October 23, 2020

The Editor Speaks – Discipline, dismissal, silence


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Operation Tempura and Operation Cealt made the headlines again today.
Operation Tempura that began in 2007 will always be remembered as a fiasco that cost this country millions of dollars. It was a London Metropolitan Police investigation according to the RCIPS recently although then Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks in July 2010 stated it was initially under the operational control of Governor Stuart Jack, but in early 2009 operational control was transferred to the commissioner of police. One can only conclude that it is now more convenient for the RCIPS to make this claim as there has been a private individual requesting information from open records under the Freedom of Information.
Operation Cealt commenced as a separate investigation in 2009 to investigate serious allegations of criminal misconduct amongst a “small number of RCIPS officers.”
Both these operations are officially ended. Charges were brought to various high profile persons including high-ranking police officers and a judge as a result of these operations. All the charges were either dropped or ended in Court with “Not Guilty” verdicts.
Both operations were a disaster and made world wide news, especially in the UK. For some time now Tempura and Cealt have seemingly quietly slipped away into the time capsule as nothing since has happened.
Wrong. Responding to the private individual request about the probes we now learn that all is not over and very, very quietly disciplinary action and even dismissal was taken as a result of findings in both Tempura and Cealt.
We now learn that eight members of the RCIPS were subject to disciplinary action. Six RCIPS staff members have been dismissed or asked to retire (which they did).
The RCIPS did not offer any more information than that. We do not know what specific allegations against these individuals led to their discipline or dismissal.
We have learnt again from the open records request that the probes under Cealt are actually still continuing. At least one allegation of misconduct is still under investigation but the RCIPS were silent concerning the nature of this investigation. Operation Cealt involved 161 separate allegations.
The RCIPS response said, “All allegations were fully recorded and investigated. In a number of cases, the allegations were evaluated and found to be of ‘single strand’ or historic nature, thereby making it difficult to find corroboration to support them. A significant number of the allegations have been ‘pended’ awaiting further intelligence/evidence becoming available in order to reopen them as appropriate. At the conclusion of operation Cealt a number of these ‘pended’ allegations were passed to the newly formed RCIPS Anti-Corruption Unit for further action, if and when deemed to be appropriate.”
It is a two way street. The RCIPS wants the public to share as much information with them. I have campaigned in my editorials for people to come forward and not to be silent if they know anything relating to ongoing crime investigations no matter how trivial it may seem to them. I have even ‘begged’ our readers to do so. However, the RCIPS, don’t feel they should be so forthcoming. If it hadn’t been for the Freedom of Information Act they would be silent. Even so they have not offered anything extra to the questions raised. They would not answer one of the questions whether other complaints had been made to investigators working on the initial Tempura probe. They are hiding behind their claim that it was a London Metropolitan Police investigation when Donovan Ebanks has said it wasn’t.
What else don’t we know? What else are the RCIPS keeping silent about? Silence starts rumours. Most rumours are unpleasant. Can’t they practice what they preach to us? Silence is not golden.

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