These two items about the Faruk Ali case were lost during April 2016. The text was recovered from an internet cache. The posts have been rebuilt and this time round they are combined onto the one page.
Faruk Ali – Its just not right!
If anyone or any group of people were to see a disabled person walking down the street (let’s put aside race for the moment ok), laugh at them, chase them and throw them into some bins, causing bruises, cuts and torn clothes (not to mention the psychological damage and fear that would have been caused) I am sure it would have been treated as a case of disability hate crime. S146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 would have quite likely been applied and the perpetrators locked up for at least a number of years.
The same will of course apply as a race hate crime if the person was of an ethnicity and the means of attack very much the same. Anyone who attacks a person in this way, whether its about disability or about race, would face these severe penalties.
In the case of Faruk Ali it seems very clear to me that the two officers from Bedfordshire Police, PC Christopher Thomas of Welwyn Garden City and PC Christopher Pitts of Bedford, were let off. Yes they were sacked. But let’s face it they were also let off. Is that fair? I do not think so. If police officers attack members of the public in the same culpable way then I think the penalties should be the same.
Yes there is huge jubilation that these two officers have been sacked but it is just not enough. An example needs to be made to the police forces of the UK. Clearly police officers from any force in the UK just cant go around laughing, attacking, pushing about members of the public – even if these people somehow look suspicious or different.
One can never understand why the whole consensus of the inquiry that was held at Wyboston has been about these two men as police officers. Yes police officers! They failed but they have also been let off with a slap on the wrist. They have lost their jobs but they can go and find some other jobs to do, perhaps become security staff or private investigators or one of the many other avenues open to ex-police officers. They have got loads of choices ahead of them. They have escaped the punishments that would have befallen an ordinary member of the public who had done the same things.
I think in many ways the Faruk Ali question leaves a lot of things unanswered. What was the hearing at Wyboston for? Exactly what was the punishment about? Is it about them as police officers or about them as citizens too? It seems that their having being police officers (now ex police officers of course) still gave PC Pitts and PC Thomas a major advantage. They will not ever receive the same punishment as say, a couple of thugs who had done the exact same things.
Bedfordshire Police said in a statement following the hearing at Wyboston: “The two officers’ conduct has fallen well below any standard that is acceptable in policing and they have now paid the ultimate sanction in losing their jobs.”
— Sally Chidzoy (@sallychidzoy) April 7, 2016
Statement from Bedfordshire Police. Source: Twitter
Ultimate sanction? It seems more like a case of ‘yes you guys lost your jobs but you could just run along and find a new job.’ Which in all likelihood is what they will do. Once again is that an ‘ultimate sanction?’ I think not.
The court case which took place at Aylesbury in December 2014 strikes me as quite strange. Remember the court let these officers off? They were cleared off all charges. These included racism, perverting the course of justice, misconduct, making false statements, and common assault. The other thing is the court judge said the officers were not on trial for having laughed at Faruk.
What the hell is that about! Not on trial for having laughed at Faruk! Does that tell the public it is okay to laugh at autistic people (or any other disabled people) before punching, assaulting them? Pushing them into bins and ripping their clothes? Is there some difference related to disability that somehow indicates us disabled people deserve this unwarranted shit far more than others?
At that hearing in Aylesbury the video footage from the patrol car that was being driven by PC Pitts and PC Thomas was shown, they are heard on audio laughing and saying things about Faruk, which most clearly related to his disability. Why was that not important? That kind of thing is clearly an element of disability hate crime but obviously the court is removing that element because somehow those holding the position of Office of Constable cannot been seen as conducting hate crimes against the disabled.
Then we come to Wyboston, where another thing happens. The same video footage is shown. The investigation finds these two officers guilty of perverting the course of justice – clearly these officers had lied about what they did to Faruk.
At Wyboston the disability element kicks in somewhat. Its very mysteriously postulated though. It is said PC Thomas was found to have breached equality and diversity elements of the law in relation to Faruk’s disability. Again its not about a hate crime, rather its about having a consensus that these officers somehow overlooked the fact that Faruk had a disability. That’s really weird! For a disability hate crime to occur one does not exactly have to know that the victim was disabled. (See CPS guidance)
Still from patrol car dashcam footage. Source: Luton Today
The plain fact is these two officers laughed at Faruk and chose to leave their patrol car and assault him. They they conspired to cover up the facts and to pervert the course of justice. If that is not a disability hate crime then what? A total cock-up? A genuine mistake? I think not!
Its clear this was a disability hate crime no less. But as I said some many months ago, the police can never be seen as being culpable of disability hate crime. Much the same as not ever being seen as culpable of race hate crime. We’ve seen PC Pitts and PC Thomas practically let off both being racists and disablists. We can also see that it is easier to be let off for having done acts of disability hate crime and it pretty much reflects the general consensus that disabled people in the UK should somehow suffer more when it comes to being victims of crime. That is not good. It is totally wrong.
