Sock it to me

The Kenyan ministry in charge of policing appears, following an audit into the purchase of their officers’ shoes, to have mislaid around £1.3 million. This sounds damned careless. The audit’s report describes a “pathetic and unpleasant situation” in which some officers have patrolled in worn-out shoes, while others have been obliged to buy their own footwear.

Dec 13, 2017

The Kenyan ministry in charge of policing appears, following an audit into the purchase of their officers’ shoes, to have mislaid around £1.3 million. This sounds damned careless. The audit’s report describes a “pathetic and unpleasant situation” in which some officers have patrolled in worn-out shoes, while others have been obliged to buy their own footwear. The ministry’s records showed that there was at one stage a plan to buy 26,500 pairs of shoes, but it would appear that enough money to purchase 78,000 pairs was spent, at around £15 a pair – £7.50 a boot. Ministry officials claimed that the extra shoes were for police trainees and another police unit. This is enough boots for a lot of trainees and a very big unit. Perhaps they should be asked to produce the officers, their shoes, or both? Auditor General Edward Ouko has reported that a physical inspection found some police officers had “opted to buy shoes from various vendors, contrary to dress regulations for police officers”. This seems to demonstrate commendable initiative on the part of those who have bought their own shoes, which invariably prompts some form of disciplinary action in police forces around the globe. The audit also found that the bill for 4,420 motorcycles had been inflated, rather than their tyres. This is a lot of motorcycles. We wait to hear whether or not deprived officers have ridden them on the rims of their wheels, or bought tyres themselves, and what disciplinary actions they face if this proves to be the case. Meanwhile, Sussex Police has admitted that its claim that significant numbers of Crystal Palace fans had attempted entry to the derby at Brighton and Hove Albion armed with “knives and knuckledusters” was false. False news is having a good run. Chief Inspector (at the time of going to press) Simon Nelson, who led the policing operation, had suggested the day after the game that incidents that represented “a return to the dark days of football” had occurred, and claimed that “a significant number of people attempted to enter the ground with pyrotechnics, knives and knuckledusters”. Chief Insp Nelson has now “revisited” the issue, explaining that although Brighton staff had indeed found bombs and flares, the allegation that knives and knuckledusters had been discovered was strongly disputed by Palace’s supporters. Sussex Police has issued a statement saying: “The reference to weapons being found discarded at the stadium following the Brighton v Crystal Palace match on November 28 was based on information logged by our officers on the night and done so in good faith… subsequently, it has been established that no such items were physically recovered at the stadium or in the city. We accept that this information was incorrect and the tweet published earlier today by one of our officers was wrong.” This is puzzling. Flares and bombs look quite different to knives and knuckledusters, or they did the last time I did the match. Perhaps Sussex Constabulary could invite auditor general Outo over from Kenya? He could do an audit, and maybe get some spare boots off the clubs involved. Whenever their staff are interviewed the walls behind them are covered in boots, although the colours and the studs might prove a problem… Yours, Stitch

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