Animal Protection > Worldwide Actions > United Kingdom
Documents expose Police corruption in Oxford 20070514oxfordpolicecorruption.php

Documents expose Police corruption in Oxford

Documents that have been disclosed at the trial of the SPEAK 16 have highlighted a sinister relationship that exists between law enforcement officers in Oxford and Oxford University.

On Monday 30th April proceedings against sixteen SPEAK supporters who were arrested for public order offences arising from a peaceful demonstration at the Oxford University Encaenia ceremony on the 21st June 2006 finally got underway at Oxford Magistrates court almost one year after the alleged "offences" had occurred. Due to legal arguments the trial was halted for a few days but now continues at Bicester Magistrates. Bicester is a small market town about 12 miles north of Oxford.

The damning documents came to light less than two weeks before the trial of the SPEAK 16. The sixteen defendants were served via their respective legal representatives with a transcript of a dictaphone tape recording which a serving Thames Valley Police (TVP) officer had recorded on the day of the Encaenia Ceremony. What makes this tape remarkable was the content of the conversations which took place between TVP officers, including senior ranking officers, after the arrests of the defendants had taken place.

Due to the ongoing legal case Arkangel cannot fully report the contents of the documents containing the transcript of recorded conversations between Thames Valley Police officers but once the trial is over Arkangel will be able to disclose the damning conversations that took place between police officers - a conversation that exposes corruption at the very highest levels of Thames Valley Police.

From the transcripts of the conversation that were discussed in Court, it is clear that the officers heard on the tape had no idea the dictaphone was still active when they regrouped after the legal demonstration had been put down. This also included comments at a de-briefing held in the presence of the commanding officer responsible for the policing of the demonstration on the day and officers involved in 'Operation Rumble', the code name given for the policing of all demonstrations related to the 'Oxford Animal Lab' campaign run by SPEAK. The transcript of the tape has revealed the true extent of the relationship between senior Thames Valley Police officers and Oxford University. It has also revealed a very disturbing picture of the 'mind set' of serving police officers, who have by their own admissions been involved in what is clearly a campaign of harassment and intimidation against those who are legally speaking out about animal abuse at Oxford university.

What can be disclosed about the recordings at this stage is that officers refer to Oxford University as a "sleeping giant" and that the protestors do not realise just "how powerful the university is". The officers then go on to to talk about the influence Oxford University has, saying that "it's got Masons" and "influence with MP's" and "barristers" The officers also mention that the university also has friends in the "DTI", Department of Trade and Industry, as well as the "Home Office".

In the transcript the officers talk about the need to: "incite people with a double buggy" (prams) to go through the protestors so: "that they can't get through", they then go on to talk about how this would allow them to impose public order conditions.

Probably most disturbing parts of the transcript are where officers refer to a leading SPEAK organiser saying that they need to "persecute him" and "Wage a dirty war".

What is also disturbing about the tape is the attitude police officers take towards female members of the public. Officers refer to passing members of the public who are female as "Bitches".

The transcripts also clearly reveal that Thames Valley police have played an active part in trying to create the conditions in which a draconian High Court injunction can be implemented against SPEAK.

According to an article on the SPEAK website "the picture that is now being revealed at Bicester magistrates court is one which should cause the deepest concern for anyone who truly believes in 'Free Speech'. It is interesting to note that despite the sensational story unravelling at Court which is highlighting the extent of corruption within Thames valley Police and the influence Oxford University exert within not just the police but other public and what should be neutral bodies, journalists are conspicuous by their absence".

The article goes on to say: "This case has taken on dimensions that go far beyond the events of June 21st 2006. It is self evident that the political nature of this case eclipses questions of the limits of protest defined by public order legislation to a question of whether we any longer have any rights to protest at all in the UK today."

"Tests on animals have led to around 100 drugs being thought potentially useful for stroke; not one has proved effective in humans. You don't need to be a balaclava-wearing animal rights activist to question the value of animal studies in this area of medical research."

TheFirstPost. 25 January 2007.

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin, [email protected]