The Times - Case of Cpl Ellement, who hanged herself, leads to call for RMP watchdog

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
I find myself having to put aside years of unthinking and ignorant prejudice against the RMP and to an extent take that august Corps' side. I don't suppose for a moment that this allegation wasn't fully investigated according to the book; however, it's quite clear that someone, somewhere, failed to assess the likely political and social fallout - which we're seeing now. Generally, Service folk like to assume corruption and rampant incompetence on the part of their respective police services, which I think we all in our heart of hearts acknowledge to be utterly unfair. That assumptions leads folk to look for conspiracies and coverups where none actually exist and then leap to conclusions when something like this tragic suicide happens.

I have no brief for this specific instance, know only what the media chose to report and don't propose to comment on this individual case; however, even at my advanced age and with the benefit of many years' hindsight (and the unthinking prejudice which I still, ignorantly, hold), it does seem to me that the best way for the Service police agencies to protect themselves and their reputation is to recraft their nature and subordination.
 
BB I believe you would be best placed to submit a FOI request for the information you seek to the Provost Marshal (Army).

That a complainant waited two months before coming forward may have had a bearing on any decision by the Service Prosecuting Authority.
 
Dinger unless matters have altered drastically since I left jurisdiction comes down to this:

If it's a matter that will be heard before a service tribunal then competent investigative authority is the Service Police.

If its a matter that's to be heard by the local civilian magistrates and crown courts in the UK then it's the local Plod.

Neither has right of investigation in the other jurisdiction. The RMP are not sworn constables and the local Plod aren't Service Police under the AF Act 06.

Be grateful for someone with more recent experience than mine to speak Generally on these issues without going into specifics of the case

I can see what you are saying and is the case at present. But, as posted earlier, investigation of murder or rape by service personnel where the accused is also serving can be seen as a contravention of Articles 2 and 3 of the ECHR.

To overcome this it would simply be a case of government putting in place the ability gpfor British CivPol to investigate in such cases.
 

TheHippo

Clanker
Dinger unless matters have altered drastically since I left jurisdiction comes down to this:

If it's a matter that will be heard before a service tribunal then competent investigative authority is the Service Police.

If its a matter that's to be heard by the local civilian magistrates and crown courts in the UK then it's the local Plod.

Neither has right of investigation in the other jurisdiction. The RMP are not sworn constables and the local Plod aren't Service Police under the AF Act 06.

Be grateful for someone with more recent experience than mine to speak Generally on these issues without going into specifics of the case

not strictly true:-
Home Office circular 028 / 2008
A protocol between police forces and the Ministry of Defence police | Home Office

The first change is that the protocol now includes the Service Police – i.e. the Royal Military Police, RAF Police and Royal Navy Provost. This has been done to recognise and put onto an appropriate footing, the fact that in some places, the Service Police do, within their jurisdiction for service personnel, deal with some crimes. This is not likely to be a contentious issue, so it is intended by the MOD to be no more than recognition in the protocol of the existence of local arrangements in some force areas.
 
Yet again the Times writing one side of the story on a subject that the MOD will not, indeed cannot, comment. I wonder who fed them the story. Dangermouse, care to comment?

It's quite likely that it came out as a result of the Coroners Enquiry into her death, which would be open to the public.
 
This thread reminds me of a famous quote by Winston Churchill, in reference to soldiers, ex soldiers and obviously anyone on a military forum.

" Every man an expert................ On policing!!!!!!
 
Even if it WAS totally unsubstantiated, the perception would always have been "cover up" and as the Army hates looking bad I would have thought they would have called in the RAF SIB at the very earliest opportunity.

As most Service Police train and operate together at some stage, how do you make sure that it is completely independent and that their is no friendships or personal knowledge between investigators and accused or aggrieved?
 
To conform with Article 3 of the EHCR could be easily achieved by sending CivPol.

This jurisdiction nonsense is simply a matter of Government.

Yes, The German Government who signed The SOFA. Speak to them.
 
As most Service Police train and operate together at some stage, how do you make sure that it is completely independent and that their is no friendships or personal knowledge between investigators and accused or aggrieved?

The same way the IPCC is supposed to be independent even though their investigators will have trained with the police at some stage?

What a daft thing to come out with.
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
It's quite likely that it came out as a result of the Coroners Enquiry into her death, which would be open to the public.

There's more to it than that - this poor woman is being used by the Times as as an example of poor practice by the RMP that means that an indepedent police commission of some kind is required for the forces police. The writing is poor and seems to imply that a gross miscarriage of justice has occurred because no one was prosecuted. Not only are they using a tragedy to further their own agenda but anyone who knows the 2 men will be left with the impression that they are rapists.
 
The same way the IPCC is supposed to be independent even though their investigators will have trained with the police at some stage?

What a daft thing to come out with.

What I am trying to say, is that The Service Police as a whole are not independent of the CoC or of each other truly.
It will require a sea change to make it so.

I do not see a problem with an IPCC type organisation overseeing The Service Police, even with all the problems the Home Office forces have with delays with the IPCC.

The likely hood of an IPCC investigator knowing a police officer in amongst 130000 is quite unlikely, not so unlikely in the Service Police of a few thousand.

I remember incidents where OC's of Pro Coy were brought in by Bde Comds and the like and told to stop certain investigations and that they would be dealt with administratively or Officer to Officer. It may not happen as much nowadays who knows?
 
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