"What attracts you to joining the Police service?"

"He died because force was used to restrain him, mostly in a prone, face down, position, and in addition a large webbing belt was put across his face in the course of those events."  This was the opening comment by Mark Heywood QC, prosecuting three custody personnel from Devon & Cornwall Police. for the manslaughter of Thomas Orchard, 32.

The first trial at Bristol Crown court last year was abruptly stopped, with the calling for a retrial. No reason has ever been given for this happening. Currently there is a retrial, having given the officers concerned and their legal team plenty of time to rehearse answers and refute the CCTV evidence and lack of care.

This whole scenario just highlights the bullish attitude from the Police (of which I must profess to be biased in my opinions). There is an automatic propensity by officers to 'get in there' and attack, rather than de-escalate a situation.

It does question how officers would fair in psychometric testing and are they fit for purpose in this era of so called 'community policing'.

Time and time again we see the rampant 'wolf pack' mentality from officers being the norm. They dress like 'thuggish' black shirts, wear intimidating armouries on their belts, seem to have very little social skills and taint the whole population with a mantra of  'up to no good'.

In education where interviewing of candidates now calls for a basic question (following safeguarding procedures) to be answered, such as 'Why do you want to work with children?'  alerts employers to distinguishing the good guys from the bad. These type of very personal questions need to be asked of the individual candidate, in another format by the Police. The Police service should emphasise attitude and aptitude testing. Maybe ask the question 'What attracts you to joining the Police service?" with all candidates. Then doing what we did in education; 'dig and nit pick' their answers, to see if they are fit for purpose and gauge if the have ill intent on the public and risk the services reputation.

Update - 'Thomas Orchard' Trial of custody officers.

On Tuesday, 14th March 2017 custody sergeant Jan Kingshott and detention unit staff Michael Marsden and Simon Tansley serving with Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, were cleared of manslaughter by gross negligence. Following the jury's 3 days of deliberation and a majority verdict they were released. During the 10-week re-trial, the court heard how Mr Kingshott, 44, Mr Tansley, 38, and Mr Marsden, 55, were all involved in the restraining of Mr Orchard. All three men were described as men of honesty and integrity during their trial.

Ken and Alison Orchard, the parents of Thomas said outside of the court: "Today we join a growing group of people who have lost loved ones in police custody and have found no sense of justice".

Update -15th February 2018.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has announced that it has directed Devon and Cornwall police to bring disciplinary action against six of the seven officers involved with the detention and restraint of Thomas Orchard. It will now consider whether to hold the hearings in public or private. A police sergeant, two detention officers and three police constables will face misconduct proceedings.

What on earth is going on considering that in March 2017, three Devon and Cornwall police staff were cleared by a jury at Bristol crown court of the manslaughter of Orchard. Sgt Jan Kingshott and civilian detention officers Simon Tansley and Michael Marsden had denied manslaughter. They argued that the force used on the caretaker was proportional and lawful.

The IOPC, which investigated the circumstances surrounding Orchard’s death, submitted a report stating that seven officers and staff had cases to answer for gross misconduct.

It is yet to be seen if Devon & Cornwall Police follow this directive. Watch this space!

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This is where we are at.

"Some professionals wear their heart on their sleeve, police officers wear their truncheon in their hand . . ."

A criminal defence solicitor talking about the culture of modern police forces.

Says it all, really!


This is a personal website. Opinions expressed are from my own experience. Data is supported by written evidence. This site has been a cathartic exercise to recondition my thoughts away from ending my life. Throughout, there is no intention to defame or cause any harm to another person. There is, however, an eagerness by me to share my story and life with others, letting the public know what is happening under their noses, allowing them to judge me with all the information.