Monday, 17 January 2011

Jon Collins Demonstrates His Unfitness for Public Office Yet Again

I am sure that all readers of this blog will know about the collapse of the trial of the remaining six climate activists who were accused of planning to shut down Ratcliffe on Soar power station.

Notts Police Authority is the body that is supposed to 'oversee' the work of Notts Police. Its Chair is Jon Collins who is also leader of Nottingham City Council and has been known to feature in these pages from time to time.

In a way, the revelation by undercover police officer Mark Kennedy that the reason for the prosecution being abandoned was that covert recordings made by him conclusively proved that the six had not agreed to join any alleged conspiracy has taken the heat off JoCo. He was previously being put through the media mill by the scandalous decision to end the investigation into the housing allocations scandal.

As such he's featuring prominently in Notts Police Authority's bleatings that they 'welcome' the investigation into the matter by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, presumably because that organisation can usually be relied on to cover up the worst of police incompetence and malpractice. Unfortunately that also means that he has had to put a load of bullshit in print. Lets have a closer look.

Firstly, we have this -

"Nottinghamshire Police Authority has welcomed both the IPCC investigation and an Internal Review into the events leading up to the collapse of the trial of six green campaigners after an undercover police officer offered to give evidence on their behalf."

Well no, that's not really what happened. It wasn't that the undercover cop had agreed to give evidence on the protesters' behalf, he wouldn't need to because after he revealed the existence of the tapes mentioned above the case was dead in the water. Notts Police, whose work is overseen by Notts Police Authority remember, had previously decided to keep the existence of these recordings secret and this was clearly no longer possible. This is as clear a case of perversion of the course of justice as it's possible to get. This para is probably still within the realms of spin, now we come to the outright lies.

"This followed a successful investigation by Nottinghamshire Police, after a total of 114 people were arrested on 13 April 2009 on suspicion of conspiring to disable a major power station and thereby disrupt a critical piece of the national energy infrastructure."

A successful investigation by Nottinghamshire police? Apart from the fact that it was an undercover Met officer doing the work, there were 114 people arrested yet only 26 charged and the cases of six of those were abandoned. That's not what I'd call a successful operation by any means, especially as the operation cost £700k and resulted in nothing more than community sentences and the judge going out of his way to praise the activists for their care and dedication to the environmental cause. What a result.

More serious is the claim that the action would disrupt 'a critical piece of the national energy infrastructure'. This, as has been repeatedly shown, is bollocks and is part of the deliberately false police line being used to justify what was a totally disproportionate action by the police. If Ratcliffe had been closed down then the national grid would have taken up the slack because, well, that's what it's designed to do. Nobody would have noticed except E-On who might have lost some generation revenue. But of course, that's the police's main job these days, protecting big business.

Then the actual quotes from Collins come in and things go downhill.

"...a great many people showed their professionalism and commitment in terms of both the policing of the event and the subsequent investigation."

Withholding evidence that proves a person's innocence is 'professionalism' is it Cllr Collins? Smashing up the Iona school is 'professionalism' is it? You bullshitting twat.

"When policing major public order events, such as this protest, it is necessary that the police use all the resources available to them to maintain public safety."

Again this is thoroughly misleading because the only public safety issue was the police going in tooled up. There was no public safety issue from the protesters because they would have been charged with something more serious than conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass. Obviously when the shit hits the fan Collins will be emphasising that NPA has no role in operational issues and so it has nothing to do with him but people need to remember, with the elections coming up, he's quite prepared to put his name to this rubbish when he judges it politically advantageous to do so.

Notts Police are really not looking good at the moment with this and their failure to even attempt to investigate the housing allocations scandal. Collins has of course been in central roles with NPA and/or NCC throughout so it's reasonable to assume that he had some say in what was going on. Considering his record of completely ignoring proper procedure in his appointment of Alan Given (no stranger to helping cover up police scandals himself) at NPA, the Harold Tinworth and Radford Unity Complex affairs, I'd guess that in reality he was barging his way to the front of the action throughout.

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