DCI Osman Khan

Page last updated Thursday 11th March 2013 at 1525hrs

DCI Osman Khan (pictured above centre) is a fast-track, on message sound-bite, management type who made the remarkable transition from neighbourhood police inspector to senior ‘detective’ in Professional Standards. We cover just some of the more spectacular failures on his CV since that move from Trafalgar House Police Station in Bradford to West Yorkshire Police HQ in Wakefield.

A good starting point is the disappearance of £12,000 in cash from the locked safe at the very same Trafalgar House (now nationally famous for the appearance of a villian-catcher dressed as Batman). There were two separate thefts, which included cash siezed in earlier warranted searches and packaged as exhibits. Two criminal trials – at huge cost to the taxpayer – have recently collapsed as a result of the disappearance of this cash and other related evidence. uPSD are aware of the identity of the chief theft suspect but cannot name him yet as a result of reporting restictions put in place by the Judge at the end of the second trial referred to above. However, ‘Johnny on the Spot’ Khan, now promoted to ace PSD ‘detective’ has failed to either solve the crime, or recover the cash. Which sets the pattern of incompetence/’look the other way when it suits’ for this particularly poor excuse for a police officer.

Incivility, disrespect and discourtesy, failing to discharge duties appropriately and downright dishonesty: These are the failings in police officers that fatally undermine confidence in the police service as a whole. Yet, in West Yorkshire Police, this is the daily diet served up by Professional Standards Department/Anti-Corruption Unit detectives. Ignore correspondence, not return call messages, use abusive language, slam a phone down, backdate a letter, lose a file, forge a document, lose or tamper with CCTV footage, obstruct an investigation of prima facie crime, assist an offender to evade prosecution, maliciously prosecute a ‘problem’ officer, intimidate a witness, put out a false statement to discredit a witness, threaten to search a victim’s home without just cause, procure a warrant under false premise, commit perjury, racially discriminate. These are not exceptions. Just a routine list of what goes on in a rotten-to-the-core PSD operation in which DCI Osman Khan not only chose to place himself at the very heart, but embraced that culture of dishonesty, misconduct and criminality with a high degree of enthusiasm. For what? Another easy step up the career ladder  like his corrupt predecessor, Supt Steve Bennett?
How can uPSD be so sure as to make such damning assertions? Well, the answer is very simple. We now have over 40  hand-picked criminal and/or complaint cases from which to abstract patterns of these types of misdemeanours. Once the matrix is formed and the same infractions occur, by largely the same group of police officers, you know that the die is well and truly cast. The examples below are just some of the high profile cases in which Khan has personally signed off investigations. With his name indelibly etched on these documents there is no escaping culpability.

One of the high profile cases in which Khan features centrally concerns Iris Gabriel, a highly respected Bradford community worker, who exercised her simple, legal right in not providing a statement to officers from West Yorkshire Police’s PSD who had harassed, threatened and bullied her, at her place of work, over a period of nine months.

This led to Iris’s solicitors, Petherbridge Bassra, making a written complaint regarding the way in which officers were behaving towards her and was followed by a further formal complaint following Iris’s unlawful and totally unnecessary arrest, in August 2010, to both West Yorkshire Police and the IPCC. It alleged prima facie criminal behaviour by officers from the Professional Standards Department.

Almost two years later, in June 2012, and completely out of the blue, Iris received a letter from DCI Khan informing that her complaint had been investigated by South Yorkshire Police’s C/Supt Robert Varey. Through very reliable sources uPSD already knew that Bob Varey had retired in October 2011, some eight months earlier. No explanation has been forthcoming from Khan to explain away the unacceptable delay. The truth is, he didn’t even trouble himself with the courtesy of replying.

What was readily apparent is that the investigation broke every rule in the IPCC Statutory Guidance book, and some that aren’t even in there. Starting with the fact that neither Iris nor her solicitors were even aware that an investigation was taking place, or that it had been referred to another police force. No victim statement was taken from her at any stage, which should have been the starting point under PSD and IPCC rules, and there should have been an update provided every 28 days. Not once in 2 years.

Most astonishingly of all, the investigation outcome signed off by DCI Khan, flies completely in the face of statements made by Circuit Judge, HH Judge Peter Benson at the trial of her friends Shamim Khan and Kash Ahmed. Both of whom, incidentally, were fully exonerated in Court. Iris was, of course, never charged at all with any offence.

At the trial, fellow Rogue Officer Supt Steve Bennett stated the decision to arrest Iris was his. Guy Kearl QC cross examining Bennett averred that it was not a responsible use of PACE powers. There were, in fact, nine separate prima facie breaches of PACE involved in Iris’s arrest, detention, search of her work premises and handling of her retained property. DCI Khan managed, in his Investigation Outcome, to identify just the minor one of those nine: Which, on the evidence of case after case reported in uPSD, is a fair reflection of his detective skills and integrity.

