Police

Exposing the corruption, malpractice and sheer wrong-headedness that infect the work of Britain's police - and the greedy politicians who make policy out of vote-winning cliches.

The dying art of detection

The Guardian, July 1 1994

There is a point in most miscarriages of justice when a prosecutor becomes deliberately dishonest, hiding inconvenient facts, fabricating helpful ones in order to strengthen a bogus case. But miscarriages usually do not begin with dishonesty. More often, they are born of incompetence, a simple inability to find the real culprit.

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The mugging that robbed the law of its credibility

The Guardian, December 21 1995

One quiet summer's night this year, there was an incident in north London which captured, with almost perfect symbolism, not only the violence which has now be come a routine part of British life but also the paralysis of policy which has become a routine reaction to its occurrence.
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Losing the battle against child abuse

The Daily Mail, August 21 1996

The Belgian Minister of Justice looked weak and depressed as he sat before the world's press this week and tried to explain how his police officers had failed to detect Marcel Dutroux, the 39-year-old builder who has confessed to the serial rape and abduction of young girls.

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Problems of a black police officer

The Guardian, July 30 1997

Police Constable Richie Clarke had always loved his work. It didn't matter to him that he was black. In fact, he wanted to believe that it helped him - that some black people might show him a little extra trust and that some white officers would be less likely to get out of order if he was around.

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Blunders by police and prisons gave Clive Barwell a licence to rape

The Guardian, October 5 1999

One of the most prolific sex offenders in British criminal history yesterday admitted a series of kidnaps, rapes and assaults, leaving the home office to explain how he managed to attack two of his victims while he was serving a prison sentence for an earlier armed robbery.

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A 16-year saga of crimes against women

The Guardian, October 5 1999

At about half past two in the afternoon on May 14 1993, a 23-year-old woman from Leicestershire drove her mother's car into the centre of Nottingham and parked on the ground floor of the concrete multi-storey car park which squats on the edge of the Broadmarsh shopping centre. For a few moments, she sat there, sorting through her handbag.

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Paedophilia is easy 1: how police finally caught up with a network of child abusers

The Guardian, November 25 2000

A little way south of the centre of Bristol, there is a neat and peaceful patch of suburbia called Brislington. In amongst its red-brick rows of Victorian terraced homes, there is a street called Churchill Road - just an ordinary collection of two-storey houses with patches of grass out back and a couple of For Sale signs in the front. The door to number 49 is painted cream.

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Paedophilia is easy 2: how a paedophile murder inquiry fell apart

The Guardian, November 27 2000

A year after Bristol police finally started to unravel the ring of paedophiles who had been abusing children in the city for up to twenty years, they came across an informant who opened up a new and alarming line of inquiry.

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Defects in the defence against terrorism

October 1 2003

"Whatever damage we have done to Al Qaida, they continue to operate.... Whatever damage they are able to inflict, they will do so. We cannot be sure where or when they will strike. But we can be certain they will try." David Blunkett, Home Secretary.

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The judge who was betrayed by justice

December 13 2003

Andrew Chubb devoted most of his working life to justice, first as a lawyer in the merchant navy, then as a barrister (he appeared, for example, at the Rosemary West murder trial) and finally as a crown court judge on the western circuit - nearly 30 years of service to this country's system of civil and criminal justice. Then he died. And justice deserted him.

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