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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘misconduct

Delegate Forcibly Removed From CTA Conference For Asking A Question

with 6 comments

Directors of the Hemp Trade Association Ltd: Guy Coxall, Molytor; Phil Culbertson, Love CBD; Tom Whettem, Canabidol; Simon Dusher, CBD Life; Jas Nottay, Loveburgh (obscured); Mike Harlington; Chris Lambert-Dowell

A lone woman attending the CTA conference was, according to a witness “walked out by the bouncer” reportedly for asking a question which the directors found uncomfortable.  To compound this further example of bullying under Mike Harlington’s leadership, the directors are now trying to cover up what happened.

Before publishing this article I asked the directors for an explanation.  They maintain that “no questions were asked of them, so this claim has been dismissed as it factually incorrect. They are also unable to comment on the delegate being removed due to it breaching data protection laws”.

The conference took place at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham on Friday, 19th October 2018.  Attendance was reported at about 70 or 80 delegates. It was opened by Mike Harlington, who remains chairman despite considerable evidence of wrongdoing and widespread concern amongst members.  He was supported in his opening address by all the directors of the Hemp Trade Association Ltd (HTA) who stood on the stage behind him.

Notable by his absence was Tom Rowland, director of CBD Oils UK Ltd, owners of the UK brand leader Love Hemp, which now has its products on sale through Ocado, Holland & Barrett and Sainsbury’s.  It transpires that Tom has resigned as a director of HTA and Love Hemp has terminated its membership. Love Hemp was the very first CBD company to join the CTA.

Reports are reaching me of many members now terminating their membership but being told they must continue paying subscriptions for 12 months.  This demand is unenforceable.

I also have further reports within the last few days of HTA members being instructed not to buy or sell product from non-members.  This is unlawful and in breach of competition law.

It seems then that HTA’s conduct is getting even worse but nothing can be more shocking than the forcible removal from the conference of a female delegate merely for asking a question.  I received the email reproduced below and the incident has been confirmed by two independent sources who were in the conference hall at the time.

I have spoken to the lady concerned who has asked me to withhold both her and her company’s name.  She is of Eastern European origin but is now a British citizen running a UK business involved in extraction services. Particularly as a lone female, her treatment was really disgraceful and she describes being manhandled out of the conference hall by a man “not of natural size”.  She was understandably distressed and was helped to the station to return to London by another delegate.

 

From: XXXX XXXXXXXXX
Sent: 21 October 2018 23:25
To: Mike Harlington mike@cannabistrades.uk

Bcc: peter@peter-reynolds.co.uk
Subject: full refund + compensation demand (CTA conference)

 

Hello,

I bought a ticket to your public conference (£55, full day entrance and lunch included). Also I got a reminder 2 days before conference to attend (see below).

On Friday morning 19th October I took a train from London to Birmingham what cost £88 +  tax what cost £8.25.

After first speech there were questions round where I asked publicly a question along the lines “What will happen to companies who comply to law, Home Office, MHRA etc and have GMP etc, but do not want to join CTA?”

After that question I was forced to leave (you brought a big security guy who physically pushed me out) the public conference for what I paid fully. When I asked my money back because I was forced to leave for no other reason beside asking honest question then you said that it is not refundable. Also you added that you choose by face who can enter to their conference.

If you did not want that I come to your conference then you should have not sold me the ticket and send me the invitation reminder.

But asking money for full day ticket + lunch and then throwing a person out because she asked a fair and honest question is a scam.

I demand to get a refund of £55, plus compensation of transportation tickets £88 x 2 (for train tickets) + £8.25 x 2(for taxi) + £2.40 x 2 (tube) = £197.30

My hourly rate is £400 x 8 hours = £3.200 as I wasted the whole day for this CTA event.

In total £3.452,30

Also I want to remind you that you still owe me £250 addition to £3.452,30

You owe me in total £3.702,30.

After one week not payment this amount starts running interest for every additionally delayed day.

If you try to deny that incident then there were enough people who saw the incident and are willing to confirm it.

