Detective Inspector Peter Howarth aka ‘Counterfeit Pete’ competes with similarly ranked Damian Carr as the biggest Professional Standards rogue in West Yorkshire – and that is some achievement in a Department full of them.
DI Howarth, apart from being intellectually challenged and oblivious to the requirements of lawful duty, is an odious, gobby, self-opinionated individual. The type of officer who is a one man advertisement as to precisely why the public lose confidence in the police service.
That is not just our opinion: It was freely offered by a former Notts Constabularly officer, Ian Guise, who had the grave misfortune to have Howarth investigating his complaints against West Yorkshire Police. A residual feature of that particular case is the disappearance of 3 letters sent to the Chief Constable by Mr Guise between May 2010 and September 2010 which contained complaints against both Howarth and DCI Stephen Bennett (another dangerous Rogue Officer himself).
Both West Yorkshire Police’s PSD, Temp Chief Constable John Parkinson and West Yorkshire Police Authority’s Fraser Sampson have gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal the circumstances of the disappearance of those letters. Which resonates with the management style of disgraced Sir Norman Bettison, whose own discipline file and the entire criminal file of evidence relating to alleged metal theft appears to have disapppeared into the same black hole.
Counterfeit Pete Howarth earned his soubriquet on the back of a crude forgery of a document that was a peurile and vacuous attempt to change police case history. His attempted victim of this ‘nine-bob note’ deception was none other than investigative journalist, Neil Wilby. Unfortunately, for Howarth and West Yorkshire Police, they picked the wrong victim.
Howarth also lied in a failed attempt to protect fellow PSD officer, DI Richard Cawkwell, from prosecution for driving his police car whilst on the mobile phone and receiving a call from DCI Stephen Bennett. CPS decided that prosecuting Cawkwell was ‘not in the public interest’ and Howarth received no sanction whatsoever for attempting to pervert the course of justice. How does that work with the public?
Another Howarth evidence black hole featured the ‘disappearance’ of an entire crime file and all the associated logs, records, PNB’s associated with a POCA investigation into a Wetherby businesswoman who had admitted theft of exhibition equipment, benefit fraud, revenue fraud and defrauding her employer of a substantial five figure sum. Howarth was aided and abetted in the evidence concealment, and non-prosecution of the offender, by both CI Melanie Jones (pictured top left) and the unlovely DCI Liz Belton (pictured top right) whom uPSD outed as a sex predator in another Yorkshire Post exclusive ‘Steam rises in Killingbeck police station gym’. Read here.
Likewise, Howarth was investigating officer in the case of the mysterious gap in the master tapes at Killingbeck Control Centre (pictured top centre) which enabled two West Yorkshire Police officers to evade prosecution for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
A three year, relentless and ever-widening, criminal pursuit of ex PC Kash Ahmed in which a case costing over £500,000, involving 34 officers, collapsed as a result of the rank incompetence and sheer dishonesty of the PSD team. The Investigating Officer in the case? You guessed it. DI Peter Howarth. The SIO? Right again. DCI Stephen Bennett
Howarth also features as PSD arresting officer in three wrongful arrest cases that are now the subject of civil litigation against West Yorkshire Police. In one of those cases the police face potentially the largest compensation payouts ever made to a former officer. We are constrained from commenting further at this point on those cases.
In the face of all this, and much more that we will report on in due course, Howarth was allowed to retire on full pension in November 2012. That is the contempt in which Professional Standards and the Command Team hold the public of West Yorkshire.
Which is what can also be said about the Wakefield office of the IPCC, who gave Howarth a charmed life by failing to uphold a single complaint against him, that we know of.