover officers have a compelling moral claim to know the ­identity of the officer.

But in these two recent cases he ruled that the reasons for secrecy were stronger than those for allowing the women to discover the ­identities of the men.


  • Just before the Cop26 talks, London’s Science Museum has “doubled down” on its sponsorship of climate exhibitions by fossil fuel companies by taking funding from a subsidiary of the Adani Group.

The Energy Revolution gallery, opening in 2023, will be sponsored by Adani’s Green Energy arm.

Adani is building the biggest coal mine in Australia, which will create 4.6 billion tonnes of carbon pollution. It became a central focus for the Australian school climate strikes. Prepare for protests at the museum.

  • Colonel Richard Kemp, former head of British forces in Afghanistan, is very upset by protests at his talk at the University of Essex last week.

He described how a group of pro-Palestinian activists gathered outside his speech to the university’s Conservative Society.

No doubt much more ­terrifying than the British army’s actions in Afghanistan.


Will British soldiers face reckoning for Kenya fire?

A group of 1,400 Kenyans goes to court this week to put a compensation claim against the British government.

The Kenyans blame British troops for burning down nearly 50 square kilometres of land earlier this year.

One man, Linus Murangiri, was crushed to death by a vehicle as local people rushed to help put out the fire in Lolldaiga Conservancy on 23 March.

The fire burnt for at least four days in a prized wildlife reserve.

A British soldier in Kenya posted on Snapchat during the incident, “Caused a fire, killed an elephant and feel terrible about it but hey-ho, when in Rome.” Eyewitnesses said it smelt “like a barbecue”.

The British army has access to 155,000 hectares of land across nine sites in Kenya for training exercises.

Many of the sites are in Laikipia county, a district that was known as the White Highlands during colonial times because European settlers occupied so much of its land.


Anarchist jailed after the pro-Trump riots

A judge in Florida in the United States has sentenced Daniel Baker, an anti-fascist activist, to 44 months in federal prison.

This is for social media posts that called for people to “rise up” with “every calibre available” against “armed racists” he feared would storm the Capitol on 20 January.

This followed official FBI warnings of violence that day in the wake of the 6 January pro-Trump riots.

Baker, a yoga teacher and emergency medical technician trainee, had no previous criminal convictions and has already been held for ten months of harsh pre-trial detention.

This included seven months in solitary confinement.

Jason Coody, acting US attorney for the Northern District of Florida, said the sentence “should serve as a significant deterrent to those who would solicit others to join them in conducting criminal acts.”

But the sentence is far more than most of those delivered for the 6 January defendants.

They didn’t just write on social media but actually used weapons in an effort to overturn an election.


Superprofits for children’s home firms

Private providers of children’s homes and foster care are making “significant and persistent” profits by charging cash-strapped local authorities elevated prices for increasingly scarce placements.

The largest private providers of children’s homes are now charging councils an average of £3,830 a week per child, with an average operating profit margin of 23 percent.

That’s according to the Competition and Markets Authority’s report on children’s social care.

The average weekly price charged by fostering agencies was about £820 a week, with an average operating profit margin of 19 percent.


‘Coronavirus deaths remain mercifully low’

Health secretary Sajid Javid after 954 deaths with Covid-19 were recorded in a week

‘We on this side have a more convivial, fraternal spirit’

Posho Tory MP Jacob Rees‑Mogg on why Conservative MPs don’t wear masks in parliament

‘We are in favour of plan B’

Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth last week called for enhanced coronavirus safety measures. But...

‘Plan B is the wrong focus. The question we need to ask is why is plan A failing?’

Labour leader Keir Starmer ten minutes after Ashworth’s statement

‘Are care workers skilled workers? Absolutely they are. But they’re not skilled workers under our immigration system’

Tory care minster Gillian Keegan ties herself in knots over workers’ statuses


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