A crisis in the custody suite – part 1

Posted by Guessedworker on Friday, 08 December 2017 18:41.

A cautionary tale for policemen

All morning, John Holly lay sleepless on the thin, blue plastic mattress in his cell. Several times he heard the sounds of activity in the corridor outside, metal doors slamming shut, once some shouting.  But beyond a couple of momentary check-ups through the panel in the door and the arrival of WPC Brook with sweet, weak tea in a plastic cup, no one took any interest in him at all.  It seemed that the Metropolitan Police Service was not used to suspects putting a large spoke in its little procedural wheel.

It had all gone horribly wrong for the Met four long and lonely hours earlier, in Holly’s initial interview, following his arrest at home in the small hours.  The fall guy had been the glotally challenged Detective Sergeant Kevin Boulder, seated across the table from him and the duty solicitor, a Miss Agarwal, in Interview Room 1.

“An ‘ate crime,” Boulder had confidently begun in the approved ex cathedra sing-song of the local comp boy made plod, “is a crime that the victim or any uvver person perceives to be motivated by ‘ostility or prejudice towards any aspect of a person’s identity.  In this case we are dealin’ wiv ‘ostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race.  If the investigatin’ officer is satisfied that the offence took place as described by the victim ...”

“Prakash Ghosh,” interjected Holly, plainly stating a fact he knew only too well.

Miss Agarwal shifted in her seat.

“I am unable to disclose the victim’s precise identity at interview under caution,” replied Boulder, “That information will only be supplied if, at the conclusion of this investigation, a formal charge is laid.”

“But it was Ghosh,” Holly shot back, “You know it.  I know it.”

Boulder pursed his lips.  He wanted to get on.  But before he could, Holly piped up again, “He’s not an innocent, you know … not a regular guy who has suffered some shocking and untoward abuse.  He told me he’s going to get me months ago.  He’s a full-time activist and a fanatic.  He runs CATH, the Campaign Against Net-Hatred.  They’re a group of professional on-line race-hucksters … a couple of other south Asians, some Jews.  Very well funded.  Very clever.  They like to operate as a team … agents provocateur … on all the usual platforms.  They prey on anyone whom they deem insufficiently cowed by pee-cee.  The MO is to post anonymously on both sides of an exchange using language at the limit of the law, while another one in the group quietly assures their prey that the main attacker has a fair point.  He’s there to be a witness if the frontman compromises himself too much trying to rile the prey, so there is always someone to testify in court.  It’s all designed to draw a single rash response with which they can run off to you lot, and agitate for a prosecution.  Actually, it’s entrapment.”

Boulder could not hide his vexation.  Miss Agarwal stared fixedly at her hands, locked together on the table top.

“That’s as maybe,” Boulder said, breaking the silence “but that’s not what you’re here to ...”

But Holly would not be denied.  “They think they will never be held to account for anything they themselves say,” he said, “They are perfectly aware that their language is insulting and incendiary enough to break the very law they are seeking to exploit.  So they are careful to delete all provocations from their Disqus accounts.  That’s why I always take a screenshot.  I keep a record which I can compare with what’s left on-line later.  I can prove their malfeasance.”

“A record?” said Boulder, giving the game away. “I would need to see that.”

“Oh no,” came the riposte, “if I gave you that it could mysteriously go missing.  And no, it’s not on the hard drive of the laptop your officers will certainly have taken away after my arrest last night.”

Miss Agarwal shifted awkwardly in her seat again.  “I don’t think that discussion is helpful or relevant, John.  We should allow DS Boulder to say his piece, or we’ll never get to the point.”

She was probably right.  Seeing Boulder’s dead fish eyes staring blankly back at him, Holly could easily imagine that it would never occur to the lower orders of CID to think ahead, and back-up and safely conceal their own personal data.

“Thank you, Pratheeksha,” Boulder said considerately.

Pratheeksha smiled.  A faint, rueful smile also crossed Holly’s face.  Then he started talking again.  “This is relevant because the CPS prosecutes on behalf of the public at large and not just in the interest of any particular group or individual, particularly one as extreme as CATH.  Can it be in the public interest for the courts to give succour to an organisation actively and hypocritically stirring up hatred on-line?”

“Nah, it’s not relevant to my investigation.  It’s you I am investigatin’, not these other people,” Boulder said definitively.

“Well, would it be relevant to the formal complaint I wish to make against them and their leader, Prakash Ghosh?”

