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Policewatch Films

Friday, 28 November 2008

...and Ken Norman

We'd also like to introduce Detective Sergeant Ken Norman. Ken works for CO11 doing the 'detective' work for the Met's public order unit. His work has included a number of Fitwatch trials, where people have been prosecuted (but rarely convicted) for obstructing police cameras. He is most noticable in his police liaison role, where he works with the courts, prosecution lawyers and police witnesses to make sure the police put forward 'the best possible case' and get convictions. Happily, his success rate doesn't seem to be very high.

We think he may work alongside the National Domestic Extremism Team, a small unit run by ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) which appears to exist purely to pursue prosecutions against political activists. It's hard to know for certain however, because so little is known about this less-than-accountable unit, and Ken, for all his friendly smiles, is not exactly open with us about the structures he works within. (That's an open invitation, Ken - tell us all about it!)

Ken is well known for his friendly/chatty routine, but don't be fooled. If you are in court for a politically motivated offence, he'll want to get to know you a little. And it's not because he wants a new friend on facebook....


FIT Watch said...

Lovely to see Ken's ugly face gracing the pages of our blog.

Although, we are saddened to report that he may not be getting paid enough, and is having to enter competitions to bump up his salary.

According to The Job, our Ken won a £10 M&S voucher last year for correctly identifying a picture of Kensington Palace.

Well done Ken. Nice to know those intelligence gathering skills can be useful for something...

Anonymous said...

The thing is he WAS there when you were convicted - I'm sure he will be there when you are convicted again

fighting fit said...

Anonymous - I'm afraid I have no idea what you are referring to. Despite numerous attempts by the police to criminalise what Fitwatch does, nearly all the prosecutions the police have taken have resulted in not guilty verdicts or have never got to trial. The exception to this was one trial when two people were convicted. Both of these are taking the case to appeal because the decision was wrong in law. Ken Norman did not happen to be at this trial, although another individual from CO11 was acting as police liaison.

The money, effort and personnel that the police have put into criminalising people who stand in front of police cameras with banners is quite astounding. The likes of Ken Norman don't come cheap, yet he is happy to spend hours, days even, running around desperately trying to get a very minor conviction against people who are harming no-one. At what point should people start questioning resource allocation in the Metropolitan police?

Anonymous said...

If they haver done nothing wrong they would have nothing to hide.

Emperor said...

Having claimed that the police were unable to secure a conviction for obstructing surveillance of protests, FITWatch has been proved wrong and two activists have been convicted. But rather than admitting that it was wrong, FITWatch has blamed the system.

FITWatch has claimed that the activists were convicted because they were left on their own in court rather than relying upon lawyers. They were “were forced by lack of legal aid to defend themselves”, it complained. “The difference between the two trials could not have been more stark, nor give a clearer picture of the complete lack of justice in our criminal justice system”.

By ‘lack of justice’ FITWatch means that these two activists failed to qualify for legal aid because, under the rules which govern the use of taxpayers’ money to fund lawyers in these cases, they had were deemed to have sufficient financial resources. It was entirely their decision not to use their own money.

fighting fit said...

Emperor, I'm afraid you are simply wrong here. The legal aid test has two parts - one is the means test, the other is what is called the 'interests of justice' test. In effect, this test limits legal aid to cases where there is a realistic possibility of a custodial sentence. Obstructing a police officer is one of the more minor offences heard in the magistrates court. Although it carries a theoretical possiblity of a custodial sentence of up to one month, there is very little chance of anyone going to prison for obstruct police. That means you won't get legal aid for this offence, no matter how little money you have.
In the case to which you refer, both defendents would have passed the means test. There is simply no way that they could have paid for their own defence lawyers.
Incidentally, you don't have to earn very much to fail the means test. A couple earning more than £22k between them would probably be denied legal aid. And I doubt if an income like that would run to a couple of days pay for a barrister or solicitor in court.
These two activists did not have anything approaching a fair trial. And they are not alone - the changes to legal aid have deprived very many people of whatever shreds of justice existed in the criminal justice system.

Anonymous said...

Terrific site! All power to you.

But, please, please consider adopting a different colour scheme so that everyone regardless of the state of their vision can read it without too much effort. Black on white is the best solution.

Really Fit said...

Take your point about the colour scheme. Currently considering a new site, so will take your suggestions on board for that. Ta.

unfit said...

That's a fair point about the colours, white on black is probably easier to read. It might also be worth noting that you can usually change this in your web browser, and that its probably worth doing so if some colour schemes that you see used are hard to read.

Hobnoblin said...

Yes, Ken Norman might try the "How's it goin mate" and "I'm a nice ordinary bloke" routine, but believe me he is a vindictive, nasty piece of work who likes nothing more than harassing protesters and stamping on everyone who wants to challenge the status quo, especially when it relates to the company Joseph, a fashion chain that sells fur. He's a disgrace.