It is not fair on Faruk or his family and it is not fair on those others too who have been at the hands of the police and found the system stacked up against them when it comes to taking police officers to task for race, disability or any of the other hate crimes that are built into the UK’s laws. We do know it is even harder to get justice in terms of disability and the case of PC Thomas and PC Pitts has quite simply shown us it is possible to conduct disability hate crime and get away with it. And if one is a police officer all the better too it seems.
Just not fair! And not right either.
John E Jefferson on April 19, 2016 at 1:45pm
Well written and hits the Bedfordshire Police must do better on the head. Not the first time either. In 1995 Bedfordshire County Council pat a motion by a huge majority (only one Councillor voted against) that their was a public inquiry in to Bedfordshire Police and others. Their reaction to this was to instigate the Marsh Farm “riots.”
I know this to be true as I moved the motion and resigned from The Council on the Monday and was involved in civil rights of many who were arrested and charged. Many of those were fitted up.
Bedfordshire Police largely has largely ignored it’s history and allowed it’s officers be reality TV oddments . In ’24 hours in custody’ and more significantly ‘Traffic Cops’ on the BBC.
I say significantly because on of the two officers sacked appeared on the latter and had a ‘Jack the lad’ attitude until he got cut using a key.
Much more to be told. Let me know if you want more because there is plenty
John E Jefferson
Following is another Faruk Ali post published 30th March 2016 (one of the several posts that were lost when the blog was suspended.)
Faruk Ali – a cover-up attempt?
The police are those officials who are supposed to serve AND protect, yet at times are some of the most hypocritical public officials. The office of constable in these cases is a huge joke. I say this in relation to the Faruk Ali case where the goalposts have been moved in an attempt to enable the public memory of the case to be forgotten by 1) incurring unacceptable delays and 2) ensure the public memory does not get invoked again by holding misconduct hearings at a little known location with virtually zilch public transport.
What happened to Faruk was clearly a case of both racism and disability hate crime. The police dont want this to be remembered. It seems quite clear there is an express objective of forgetting Faruk, that any remaining remembering of the acts, perpetuated against Faruk Ali in Luton’s Bury Park by police officers Chris Pitts & Chris Thomas of Bedfordshire Police, will somehow vaporise with time.
Wyboston Lakes – Idyllic but quite inaccessible especially from Luton
The so-called misconduct hearing is currently taking place in the middle of nowhere, roughly 30 miles from Luton with no reasonable public transport of any sort. The X5 from Oxford to Cambridge passes sort of nearby – but no use for those from Luton unless they make a change at Milton Keynes – a trip that would take two hours!
Rail services might be quicker but it means one would have to travel from Luton down to London then back up to St Neots, and from there get a taxi back down to Wyboston. It’s so very convenient isn’t it, especially for a case that is primarily about the police’s abuse of a disabled victim…
To add insult to the whole matter, the nearest stop for the X5 is said to be nearly a mile from the venue, practically approaching something like two miles when one considers the private drive to the venue itself. That’s even better when it comes to every attempt to physically prevent disabled people or other well-meaning members of the public from gaining access to the venue.
The UK’s first ever deputy PCC candidate and advisor to Bedfordshire Police who relies on public transport herself, rued the location chosen because it is impossible to reach, and especially as she noted, more so for disabled people:
The hearing itself is taking place at the Oakley Suite at Wyboston Lakes. It seems from the first day’s reports no more than about 10 people could make it. That seems to be what the police want. A hearing where the public themselves are virtually silenced.
Perhaps Bedfordshire Police are mindful of the events surrounding the Bijan Ebrahimi case and the officers from Avon and Somerset who were found guilty and imprisoned?
If that is the case its not right especially when the police conduct what practically amounts as a cover up.
When asked if this would prejudice the hearing, a spokesman for the force said: “No, the hearing is open to the public and will be chaired by a chief officer independent from Bedfordshire Police.”
As Bedfordshire Police say, the public ‘hearing’ is totally open to everybody!
Not when it’s in a downright inaccessible location! The venue itself says, “why be anywhere else?” Exactly!
Faruk was attacked, bruised, assaulted in his own home and his clothes torn. If anyone tears a policeman’s (or policewoman’s) uniform the might of the law will come down very hard.
When it comes to their own officers doing the same to innocent people, especially the disabled, the vulnerable, those who do not understand what the police are or why they do things they way they do, then it is absolutely NOT right that the police seem to be actively seeking to get away with it.
It is time Bedfordshire Police took their duties responsibly and held the inquiry in a much more public and accessible place. If it can’t then it appears it is a police force that is somehow unable to face those it has offended.