Ex-policeman speaks out about Thames Valley Police

A former Milton Keynes cop has made allegations of corruption within Thames Valley Police in a new book.

The accusations are his first-hand account of allegations of fixing crime figures and detection rates, racism and bugging prisoners.

All For Nothing charts the exemplary 30-year career of former Det Sgt Mark Kearney from his days as a bobby on the beat, to work in prison intelligence at Woodhill. He earned several commendations and quickly rose up the ranks.

But just five weeks before he was due to retire Mark’s career came crashing down after he was investigated by the Professional Standards Department – the people who police the police – for allegedly leaking stories to the press.

His two sons had already been arrested in two separate incidents. The book describes both arrests as “vindictive”, and both cases collapsed due to a lack of evidence.

In May 2007 Mark was himself arrested and later charged with eight counts of wilful misconduct in a public office by making unlawful disclosures about confidential information.

Citizen journalist Sally Murrer was then also dramatically arrested as part of the case. She was held in custody, strip searched and forced to hand over computers and notebooks, accused of receiving leaked information.

Her telephone conversations had been bugged for weeks.

The pair, who both faced life imprisonment, were arrested under the RIPA anti-terrorism laws – the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

The high-profile case was thrown out almost two years later after a judge ruled Thames Valley Police had no right to bug their conversations.

The court also heard Sally’s information had been in the public domain before she received it.

During the case Mark bizarrely found himself at the centre of a row after Special Branch ordered him to bug Shadow Lord Chancellor Sadiq Khan.

The book describes how the Labour MP paid two visits to his ‘childhood friend’ famous terror suspect Barbar Ahmed who was then being held at Woodhill Prison.

“There wasn’t anything in the recording that was subversive in the slightest; it was a very normal conversation between two old friends,” the book states.

The police prosecution in Sally’s case involved three matters. The first involved a prisoner at a young offenders’ institution who told staff he planned to become a suicide bomber on his release.

Sally and Mark were recorded discussing this but a story was never published and no name was mentioned.

The second story was about a former footballer who was arrested for GBH on a DJ at his own engagement party at the Jury’s Inn. He was never charged.

A third story related to the murder of Douglas Belcher in Milton Keynes.

Sally’s investigation revealed the victim spent years in prison for importing drugs. A cannabis factory was later found at the Bletchley home of Belcher and his murder was found to be drug-related.

The case is estimated to have cost £1.5 million.

With regards to the publication of the book, a spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: “We have not had sight of the book, however Thames Valley Police takes any allegation against the Force extremely seriously.

“Our legal department will review the contents of the book in due course,” the spokesman added.

> All For Nothing is available as an ebook on Amazon.