This digital age

Detectives in London are trying to find the owner of a human finger ‘found by a dog’ near Euston station almost seven years ago. DNA was obtained but it matches neither missing person nor crime reports.

Jul 12, 2017

Detectives in London are trying to find the owner of a human finger ‘found by a dog’ near Euston station almost seven years ago. DNA was obtained but it matches neither missing person nor crime reports. Detective Constable Tom Boon describes the finger as “quite the mystery” and has appealed for help from the public, saying: “It would be great to be able to find out who the finger belongs to after all these years.” This, Tom, may be too little, too late. There is no record of any in-depth interviews having been conducted with the dog that claimed to have found the missing digit, and although it is essential that cases are built on evidence rather than supposition, there must be a chance that the dog ate the person but saved the finger for later. Any experienced dog owner will testify to the innocent looks achieved by guilty dogs. Meanwhile, two Nottinghamshire Police officers, one male and one female, are recovering from six years ‘in limbo’ after the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) conducted criminal and misconduct investigations that ended with them failing to attend a misconduct hearing they themselves had ordered and six attending a previous one — balance was never a strong IPCC trait. The piqued misconduct panel said there was now little chance of a fair hearing and the ‘significant departure’ from the regulatory framework was not the sort of thing that six years’ rehearsal should result in. The officers remained on full duties for this whole period, and seem to have carried on with their lives, (one got married, the other gave birth). They are understandably aggrieved, not least because for six years they were unable to progress their careers, apply for a mortgage, upgrade their cars or make any financial plans for fear of imminent unemployment. They are dismayed that the IPCC appeared to have no grasp of police work, and point out that if police officers did the same then they would be surely be investigated. It could, of course, be that an ongoing internal investigation will take six more years and they might not turn up at whatever passes for a hearing. Finally, for this week, officers in England and Wales now have to fill out a ten-page form every time they use force against someone. This includes the use of handcuffs, spit guards, dogs, shields, unarmed restraint, CS spray or drawing a baton. The Home Office says the form will help bring about “unprecedented transparency”. Oh really. John Apter, chair of the Hampshire Police Federation, says filling out the form is like “writing an exam essay”, although an electronic keyboard is an advance on the quill he used. He suggests scanning officers’ pocketbooks, although body-worn cameras should surely suffice. Jan Berry, a former Police Federation chair, employed by the Home Office to cut red tape, notes that the data is already collected by custody suite staff, and says “I sort of despair”. Jan, you either despair or you don’t, to ‘kind of despair’ is an oxymoron. In 2011, Home Secretary Theresa May promised that she would “do away with the bureaucratic accountability of the past…we will free the police to do their job”. You can’t turn your back. Yours, Stitch

Related News

Select Vacancies

Copyright © 2021 Police Professional