The police have been going through a bad spell again.
The Andrew Mitchell case grinds on. For those who haven't been following this saga - Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell was forced to resign after allegedly calling police officers “plebs”. Whilst this sounds daft enough, even to me as I type it, the affair has become the stuff of a Hollywood drama. Mitchell has always denied the 'official' version of events and subsequently, it transpired that the three police officers involved lied about Mitchell, but also that their bosses decided not to instigate misconduct proceedings against them. The Home Affairs Select Committee are now investigating. There have already been two internal enquiries and it has just been admitted that police actions so far, mostly improperly defending the police against Mitchell, have cost more than £230,000. Apart from the MPs enquiry, there is still the possibility of criminal charges being brought. No estimates yet of what all that will cost. As I say, if this wasn't real, it would probably be an amusing, if expensive, incident in a fictional story.
In a separate incident, a policewoman was arrested in April after whistle-blowing to the press that the Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner had used a chauffeur-driven car on journeys costing £700, despite having an official car. Although there is nothing illegal (provided certain steps are followed and I confess I have no idea whether they were) about whistle-blowing, the woman was detained by the police. The police commissioner has now apologised for his "mistakes", although it seems no action will be taken against him. The woman has now also been released and will face no criminal action (for what offence it's anyway difficult to imagine). I've no idea what the cost was of pursuing this women whilst the person actually doing wrong was the police commissioner, but at least it was eventually acknowledged that she did nothing criminal. (The commissioner is apparently now hiring a PR consultant . . .).