One of the officers harassing Iris over a period of time and also present at her arrest was DS Penelope Morley, much favoured at the time by Supt Bennett. HH Judge Benson was not quite so enamoured with her and described DS Morley as untruthful at the trial: In other words, a liar. Yet Khan relies on Morley’s accounts in Iris Gabriel’s complaint as though they were the Gospel itself. More crucially for the public of this County, Morley has faced no charge or misconduct hearing for providing perjured evidence in a Crown Court, thanks to Khan. She will, however, be tested in the witness box again, very soon, in a civil case against West Yorkshire Police where the claim runs to over £1,000,000. Morley appears as a defence witness on behalf of the police and will face a gruesome cross-examination.

The next high profile case for the DCI Osman Khan cover-up treatment was the well publicised police assault on Tony Ramsden which is set out in much more detail here. The three key features of this case are, firstly, the sustained concealment of and tampering with CCTV evidence. Secondly, the reliance on and protection of known liar, evidence withholder and fellow Rogue Officer, DI Damian Carr. Thirdly, the sustained concealment of a fellow Chief Inspector, Roger Essell, as the officer who brusquely informed Tony Ramsden ‘We are the police and this complaint is going nowhere’ the day after he was assaulted. Khan now has to explain away why the Police Commissioner was shown CCTV film from a Leedswatch mobile unit that DI Carr plainly said was not working. It was also a different piece of footage to what the police gave the IPCC on which to assess Mr Ramsden’s Appeal. Carr also famously claimed that the helicopter hovering over Elland Rd ten minutes after the end of a Leeds Utd v Man Utd football match did not belong to the police but ‘was probably filming for Sky or the BBC’ and that ‘none of the police CCTV vans had their cameras witched on’. That is just an example of the rubbish that Khan regularly attempts to foist on the public whilst performing the duties of a police officer.

A third DCI Khan special involves uPSD’s own Felicity Stewart-Smith (pictured top right). In August 2012, she received an inappropriate, anonymous email sent from the PSD Enquiries mailbox at West Yorkshire Police HQ. This followed correspondence relating to media enquiries sent the previous week concerning the Iris Gabriel matter referred to above and the DC Nick McFadden drug theft (the trial of which recently ended in a 23 year jail term for McFadden). The email threatened criminal action if those enquiries were persisted with and, unbelievably, contemplated civil action which is, of course, well beyond any police officer’s remit. Except, of course, in their own personal capacity.

There were only two feasible suspects as senders of that email and Felicity filed a formal complaint naming them both. Khan and Supt Alan Lees. Neither Khan nor equally witless and gutless Lees had the balls to own up, apologise and put the matter quickly to rest. Instead they tried to persuade the IPCC to allow the police to drop the complaint investigation and, in an extraordinary turn of events, named Chief Constable John Parkinson as the sender. The IPCC refused to permit the police to discontinue the investigation and it is still unresolved with Khan continuing to flaunt the Police Reform Act and IPCC Statutory Guidelines by failing to provide updates, or an outcome, some seven months later. Instead, on the now disgraced Parkinson’s instructions background checks were run on Ms Stewart-Smith as a ‘subversive’ element. Which tells you all you need to know about the clowns in charge of the Professional Standards circus within West Yorkshire Police and the Command Team directing them.

Much more recently another extraordinary turn of events involved both DCI Khan and Felicity Stewart-Smith. This is largely chronicled on the Wetherby NPT page of our website here, but the key elements concerning Khan are his intervention in a complaint matter when he is already the subject of proceedings by that same complainant (a breach of IPCC Statutory Guidance and an affront to natural justice) and the fact that the matter turned largely on whether the term ‘Blobby Bobby’ was offensive. In particular context to the significantly overweight Sgt Matthew Appleyard of Jimmy Savile Friday Morning Club fame. The other key factor is that Khan’s own Professional Standards line manager, C/Supt Marc Callaghan, who would have had input into the complaint outcome is, arguably, the Blobbiest Bobby in the entire West Yorkshire Police Force. You just couldn’t make it up.

The latest Khan investigation outcome was also completely silent on the matter of the trolling account set up by PC 6454 David Manson to harass and cause distress/alarm to Ms Stewart-Smith and the fact that the term Blobby Bobby was borrowed from West Yorkshire Police Federation, who had broadcast it freely via Twitter earlier the same day. Which again fits the pattern of this thoroughly discreditable ‘detective’. The simple apology requested by Felicity was not forthcoming so the PSD investigation outcome now goes to the IPCC on Appeal and becomes another excruciatingly painful, and embarassing, running sore for everyone involved. What do these PSD officers have instead of brains or balls?

A copy of the Appeal to the IPCC made by Ms Stewart-Smith can be read by clicking here. A response to that Appeal was received on 11th April 2013 from the IPCC to the effect that, under new Police Conduct Regulations, they do not have jurisdiction in the Appeal and the matter is to be determined by the Chief Constable.

That should be an interesting exercise for new Chief Mark Gilmore, ace PR Player and keeper of the Bettison/Parkinson/Crompton secrets. Which is the only concievable reason he could have been appointed ahead of a very experienced and highly-regarded Chief Constable of Norfolk, who appeared much better qualified and suitable for the role of running the country’s fourth largest police force.