To be honest, we thought we’d seen the back of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. In the autumn of 2015, Abe and Ella made much of the fact that the IPCC had “upheld their appeal”, which many troofers took to mean that the IPCC was now completely on-board, and would soon be re-opening the original criminal investigation that Barnet police had closed in September 2014.
Of course, that’s not what happened; instead, last spring the IPCC completed its investigation, and sent its final report to Ella. Certain dim bulbs still refused to believe that the investigation was over (and by “certain dim bulbs” we mean Kristie Sue Costa, who believes everything Abe and Ella feed her), but that didn’t stop it from being true.
However, since the final report basically told Ella to piss off on all but two counts, one might imagine that she and Abe (and their solicitor Mr Taj) were not terribly happy with the IPCC. They launched an appeal.
We admit that we predicted at the time that the appeal had approximately a snowball’s chance in hell of being accepted, but we were wrong: the appeal was upheld, and on Sunday some enterprising soul posted the final, final report in its entirety on Scribd.
This new report bears some consideration, in part because it takes issues with some of the conclusions reached in the original report.
But first, a question: since the new report arguably answers some of Ella’s complaints about the original, we’d have expected to see it pasted front and centre on their blogs…especially since it was released nearly two months ago. Instead, so far as we’re aware, no one even knew about the thing until “John” posted it on Scribd. We find this exceedingly curious.
All right, let’s dig in: what does this new report contribute to the discussion?
Here, IPCC case manager, Helen Alderson, is firing a shot across the bow of Barnet police. However, contrary to what Abe and Ella or their lapdog Kristie Sue might have us believe, this is an investigation of an investigation of a criminal investigation. It doesn’t mean that the original case will be re-opened or re-investigated.
The first substantive issue is an important one: because DCI Foulkes was at least nominally in charge of the police investigation, and was kept up-to-date on it as it progressed, he ought not to have been the investigating officer (IO) of the re-investigation. Fair point, though we wonder why, if this is questionable now, it wasn’t noted in the original IPCC investigation.
Which points were upheld?
We’ll begin with the bad news: here are the points in Ella’s appeal that Ms Alderson upheld.
A word of clarification: each “point” in bold type is a paraphrase of Ella’s own wording. It’s not the IPCC saying, for example, that “officers failed to investigate thoroughly and properly the allegation of sexual abuse against your children”.
The last sentence in this segment says it all, we think: this case is full of confusing twists and turns, and it’s very difficult to make any assessments or determinations about what really happened, when the facts aren’t really clear.
Again: Ms Alderson is not saying that these decisions were necessarily the wrong ones to make in the circumstances. However, as our maths teacher used to tell us (again and again): “Show your work”. The police must not only perform their investigations to a certain standard, but they must be able to show how and why they did so. To do otherwise is to leave the door open to the troofers and fruitcakes of the world, as Barnet police have found out to their sorrow.
We know that the troofies will be jumping up and down and clapping over this one, but again, Ms Alderson isn’t saying that RD was guilty of anything. In a civil society where all citizens are considered innocent until proven guilty, an arrest does not imply guilt of any wrong-doing. However, in any police investigation, there are criteria for arrest—and it’s simply not clear enough in this case whether those criteria were actually met.
We’re sensing a theme here: “There is insufficient information for me to properly assess this aspect of the appeal”.
We know this won’t forestall the troofers from gleefully proclaiming that they were right all along, but let’s just pause on that for a moment. “Not enough information to assess” is not the same thing as “OH MY GOD THERE IS A COVERUP WE KNEW IT ALL ALONG”.
We do feel that the fact that the IPCC believes that not enough information was given in the first instance is an alarming signal: as we’ve said, the police have a duty to document their decisions, and to make all decisions based on stringent standards. When that standard isn’t followed, it can erode public trust, and with good reason.
Tomorrow: What about the retractions?
We’ll examine the new IPCC report’s views on the children’s retractions of their allegations…including what went right and what went wrong.