Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Hey you've got to laugh haven't ya'? If you didn't you'd cry.

Last night a friend of my girlfriends' called her to tell her that she believed that her son had been defamed on a local internet forum, because someone had taken photographs of him on his bike at the boating lake and suggested that he was some sort of hoodied criminal.
I haven't seen the photographs and I don't know what the inns and outs of this issue are. All I know is that because of the comments that were made about Rachels friends' son on this site, his mum thought that he had been defamed and in some way, he had his rights violated. As a consequence of this, this young lads mum phoned the police to complain about A. photographs being taken of her son and put onto this site without his or her permission and B. that he had been wrongly defamed and castigated on this site.

However, the police man who this woman spoke to made, for me, a very peculiar statement and this is what I was interested in most. Because when confronted with these facts the policeman informed the young lads mum that there was nothing that he could do because people can say what they like about other people on such forums and that the police can't do anything about it. To this, the young mans mother said "So I could call you what I wanted to on a public forum and there's nothing that you could do?" and he replied "no because it is a civil matter and no criminal offence has been committed".

And that's what bothered me most because two years or so ago now, shortly after I made a posting on this blogsite after I received a letter and cctv video telling me about and showing me a councillor, swinging a chain around outside his pub in a confrontational manner towards a gang of youths, whilst people from his pub broke up bits of an advertising signs to presumably use as weapons, the police spent SIX MONTHS TRYING TO FIT A CRIME TO ME POSTING THIS INFORMATION ON MY BLOGSITE, ON BEHALF OF ACOUNCILLOR, WHEN NO CRIME CRIMINALLY OR CIVILLY FOR THAT MATTER, HAD BEEN COMMITTED. THE CLEVELAND POLICE FORCE SPENT SIX MONTHS OF POLICE MANPOWER AND PUBLIC MONEY REPRESENTING A COUNCILLOR WITHIN THIS COUNCIL OVER A CIVIL ISSUE? What is more incredible is that although Cleveland police told me that hate mail that I, Cllr Mary Lanigan and Cllr Mike Findley all received had come from within the council, no action or investigation of any sort ever took place?

Perhaps if this womans son had been a councillor within RCBC, or the ex-chief executive officer who made sure that two young men were investigated by the police, at great expense, for the terrible crime of fly posting posters that accused the ex-CEO amongst others of being corrupt, only to then let the two men off without charge reccomending that they had a meeting with the ex-CEO for basically what amounted to a ticking off, then this woman may have been afforded the same amount of police time and public money, as that councillor and the ex-CEO?
Perhaps if she had been a legal officer within the council, she could have demanded, as one of the councils legal officers has done in the past, the IP addresses of people who she claimed had made untruthful and libellous statements about individuals within the council?

Alas though, Rachels friend is just a mere member of the public who must spend her own money, time and effort in pursuing this civil matter further. Just what is at the heart of the cosy relationship that exists between elements of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and the Cleveland Police force?

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