Plebgate: senior Tory slams 'cancer' of corruption in UK police service | UK news | The Observer
I could have told him this 38 years ago, after my encounter with a young Irish professional guy, if you please, who boasted that he had escaped a drunken driving rap by bribing a policeman in Manchester. It was a common ruse apparently - keep a £50 note in your driving licence and if you're caught, hand it over and chat up the cop - and if he gets the signal, you get your licence back, minus the £50 note, and you're sent on your way. It was a shocking revelation for me, a callow kid, just out of his teens, and brought up to respect the law.The man who was in charge of Britain's police until September has delivered a blistering attack on the "cancer" of corruption among a minority of officers as the crisis engulfing the service over the Andrew Mitchell "plebgate" affair reaches new heights.
Writing in the Observer, Nick Herbert, who quit as minister for police and criminal justice in David Cameron's autumn reshuffle, calls for urgent reforms to restore public trust, arguing that while "corruption may not be endemic, neither is it an aberration".
Herbert, while praising the "decent majority" of officers whom he says do "brilliant" work, suggests that for too long the police have been shielded from criticism by a lack of accountability and an unhealthily cosy relationship with sections of the press that rely on officers leaking "juicy" information.
This was well known in 1974, so when the Guildford Four/Birmingham Six/Bridgewater Four/Maguires and all the other miscarriage cases arose, the expectation of fair policing was a distant memory.
My only surprise is that it has taken so long.
The biggest joke of all is that this idiot is speaking out before Andrew Mitchell has been formally exonerated, yet many hundreds of people have been targeted by corrupt cops in recent years and few politicians, with the exception of Chris Mullin, have ever bothered to take a stance.