ACPO members Sean Price and Derek Bonnard, Chief Constable and Deputy Chief Constable of Cleveland, have been arrested after an investigation into endemic and widespread financial corruption at the most senior levels of the force. This, I suspect, is just the tip of the iceberg nationally. Ever since the 1964 Police Act, which not only abolished local police forces but severely constrained oversight and scrutiny of police bosses, this class of 'untouchables' has grown in the chutzpah with which they flaunt an institutionalised corruption.
If the Chief Executive of Suffolk Council takes industry freebies, flights to Florida, junkets and gifts as well as racking up charges to the ratepayer for toenail manicures, chauffeured cars and the rest, they will be held to account. Eventually. It may take some time, but with FOI and a single determined local journalist, the truth will out. But whilst our concentration has been on corrupt politicians and civil servants, police bosses have so far escaped the depth of scrutiny that has been turned on the others. All this is now changing. Peter Clarke, Andy Hayman, Paul Stephenson and John Yates' resignations for corruption, and the arrests of Price and Bonnard, are just the start.
Police bosses must now be prepared for every pay-off, gift, inducement or reward from business or the media, every freebie from Serco or G4S, or even their US or EU counterparts, every 'free' Gourmet dinner paid for by criminals, every favour done for friends or family in perversion of the course of Justice, every publicly owned asset including information that has been sold for private gain and every 'free' villa, hire car and flight to come out into the cold light of day.
No wonder they want to create a national police force free of democratic control and scrutiny - the bent buggers have been on a roll. Well, their day is coming.