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Bernard Jenkin says whistleblowers must be heard as second data scandal hits
AN MP has spoken out about the importance of listening to whistleblowers as a second scandal was revealed into the manipulation of data.
Harwich and North Essex Tory MP Bernard Jenkin is chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee which quizzed Scotland Yard chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.
Sir Bernard responded to claims from PC James Patrick that Metropolitan police crime figures had been manipulated.
Sir Bernard told MPs the preliminary results of an internal inquiry had already indicated some of the allegations made by PC Patrick were true. PC Patrick, who lives in the Colchester area, is facing disciplinary action.
He alleged the number of sexual offences had been understated in official figures by up to 25 per cent and there had been a similar misrecording of burglary and other crimes. PC Patrick told the select committee in November massaging figures to hit performance targets had become “an ingrained part of policing culture”.
Sir Bernard admitted to the committee some of the claims were “worthy of further investigation”.
He added: “On occasion there might be some inaccuracy, but I think on the whole there’s a truth there we need to hear.”
Tom Winsor, Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales, which is leading an inquiry into crime statistics, told the committee he was in no doubt it would uncover “some fiddling of the figures”.
As his MP, Mr Jenkin said he had met PC Patrick.
He said: “Whistleblowers tend to be determined, rather awkward people who many would not regard as team players and who are not considered co-operative or compliant.
“Nevertheless, as we have discovered in the Colchester Hospital cancer issue, these people have to be taken seriously by management and, however troublesome they may seem, they must be listened to.”
Mr Jenkin said the committee will publish its findings into the alleged fixing of police figures next month.
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