Last time, we considered the various faults in the first set of “no claims” the Independent Police Complaints Commission effectively invented in the case of Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire. Today we consider what they did wrong next.
You will remember that these 28 instances of Mr Grunshaw allegedly not claiming when he was entitled to claim were used to suggest his chronologically-challenged expenses claims were not motivated by gain. However, on closer examination by yours truly the list of 28 no-claims completely fell apart. In 19 instances there never was any entitlement to claim. In other instances the claim had been made, but missed by the IPCC, or someone had got the date wrong, etc., leaving 24 of the ‘no claims’ simply wrong, and 2 more completely irrelevant, as they were too late to help Mr Grunshaw.
Having just 2 of the original 28 “no claims” still intact was very embarrassing for the IPCC, and while you and I have just recently learned this number, it turns out that as early as 17 February last year the IPCC were writing to the CPS to let them know that the prosecutor “may have been led into error on the facts”.
So what would they now do?
Well, they are after all an organisation that is set up to stop the police from investigating their own embarrassing mistakes. Naturally they would therefore get someone independent in to investigate what went wrong and to do the whole thing right this time.
I mean, they wouldn’t keep the same IPCC Commissioner in charge of the case who had overseen the production of the mistaken report, make sure the investigation was kept within the IPCC and reporting to that Commissioner, severely restrict the scope of the reinvestigation, then reach the convenient conclusion that even if they had got it wrong, it didn’t matter because they’d accidentally got to basically the right result anyway. No harm done. Nothing to see here. Move along please.
Well, cheekily, what they did was to build up that list of “no claim’s” again, finding more that, miraculously, they had failed to notice the first time, filling some of the gaps left by the many baseless claims. Then they limited the rest of their investigation to looking through their existing evidence, while not following up leads on problems with Mr Grunshaw’s claims that they had missed the first time round.
But that is a risky business. When you do that sort of thing, aware that the world may find out what a hash you made of it the first time, you have to really be sure to get your facts right.
I mean, just think how awful it would be if the report that was done to put those mistakes right made exactly the same kind of mistakes again. When that report again misled the CPS and then went to the Lancashire Police and Crime Panel, er, tomorrow, it couldn’t really resolve anything if it was known to be fundamentally flawed and to be full of holes.
Click Here to see how they did.