THE public is losing faith in the police because of a “dangerous cocktail” of controversies, a senior MP declared yesterday.
Keith Vaz said hundreds of doctored statements over the Hillsborough tragedy and the Plebgate row have “damaged trust”.
The home affairs committee chairman added: “The public seems to be lacking confidence in certain aspects of policing.”
Speaking on the Plebgate row, in which former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell allegedly called Downing Street gun cops “plebs”, he said: “What happened to Mr Mitchell could well have been a Christmas special script.
“Take an officer apparently masquerading as a member of the public, add the results of the Hillsborough Inquiry and you have a dangerous cocktail.” Mr Vaz will begin an inquiry into police accountability, corruption and malpractice next month — in what he termed a “defining moment”.
The Labour MP also claimed morale among cops has plummeted as they feel they lack Government support.
Meanwhile, Coalition plans to shake up working routines were given a boost by figures showing one in ten officers — or 23,000 — have second jobs. Home Office data revealed that crime fell by at least ten per cent in 19 of 43 forces across England and Wales in the past two years — despite cuts of more than 20 per cent.
Controversial new laws being drawn up by Home Secretary Theresa May “to ensure high standards of integrity” are set to hit pay and perks.
Article written by Tom Newton Dunn, political editor at The Sun, and sub edited by myself.
Originally published in The Sun on Monday December 31 2012.