Boulder could not hide his frustration.  “Nah, I’m not ‘avin’ it,” he cut in, voice raised, determined to restore order.  He jabbed a fore-finger at Holly with each syllable.  “You are here to answer to the accusation that on 9th December 2017 you did make a statement in a public internet forum contrary to Section 18 of the Public Order Act 1986, to the effect that, and I quote ...

He placed his hand decisively, fingers spread, on the top sheet of the papers in front of him, and read:

“The majority foreign England which you, as an ethnically-aware non-native, desire (so an Indianised England, an Africanised England, and so forth) would not be the England of my English people; nor is it an England my people were told would come to pass or to which we consented or ever would consent; nor is it an England we could in perpetuity accept.  It is an England which must, over time, usher us out of existence, and so it is an England which we are bound to seek to change.”

With that, he leant back in his chair, and folded his arms, clearly convinced that he had made a killing point.

“Is that it?” Miss Agarwal asked, incredulous.

“Whadya mean?”

“Well, it’s a bit weak on the hatred, isn’t it?

“I believe this statement clearly shows that your client was motivated, wholly or partially, by ‘ostility towards the other party based on that party’s race, and as such the offence would attract an enhanced sentence.  He is sayin’ that, quote, his people, unquote, do not accept a multicultural future and will overthrow it.  What’s that if not ‘ostility based on race.”

“It’s a pessimistic view of the future.  Perhaps with a bit of “Like the Roman”, you know?  Are you saying that’s illegal?”

“Sorry?” enquired Boulder, non-plussed again.

“Powell … the River Tiber foaming with much blood.  Have we really made that sentiment illegal?  I mean, I’m every bit as Indian as this Ghosh character, and I don’t find what my client said remotely offensive.  I would be very surprised if there were no white Englishmen saying such things, given the changes they have had to witness.  I think you have been taken in by someone with an agenda.”

“What ... no, not at all” Boulder complained without much conviction.  But he was in retreat.

She pressed on.  “I don’t think we can call Mr Ghosh – that is his name, isn’t it? - a victim in any meaningful sense.  I think he sees existing hate speech legislation as an opportunity and an expansionist project.  I think he is interested in legal precedent, primarily.  I think he has got you kite-flying for him.  I think that, if my client is correct, what Mr Ghosh and his friends are doing is border-line illegal, and not a basis for charges of any kind that would stand up at trial.  You’ve been very naïve, DS Boulder.”

Boulder’ face was a picture of confused and wounded innocence.  There was several seconds of pregnant silence.

“Interview postponed,” he declared, diving for the on/off button on the video recorder.

“Now, are you going to release my client,” Miss Agarwal asked sweetly?

Boulder, however, wasn’t willing to give in just yet.  “Nah,” he said, not without truculence, “Your client is still under caution.  I am gonna to talk to my DCI when he comes in, which should be abaht now actually.  Your client stays in custody pending the outcome of that conversation.”

“In that case,” cut in Holly, “can another officer take my statement concerning the hate crime committed against me by Prakash Ghosh?”

“What fucking hate crime?” asked DCI Bennett, drawing on his first cigarette of the morning.  The pair of them were standing outside the back of the station, Boulder with his hands in his pockets, shoulders hunched, breath freezing on the morning air.

“Uniform are still taking it, guv” he said, “I haven’t seen it yet.”

“Well, this is a bit of a mess, isn’t it, Kev?  You pick up this Holly geezer on suspicion of committing a hate offence on-line and you manage not only to fuck up that investigation, which by the sound of it should never have gone ahead and, as far as I can see, only did so at your instigation without the input of any specialist officer or advice from the CPS … you not only fuck that up, but you manage to pick up a reverse complaint.  Who is this guy, anyway?”

“Holly?  Fuck knows.  He is very collected, I know that much.  Arrogant little prick.”

“Well, he’s a step ahead of you, that’s for sure.  It’s a pity you didn’t bother to find out a bit more about him before you pulled the trigger last night.  Anyway, it’s done now.  Bring me the report sheet when uniform has finished.  Let’s see what this is about.”

“What do we do wiv my existin’ investigation, guv? Boulder enquired, ”Do we let him go?”

“Hold off that for the moment.  I’ll make the call you should have made at the beginning.”  Bennett took a final drag and flicked the butt towards the vehicle pound.  He hated days that start like this.

Tags: LawThread Wars



Comments:


1

Posted by Captainchaos on Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:20 | #

This story is boring.  In part 2 John Holly should spit in Boulder’s face and call him a “retarded cockney pig” and a “poofter”.


2

Posted by Guessedworker on Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:53 | #

Give it time.  It is a low-key start because nationalism has a small foot-print.  But it gets going in the subsequent parts.

The custody suite is, of course, a figure for politically correct England.



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