Sunday, November 18, 2012

Five British cops arrested for 'persuading criminals to confess to crimes they did not commit to boost detection rates'

Five detectives have been arrested on suspicion of persuading criminals to confess to crimes they did not commit, it was revealed last night. The officers, four men and a woman, were questioned over claims they dishonestly manipulated suspects to boost their crime detection figures.

They were held by anti-corruption colleagues at their desks in Maidstone, Kent, after a whistle-blower raised the alarm.

The allegations centre on the controversial practise of criminals admitting to other crimes known as TICs, or 'taken into consideration', when they are sentenced. They are told the move is an opportunity to wipe the slate clean so they cannot be investigated again for old crimes but the system is open to abuse.

The officers, a detective inspector, a detective sergeant and three detective constables, worked in a team dealing with persistent offenders, including car thieves and burglars.

In January last year Maidstone had the highest detection rate in the county at 39.4 per cent, 4.5 per cent higher than the force average.

The arrests are the latest blow to the reputation of British policing which is reeling from a series of scandals.

These include the sacking of Cleveland Chief Constable Sean Price for corruption last night and shocking claims of a wholesale cover-up after the Hillsborough disaster.

The five officers, who deny any wrongdoing and have been suspended from duty, have been released on bail.

In a similar case in January, two South Wales detectives were reprimanded for plying a 17-year-old suspect with alcohol before taking his confession for 11 burglaries.

A Kent Police spokesman confirmed 'five people' were arrested over allegations of 'administrative irregularities in the way prisoners had been dealt with.'

'The anti-corruption unit became involved after the alarm was raised by someone else in the force,' a source told the Times, adding: 'The allegations centre on boosting their detection rates, making themselves look good by pursuading regular offenders to cough up to other offences. 'It all revolves around vehicle crime.'

The revelations come on the eve of the first election of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC).

Original report here

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