The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) made repeated attempts to silence a whistleblower who exposed the widespread manipulation of crime statistics, it has emerged.
Documents seen by the Guardian show that senior officers made three separate attempts to stop PC James Patrick speaking out over the course of less than five months. In one letter, they went so far as to insist he be barred from having any contact with any member of the public.
He was sent two further letters within a few days this month warning him about interviews he intended to do with the BBC. He was told he faced further disciplinary action if he continued to speak out. He was eventually referred to the directorate of professional standards after he did the interviews, in which he said the Met “puts reputation before the truth”.
As a result of Patrick’s evidence to the public administration select committee, the head of HM Inspectorate of Constabulary Tom Winsor admitted that the manipulation of crime figures was taking place. The UK Statistics Authority withdrew the Met’s gold standard national statistics status.
The Met commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, was forced to admit the numbers were being fiddled and said the issue was a cause for concern.
Bernard Jenkin, the chair of the parliamentary committee that investigated the manipulation of crime stats, said: “The most depressing part of our inquiry is the way in which the Metropolitan police have treated my constituent, PC James Patrick, who was our key witness.”
You can tell a lot about an organisation by the way it treats whistleblowers.