POLICE FI­ASCO TO MAKE YOU DE­SPAIR

When a top de­tec­tive’s son was beaten sense­less by a thug, his col­leagues bun­gled the man­hunt. So he took over and nailed the cul­prit. And his re­ward? Be­ing driven out of the force

Daily Mail - - News - By Re­becca Hardy

De­tec­tive Su­per­in­ten­dent Pete Jack­son was en­joy­ing a Sun­day morn­ing lie-in when, shortly af­ter 8am, came the call that ev­ery par­ent dreads.

tom, his 18-year-old son, was in hospi­tal. the bril­liant chem­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing stu­dent had been punched and knocked to the ground in an un­pro­voked at­tack while on a night out.

A friend who was with him was call­ing Pete from the A&e ward at Manch­ester Royal in­fir­mary. the friend didn’t know how se­ri­ous tom’s in­juries were, only that he’d been ly­ing un­con­scious in a pool of blood for more than five min­utes. He thought he was dead.

‘You know when you get that feel­ing in your stom­ach?’ says Pete, 54. ‘i was in to­tal panic.

‘As a se­nior in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer, this was my day job, deal­ing with vic­tims of vi­o­lent attacks. i’ve seen the grief of mums and dads whose child has been killed or left with life-chang­ing in­juries. My mantra to my of­fi­cers was al­ways to go that ex­tra mile to get vi­o­lent crim­i­nals locked up and off the streets — be­cause, i’d say: “if we don’t, it might be my son next.” ’

He shakes his head. Be­cause far from go­ing that ‘ex­tra mile’, of­fi­cers in­ves­ti­gat­ing tom’s case were woe­fully in­ept.

On that Sun­day in July 2014, as his son lay wait­ing for an op­er­a­tion to re­pair his jaw, which was bro­ken in two places, Pete re­ceived a phone call to say there was no cctv footage from the scene of the crime and no other lines of in­quiry. in ef­fect, the case was closed.

‘i couldn’t be­lieve it,’ says Pete. ‘tom had been knocked un­con­scious. His friend, Henry, had also been knocked out by this thug. A third friend who was with them, also called tom, had run for his life with this vi­o­lent lu­natic chas­ing him.

‘the city cen­tre is full of cctv cam­eras. How could it not have been picked up?

‘Once tom had had his op­er­a­tion to put his face back to­gether, i went to the city cen­tre and found the pool of blood where his head had lain. i stood be­side it, looked up and saw a cctv cam­era right above me.’

the case was sub­se­quently re­opened and led to se­rial vi­o­lent crim­i­nal An­thony Bamg­bose be­ing jailed for al­most two years.

Yet in­stead of be­ing com­mended for his ac­tions, Pete was him­self in­ves­ti­gated for ‘ in­ap­pro­pri­ate in­volve­ment in the in­quiry’.

to­day, he is no longer a police of­fi­cer, hav­ing re­tired in dis­gust from Greater Manch­ester Police in Fe­bru­ary af­ter 31 years’ ser­vice.

He is speak­ing to­day fol­low­ing the re­lease of fig­ures that re­veal the force shelves more than 100,000 crime re­ports ev­ery year — with 57 per cent of do­mes­tic bur­glary cases and 76 per cent of street thefts closed on the ba­sis they have no ev­i­dence.

Pete, who dur­ing his years with one of Bri­tain’s big­gest police forces headed the ma­jor in­ci­dent team, blames a cul­ture of box-tick­ing and per­for­mance tar­gets.

‘the force is full of highly am­bi­tious, of­ten bright, in­di­vid­u­als who have moved through the ranks quickly but are not proper cop­pers and have not gained the ex­pe­ri­ence or cred­i­bil­ity along the way,’ he says.

‘All their ac­tions are dic­tated by man­age­ment man­u­als and lead­er­ship doc­trines.

‘in my view, Greater Manch­ester Police (GMP) has be­come a bro­ken force be­cause of a cul­ture of crony­ism and nepo­tism in which se­nior of­fi­cers care less about vic­tims of crime and more about hit­ting per­for­mance tar­gets.’

HiS­words are a damn­ing in­dict­ment of the force in which he once served with pride, but they are not al­le­ga­tions he makes lightly.

in­deed, he has been so con­cerned about the lack of judg­ment of th­ese ‘ highly am­bi­tious’ police of­fi­cers that, in 2012, he put his job on the line to make a series of al­le­ga­tions about the force, in­clud­ing mis­han­dling the body parts of se­rial killer Harold Ship­man’s vic­tims.

the al­le­ga­tions were taken over by the in­de­pen­dent Police com­plaints com­mis­sion (iPcc) as Op­er­a­tion Poppy, which has com­pleted its in­ves­ti­ga­tion but has yet to de­cide whether to re­lease its find­ings.

