Page last updated Wednesday 27th February 2013 at 12.40hrs
In this section of the unProfessional Standards website we shine a light on a number of high profile West Yorkshire Police reversals in Crown Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. In the interests of balance and fairness we would publish notable WYP court triumphs as well. The trouble is, we can’t find any.
We start the ball rolling with the nationally known and widely publicised case of ground policing at Elland Road Football Stadium in Leeds here and follow that with a closely connected case of policing in the vicinity of the renowned Leeds Festival here.
The third case we will cover, if only to further highlight the obduracy and pursuit at any cost philosophy of West Yorkshire Police, is an age discrimination Employment Tribunal case initially won by retired detective, Terence Homer. That dispute was taken all the way to the Law Lords where Mr Homer won again. Read more here. A FoI request is currently awaiting determination regarding the final legal costs of this quite extraordinary exercise.
A fourth case that attracted widespread and adverse publicity for West Yorkshire Police is the misapropriation of software and tables belonging to Forensic Telecommunication Services Ltd. The Royal Courts of Justice were the scene of yet another drubbing for the police and the taxpayer. Full case details can be read here.
The fifth case published here is a telling demonstration of the mindset of Champagne Socialist and Police Authority Chairman, Mark Burns-Williamson. Aided and abetted by Leeds Councillor and ex-Mayor, Les Carter, they were largely responsible for sanctioning reductions in Injured on Duty police officer pensions. In some cases by £10,000pa. In another highly embarassing reversal at Leeds Administrative Court, four ex policeman won a test case that ultimately cost the Police Authority hundreds of thousands of pounds including, yet again, the legal fees for all parties.
The latest case published (full details at this link) contrasts sharply with the pensions debacle as it exposes another high on the hog outgoing of senior police officers and officials. This time we shine a light on a six figure sum that has been wasted away by the Police Authority, chaired for the last ten years by Mark Burns-Williamson, in funding subscriptions and legal expenses cover in the CPOSA Legal Fees debacle. In real terms this gives ACPO officers a Police Authority ‘war chest’ if they face misconduct or criminal proceedings. This has cost WYPA around £2,500 per ACPO officer and we calculate that with 9 officers qualifying it would pay the salary of one bobby on the beat.
The Court Cases section of the website will also give an overview of some spectacular and crushing reversals at Crown Court where abuse of process hearings have gone against West Yorkshire Police and the CPS. We will also touch on cases featured elsewhere such as the police reputation-wrecking Operation Douglas Supreme Court debacle.
Links to trial transcripts or judgements are provided below courtesy of the BAILII legal archives. Much of the content is technical and/or legal jargon but a common thread runs throughout and that is how have West Yorkshire Police managed to allow things to get so far? With, of course, catastrophic financial implications for West Yorkshire taxpayers.