Army abuse trial collapses

I'm opening myself up for a lot of flak here. However I'm not going to comment on this specific case but the overall makeup and function of the RMP by means of shedding light, and dispelling a few myths and 'easy fixes' that people are throwing about.

1. RMP and the Service Prosecuting Authority work hand in hand. When we feel the Evidential Sufficiency Test is met, we refer for charge. This is then sent to SPA, or Div Legal depending on the offence. Offences of proscribed circs - abuse of subordinates will go direct to SPA.

The SPA, like the CPS apply a 'full code' test, is it in the public/service interest to prosecute? Is there a reasonable chance of prosecution?

If the answer to both of these is 'yes' SPA then will the file, frame the charge and charge the individual. They would've take the investigation to court, and for it to be a runner, they feel they have a reasonable chance of success. Any shortfall/lines of enquiry are then raised by the prosecutor and sent back as an evidence request.

2. RMP need to police. We are the only policing agency capable of doing what we do. You need experience in the firm base to police on ops. Despite the focus on ops and ex these days, and the lack of experience resulting from not doing as much as we used to, we still need this to be able to investigate overseas. I have worked with both MPD and HOPF in Afg police mentoring. Both are not set up, or trained to police in an austere environment nor do they have the jurisdiction. Military Police can police overseas, getting one nations civil police to do that leads to all sorts of political and diplomatic issues.

3. SIB are trained to HO standard in all of its specialist quals. All SIOs, interviewers, etc are trained by HOPF.

4. MDP could/should investigate. (You're taking the piss aren't you?) In all seriousness they don't see themselves in this role, the uniform side are purely CT, and CID are an intelligence function. They focus on protecting MOD reputation and funds/materiel (frauds etc).

5. HOPF could/should investigate. Very much an option, however HOPF are already protesting that they're getting an influx of thousands of (manpower intensive) extra soldiers into their counties with no uplift in manpower to police them. They are leaning on RMP to perform this duty (as we should be doing). @wetsmonkey and I have spoken about this previously. HOPF will almost always turn round and say, green-on-green behind the wire, this is 100% your job. There will always be a discussion over jurisdiction however they're as strapped as we are.

6. PM(A) and the RMP do not and have never fallen under *any* command of the AGC. PM(A) works directly to CGS and we are wholly independent of the CoC.

7. Every decision made by a SIO on any investigation is recorded with rationale in the casefile diary/policy book. This can then be scrutinised by prosecutors/CoC.

8. RMP should be disbanded. See point 2. We may not be popular but we are necessary.

9. Court cases collapse; sometimes spectacularly, sometimes quietly. It happens frequently, but on such a high profile one such as this it was always going hit the headlines in a big way.

10. Root-and-Branch review of the RMP. RMP is fit for purpose; we're undermanned, unhappy, and getting pulled from pillar to post supporting whatever is flavour of the month for the Army (like everyone else), but we get results in CM or summary dealing every day of the week. We are actually pretty good by HOPF standards too, when I speak to my HO opposite numbers they have files rejected by CPS on an extremely frequent basis (sometimes up to 50-70%) of the time. I have never had a file rejected by SPA.
The irritation is the RMP always try for the Gold standard, when the tin one sometimes suffices. Again speaking to HOPF colleagues they are astounded as to how much work we put in to a job which they would pay lip-service to - which is why the current case is so frustrating.

I understand the frustration and anger of the service community, and we're pretty frustrated ourselves. I know the Officer in question and have nothing but respect for her. I hope I've managed to clarify some points and given some indication of how we work.
You set out what should be the proper process. But that is not what happened. It regularly does not happen as it should. That is the problem that needs to be addressed.

Those doing a good job have nothing to fear, but how can it be a “policy decision “ to deliberately breach the Codes of Practice and the Attorney General’s guidelines and think it would be acceptable?

As you indicate, the SIO’s log will record the policy decision taken in 2014, unfortunately it will show that the Command and management checks accepted it without comment or criticism if it went all the way to court. How many above the Captain were involved in this from 2014-2018?

Only this monrh has the trial exposed the policy and the judge scathing criticised it. What else has been dealt with like this? What are these people doing now, and what might have been tainted?