Mean­while, GMP has cleared two of­fi­cers of mis­con­duct while the third is await­ing an out­come. in a state­ment, GMP Deputy chief con­sta­ble ian Pilling said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into tom’s as­sault had iden­ti­fied ‘ poor in­ves­tiga­tive prac­tice and learn­ings’.

Men­tion this and Pete rolls his eyes. ‘Poor in­ves­tiga­tive prac­tice and learn­ings? What gob­bledy-gook!’ he says. ‘it was a down­right dis­grace. My son was nearly killed, and if it hadn’t been for me, that thug would have got away with it.’

Pete’s anger is pal­pa­ble. He loves each of his four, gram­mar- school ed­u­cated chil­dren deeply and is rightly proud of their achieve­ments.

His youngest son is study­ing to be a vet at Glas­gow Univer­sity, his 28-year-old daugh­ter works as a GP and his 24- year- old son is a civil en­gi­neer, hav­ing grad­u­ated with First-class Hon­ours.

tom, now 20, who won a place study­ing chem­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing at Leeds Univer­sity af­ter gain­ing an im­pres­sive six A-lev­els, is on the Dean’s list as an ex­em­plary stu­dent. He is also a swim­mer, plays on the univer­sity lacrosse and foot­ball teams, is a keen skier, plays the piano and, ac­cord­ing to Pete, is a ‘po­lite, charm­ing and good-look­ing young man’.

OFtHAt day tom was at­tacked, he says: ‘ When we got to the hospi­tal, tom was sat on a bed in a cu­bi­cle with his head ban­daged up. We had to wait 45 min­utes for the ct scans to come back.

that was the worst 45 min­utes of my life. ev­ery worst-case sce­nario i’d en­coun­tered was go­ing through my head.

‘When you have a se­ri­ous head in­jury, you com­monly get swelling or a bleed on the brain. it can be life-chang­ing.

‘i was think­ing: “if he’s got a bleed or swelling, he’ll be go­ing to Sal­ford Royal Hospi­tal and [doc­tors will be] cut­ting into his skull. this could ruin the rest of his life.” i just wanted who­ever had done this to be locked up and taken off the streets.’

Pete and Au­drey, his wife of 30 years and a teacher, wept tears of relief when the ct scan re­sults re­vealed no brain dam­age.

‘two uni­formed of­fi­cers ar­rived about 9.30am,’ says Pete. ‘they took his friends, tom and Henry, to the car to give state­ments.

‘i was sur­prised de­tec­tives hadn’t come to see my tom in hospi­tal. this was a se­ri­ous as­sault. two lads had been knocked out and scooped up in an am­bu­lance.

‘His friend told me he thought tom was dead. But the of­fi­cers didn’t even take them back to the scene.

‘About mid­day, the police rang me to say they’d been back to the scene and there was no cctv and no lines of in­quiry out­stand­ing. the crime was filed on the com­puter, and at that stage the in­ves­ti­ga­tion ended.’

But not as far as Pete was con­cerned. De­ter­mined to seek jus­tice for his son, Pete set out to visit the scene of the crime him­self.

Reach­ing the spot where the at­tack had taken place, Pete looked up and saw a cctv cam­era be­long­ing to a bar po­si­tioned di­rectly above. Fu­ri­ous this had been over­looked, he ap­proached the bar man­ager ask­ing to see the footage.

‘He put in the time it had hap­pened, 3.30am, and the first im­age that came up on the screen was tom ly­ing in the road un­con­scious. that hit me hard, see­ing my son ly­ing there not mov­ing,’ says Pete.

‘He started rewind­ing it and the min­utes were go­ing by. i counted

that my son had been un­con­scious for five min­utes. When it got to the stage where Bamg­bose hit him, I couldn’t look.’

The fol­low­ing morn­ing, Pete took it up with his di­vi­sional com­man­der at the se­ri­ous crime di­vi­sion.

‘ I said: “The com­mand unit in Manch­ester city cen­tre is use­less. They’ve writ­ten the crime off, filed it and yet there’s CCTV.” I asked him if we could send the CCTV unit down there to re­trieve footage.’

Footage from sev­eral cam­eras re­vealed the en­tire as­sault: Tom and his friends eat­ing a takeaway on the steps out­side the bar; Tom stand­ing up to al­low Bamg­bose to pass; Tom be­ing punched with great force.

The footage then showed Tom fall to the ground, his friend Henry stand­ing over his un­con­scious body, try­ing to pro­tect him.

Bamg­bose was seen to punch Henry, who also col­lapsed. The third friend, also called Tom, was seen run­ning from the at­tacker. Thank­fully, a clear im­age of Bamg­bose was re­cov­ered from the CCTV and posted on the force’s in­ter­nal data­base. Two of­fi­cers iden­ti­fied Bamg­bose.

