Sunday, 30 March 2008

A timely and convenient outcome

Complaints of homophobia among Devon and Cornwall Constabulary police officers have been dismissed by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The complaints came from Cornish gay right activist, Malcolm Lidbury, but Ian Boyne, the IPCC Commissioner, states in relation to the allegations that:

“The IPCC investigated Mr Lidbury’s complaints and did not substantiate any of them after an exhaustive enquiry.”

The ‘executive summary’ of the investigations the IPCC carried out can be found here.

In response Mr Lidbury said that the investigation was a “whitewash” and that a number of mistakes and omissions were made by the IPCC in its investigation, including failing to state the fact that the allegations made were not separate cases, but interconnected. Some of the points Mr Lidbury has raised in response to the publication of the IPCC report are listed below:

# That the IPCC failed to investigate various complaints entirely regarding the conduct of DC Magnus Scott, which have NEVER been investigated. These include allegations of perjury, misinformation to a Court of law, colluding in the withholding statutory services from a vulnerable gay youth.

# That the IPCC failed to investigate the conduct of PC Alexander & an un-named colleague who abused & violated a gay youth and were rude/abusive to a pensioner witness.

# That the IPCC failed to investigate the conduct of three police officers who attended to a violent assault upon x2 gay/bi men and the homophobic manor in which these police officers dealt with the situation.

# That ALL of the above cases were interconnected with the original complaints made to the IPCC and the intimidation of witnesses by police.

# That the IPCC do admit to having ‘failed’ to interview fourteen witnesses whose names were provided to them.

# Since the complaints, Cornwall police officers have simply continued in their attitudes & practises against gay persons

There can be little doubt that Devon and Cornwall Chief Constable, Stephen Otter, is breathing a sigh of relief after the publication of the report, ahead of his appointment as Spokesperson for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on matters relating to ‘sexual orientation’. It would not have been good for the ACPO’s image to have a large number of police officers from the constabulary of its spokesperson on ‘sexual orientation’, to be under investigation for homophobia!

The outcome of the IPCC investigations is not only timely for Mr Otter, but massively convenient.

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