The MOD does not normally look back and consider these things, they prefer to close the lid and say “we do things differently now”
 
I wonder how many civil cases collapse due to civ pol errors, I would wager it is a much higher percentage than that of service police investigations.

MB
That tends to happen when you Police nearly 60 million people as opposed to 80,000.
 
Indeed, the recent disclosure mess caused by the Met is having far reaching ripples on everyone's work.
The long and short of it in my opinion is that the legal system is way too complex and time consuming. People in the legal profession seem to have a vested interest in keeping it a dark art.

95% of crime is fairly minor and straightforward and should be in front of a magistrate within the week with the offender given the option to plead there and then. If they choose to plead not guilty then build the case for court.

Solicitors and Barristers make more money from stretching things out and over complicating matters.
 
That tends to happen when you Police nearly 60 million people as opposed to 80,000.
It wasn’t a criticism of civpol, and if you take my comment as it was intended; I asked as a direct percentage, out of 100 high profile civil cases against 100 high profile military cases, I would wager that more collapse on the civpol side, yet most don’t make headline news, RMP/SIB failures are always front page news!

MB
 
That tends to happen when you Police nearly 60 million people as opposed to 80,000.
And no matter how shit the family, at least one member of the household works.
 
The long and short of it in my opinion is that the legal system is way too complex and time consuming. People in the legal profession seem to have a vested interest in keeping it a dark art.

95% of crime is fairly minor and straightforward and should be in front of a magistrate within the week with the offender given the option to plead there and then. If they choose to plead not guilty then build the case for court.

Solicitors and Barristers make more money from stretching things out and over complicating matters.
Whilst it has gotten more complicated recently the system north of the border has a lot to recommend it. Far less paperwork for plod, some very handy (though not what they once were) common law offences, a streamlined court system that only gives you a jury if you're looking at serious time, and generally ticks along.

Sadly England and Wales only looks in that direction when it comes for moving up for tasty senior officer roles, rather than for what might be good practices to adopt.
 
Most of the charges were service discipline charges of “ill treatment of a subordinate “ and there could not be dealt with by civpol or civ courts where this offence does not exist
There was enough allegations of assault...

Sixteen instructors at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, were accused of slapping and punching 28 recruits.
Recruits claimed they were slapped or punched in the face, spat at, grabbed by the throat, had their faces submerged in mud or were ordered to eat animal manure.
... to put the investigation and any subsequent charges in the hands of HO Plod and the civilian justice system.

Any minor offences of a purely military nature around those alleged assault offences were presumably disposable by AGAI?
 
I'm scratching my head,all this talk of giving the blokes a lift,no questions asked. Never saw it once in my twelve years.Any one brought back to camp by our scarlet beret wearing friends went via the guardroom,and usually was on RSM's next day.
I myself,had a lift of local civpol a few times,(thank you Kent police and Wiltshire constabulary)and they were sound.
As I said earlier though,can only talk of my own experience.
 
I'm scratching my head,all this talk of giving the blokes a lift,no questions asked. Never saw it once in my twelve years.Any one brought back to camp by our scarlet beret wearing friends went via the guardroom,and usually was on RSM's next day.
I myself,had a lift of local civpol a few times,(thank you Kent police and Wiltshire constabulary)and they were sound.
As I said earlier though,can only talk of my own experience.
Good for you.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
The long and short of it in my opinion is that the legal system is way too complex and time consuming. People in the legal profession seem to have a vested interest in keeping it a dark art.

95% of crime is fairly minor and straightforward and should be in front of a magistrate within the week with the offender given the option to plead there and then. If they choose to plead not guilty then build the case for court.

Solicitors and Barristers make more money from stretching things out and over complicating matters.
I rather like the Scottish system of the Procurator fiscal, bit of commonsense in dealing with the smaller things
 
I'm scratching my head,all this talk of giving the blokes a lift,no questions asked. Never saw it once in my twelve years.Any one brought back to camp by our scarlet beret wearing friends went via the guardroom,and usually was on RSM's next day.
I myself,had a lift of local civpol a few times,(thank you Kent police and Wiltshire constabulary)and they were sound.
As I said earlier though,can only talk of my own experience.
Maybe they wouldn't give you a lift because of your boring dits?
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top