‘He was well known,’ says Pete. ‘A col­league told me he’d nearly killed two lads the year be­fore and should have been charged, but wasn’t be­cause it was a re­ally neg­li­gent in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

‘I was rag­ing about that. He should have been in prison in­stead of be­ing out and about. If that in­ves­ti­ga­tion had been dealt with prop­erly, he wouldn’t have been around to at­tack Tom.’

The fol­low­ing week, Bamg­bose was ar­rested and charged — not, as Pete wanted, with caus­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm with in­tent, but two lesser charges of se­ri­ous bod­ily harm with­out in­tent and ac­tual bod­ily harm.

‘Ac­tual bod­ily harm is the low­est charge there is,’ says Pete. ‘It’s for giv­ing some­one a black eye.

‘This lu­natic didn’t just give his vic­tim a black eye: he shat­tered Tom’s jaw in two places.

‘He’s a se­rial vi­o­lent crim­i­nal and the pub­lic should be pro­tected from him. In­stead, the box tick­ers let him get away with as­sault caus­ing ac­tual bod­ily harm.

‘You re­ally do de­spair. The bot­tom line is, peo­ple don’t care. If some- one pleads guilty and you charge them with some­thing lesser, it’s less work.

‘I said: “Why has he only been charged with that? He could have killed my son. Didn’t you see the CCTV footage?” I was told No.’

An­gered, Pete fired off an email to the di­vi­sion head. ‘I said: “My son was nearly killed last week and he’s been charged with this? This has been an ab­so­lute dis­grace from start to fin­ish.” ’ He sighs, ex­as­per­ated. ‘A week later, I got a phone call from my boss. He said: “Peter, I have to tell you some­thing but prom­ise you won’t get an­gry.

‘ “There was a bail meet­ing this morn­ing but the police got there too late with the CCTV. The de­fence bar­ris­ter said Bamg­bose had acted in self- de­fence and, be­cause there was no CCTV or cops, the judge ac­cepted it. He’s just bailed him.”

‘I said: “I’m sorry, but I’m rag­ing. The lads now have to deal with the fact he’s back out in Manch­ester.” ’

For

Pete, worse was to fol­low. ‘While we were wait­ing for the trial, I was told I was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for my in­volve­ment in the case. They said I’d ac­cessed police sys­tems — which I hadn’t — used harsh lan­guage and shouted at of­fi­cers.

‘The In­spec­tor I’d had a go at said she was up­set and shocked, al­though she ac­knowl­edged I didn’t swear or raise my voice.

‘They had to dis­close the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into my ac­tions at Bamg­bose’s trial. So his bar­ris­ter claimed that the only rea­son he was be­ing charged was be­cause the vic­tim’s dad was a cop.’

Bamg­bose was sen­tenced to 23 months and re­leased af­ter 12. Five months ago, he was sen­tenced to 22 months for caus­ing ac­tual bod­ily harm af­ter punch­ing a tal­ented mu­si­cian in an­other un­pro­voked at­tack and shat­ter­ing his cheek.

In De­cem­ber 2014, the IPCC con­cluded its six-month in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Peter Jack­son’s con­duct, ob­serv­ing: ‘ Jack­son has in­volved him­self in a police in­quiry fol­low­ing an as­sault on his son. He found ev­i­dence which the re­sponse of­fi­cers failed to find. He had heated words with an In­spec­tor.

‘There is, based on the re­fer­ral, ques­tion in my mind as to whether this is mis­con­duct. It is in­trigu­ing why there is no con­duct taken for­ward for the of­fi­cers who stated there was no CCTV fol­low­ing their in­quiries.’

Sadly, Pete’s work­ing re­la­tion­ship with se­nior of­fi­cers had de­te­ri­o­rated so badly that he felt he had no choice but to leave the force in Fe­bru­ary. He is now tak­ing Greater Manch­ester Police to an em­ploy­ment tri­bunal for con­struc­tive dis­missal.

‘All I ever wanted to do as a po­lice­man was to lock up crim­i­nals and keep them off the streets,’ he says.

‘But we’re in a cul­ture now where more and more se­nior of­fi­cers are only con­cerned about win­dow dress­ing for Pr pur­poses. They care more about hav­ing police at­tend lo­cal com­mu­nity meet­ings, where the main com­plaint is about dogs foul­ing the pave­ments, than in­vest­ing in real polic­ing.’

He shakes his head in sad­ness. ‘Vi­o­lent crim­i­nals are left to roam the streets be­cause lock­ing them up is too much hard work.’

An­gry: Pete Jack­son, with Tom, feels let down by of­fi­cers. Inset, blood­ied Tom af­ter the at­tack

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