If the RGP cannot get investigations that involve there own right, what chance do the rest of us have? I do not mean other than those three police officers have been found innocent and are innocent, yet they have had to endure the stress and embarrassment of having to face charges and a public trial. Does the general public have to fear the same or worse shoddy investigations and the stressful and embarrassment of the consequences?
In my book and in light of the comments made by the judge, what is unforgivable also is the seemingly bad decision to prosecute taken by the AG. He is responsible for taking the decision to prosecute. He is, thus, a final safeguard to prevent the RGP from pursuing an unfair and oppressive prosecution.
The judge, in the case against Mr Porro, said that the prosecution case had relied on "... weak and tenuous ..." circumstantial evidence, that there was " ... insufficient evidence ..." and, when it seems that the prosecution tried to bolster up a failing prosecution by seeking to introduce a written statement, that the statement " .... will not make a weak case stronger ...". Surely the AG should have assessed all of this and not pursued the prosecution? Why did he not? Is there a systemic problem in the AG's Chambers? Could that be the reason for such a low conviction rate? These and more are all questions that need to be answered by the Government. The Government is ultimately responsible for any failures in the criminal legal system. Will the Government do anything about these events and if so what, how, when and who will be responsible for doing so?
To boot the RGP issue a press release from which I quote:
"Every investigation that is undertaken follows a rigorous pathway both in terms of investigative process and the quality and depth of the evidence available to substantiate a charge."
REALLY? and then:
"The ultimate decision whether to prosecute in a particular case is not taken in isolation ... but rather following exhaustive and lengthy consultations with the Attorney General's Chambers whose decision ultimately it is whether a case should or not be presented before a Court of Law for final determination. ... the process ... concluded that there was indeed sufficient evidence to substantiate a charge ..."
TRANSLATION: it wasn't me, copper, it was the AG. The RGP do mitigate a little for the AG (thank god for small mercies) and say in relation to the AG's decision to prosecute "... A decision with which the [RGP] was and continues to be in agreement with."
Then, in relation to a proposed full inspection of the RGP by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, an RGP spokesman said that the inspection is completely unrelated to the collapse of the case against Mr Porro. So, can someone explain to me how that inspection is going to do what we are told it is intended for, which , in brief, is that it will result in an objective, statistically reliable and authoritative report highlighting strengths and any perceived weaknesses in the RGP and will “place pressure on those forces falling below average in aspects of policing, to raise their game.”?
Perhaps, in context, the spokesman meant that the decision to have an inspection was taken before the acquittal of Mr Porro. Hopefully, my interpretation is correct, so the inspection and report will include an analysis of the failure of the three prosecutions of police officers (but more importantly, in view of the serious nature of the charges, the case against Mr Porro) and the effect on morale amongst the more junior ranks in the RGP and any implications to the general public.