Shoot the Messenger

Be it Benjamin Franklin or Edward Ward, whoever said “nothing is certain except death or taxes” failed to account for the impulse of institutions to punish heretics profaning the cherished corporate image.

Whistleblowing. An affront to the Met’s “Total Policing”, an Orwellian creation of Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

Shoot the messenger. Police canteen culture has never been kind to the whistleblower, no one likes a grass. Watch out for the firm in a firm. But it’s nothing new.

Back in 1922 Sergeant Horace Josling was posted to London’s “C” Division, a West End manor covering parts of Soho. Within a week of joining his beat Josling’s colleague, George Goddard, invited him to the weekly divvy up from the local street bookies – off-course cash betting being a criminal offence until 1960. The bookies were on his case too. Josling declined politely.

Tiring of the situation and wary of reporting these concerns to his immediate superiors, Josling wrote directly to the Commissioner. The proverbial book was thrown. After two days of cross-examination, Josling was required to resign from the Met after ten years of duty, service record marked: “Discreditable conduct – acting in a manner prejudicial to discipline or likely to bring discredit on the reputation of the Force”.

In January 1929 Sergeant George Goddard was sent down for eighteen months of hard labour, with a £2,000 fine plus costs. Receiving 89 commendations from the Commissioner for his role in raiding nightclubs, brothels and betting houses, this guardian of London’s morals had been living the high life. On a respectable salary of  just over £6 a week, Goddard’s venal ventures had acquired him a freehold at £1,875 and a Chrysler for £400. £12,471 and 10 shillings were also stashed in three safety deposit boxes. Overall, Goddard’s realizable assets amounted to nearly £18,000. Depending on what your measuring, eighteen grand is worth around £3 million today.

History does not repeat itself, as Mark Twain may have said, but it often rhymes; echoing through to the twenty-first century.

The Met’s Detective Sergeant Pal Singh is facing a gross misconduct hearing for alleging to the Daily Telegraph that the Crown Prosecution Service is “afraid to tackle honour crimes for fear of causing unrest in Asian communities”. Singh, who has received a Metropolitan Police Service Award, amongst others, for “Outstanding Individual Contribution to Victim Care”, told the Telegraph:

Forced marriage is a violation of human rights, which invariably leads to marital rape and years of domestic abuse and modern slavery, with sometimes fatal consequences. If this is not a policing priority then I am content at being dismissed.

Within five years you’ll be reading about Mr Singh’s successful employment tribunal, an undisclosed payout – a cost to the taxpayer – and Met management bollocks-speak about “cultural sensitivity” and “lessons learned”.


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