Regards
XXXX XXXXXXXX

Mob/Whatsapp: XXXXXXXXXXXX
www.XXXXXXXXXX.com

 

 

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Written by Peter Reynolds

October 24, 2018 at 2:11 pm

Complaint Against Mike Hall, West Midlands Police ‘Cannabis Disposal Team Manager’.

with 5 comments

It’s becoming more common for police forces to launch publicity campaigns about their cannabis law enforcement activities.  They may be seeking to justify their expenditure or, perhaps, appease the sort of members of the public who have their Crimestoppers ‘scratch ‘n’ sniff card to hand and turn in their neighbours for growing a few plants.  To be fair, there is anti-social behaviour around some farms: destruction of rental property, theft of electricity, human trafficking, fire risks and street dealing.  These are real social harms that the police do need to deal with.  Of course they would all be virtually eliminated by a legally regulated market and the police could get on with tackling real crime.

West Midlands Police are the latest force to join up with a local media outlet to look in detail at their cannabis operations, in this case the Wolverhampton Express & Star, the biggest-selling regional evening newspaper in Britain.

Mike Hall

Mike Hall

Earlier in April a series of articles were published, all based around the ‘Cannabis Disposal Team Manager’, Mike Hall.  To those who follow UK cannabis stories he is a familiar figure who is often quoted in Midlands local newspapers.  He shares some characteristics with other police officers involved in cannabis operations, a bit like PC Adge Secker of Avon and Somerset Police, against whom CLEAR is already successfully pursuing a complaint.  They seem to be publicity hungry, truculent and rather cocky. They consider themselves as experts, when their knowledge is actually very weak, and they seem to think they can use fear, scaremongering, exaggeration and express their personal political opinions in their official capacity.

They can’t. In fact, engaging in politics amounts to misconduct for a police officer.

We have submitted a formal complaint to the Professional Standards department of West Midlands Police.

From: Peter Reynolds
Sent: 20 April 2016 14:40
To: ‘contactus@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk’
Subject: Attention Professional Standards Department. Complaint against Mike Hall, cannabis disposal team manager.
Importance: High

Dear Sirs,

1. I wish to make a complaint against Mike Hall, cannabis disposal team manager.

I make the complaint on my own account but also in my capacity as the president of CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform of Kemp House, 152 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX. For the purposes of correspondence, please contact me via email.

2. Hall has been in engaging in politics by giving interviews to the Express and Star about cannabis which amount to politicking, propaganda, misleading and terrorising the public. The interviews can be seen at these links :

Published Apr 9, 2016. VIDEO. “Exclusive look inside a mock cannabis factory” https://youtu.be/kgpUsypBjhY

Published April 10, 2016 “Sowing the seeds of drugs: The easy-to-buy items that harbour a hidden secret”: http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2016/04/10/sowing-the-seeds-of-drugs-the-easy-to-buy-items-that-harbour-a-hidden-secret/

3. Police officers are specifically prohibited from engaging in politics by schedule 1 of the Police Regulations 2003 which states:

“A member of a police force shall at all times abstain from any activity which is likely to interfere with the impartial discharge of his duties or which is likely to give rise to the impression amongst members of the public that it may so interfere; and in particular a member of a police force shall not take any active part in politics.”

4. I am a victim of misconduct by Hall which has caused me distress at his misuse of his office to promote myth, prejudice and propaganda about cannabis and hatred of cannabis users as a social group. I am also acting on behalf of more than half a million registered supporters of CLEAR who are victims of Hall’s misconduct for the same reasons, particularly those who need cannabis as medicine for the treatment of conditions such as MS, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, spinal injury, epilepsy and chronic pain. Hall has specifically attacked people suffering from arthritis with grossly offensive, defamatory and inaccurate claims.

5. In the video linked to in 2. above, starting at approximately 2:42, Hall says:

“Cannabis causes a lot of harm to the community. People talk about legalising and taxing it. From my point of view, I know that alcohol and tobacco are legalised and taxed but it doesn’t stop crimnals from profiting from counterfeiting and smuggling those commodities. There will always be crime linked to cannabis. If it was sold and legislated against there would still be underground users and growers that would be profiting from that legislation.

From my perspective and I’m an expert witness for cannabis for the purposes of the courts as well, I know that anybody who starts getting involved in cannabis it’s only a matter of time before, either out of jealousy or concern or spite, somebody lets the authorities know that you are growing cannabis. Now that can either result in the police coming round your house and you obtaining a crimnal conviction or, even worse, other people can find out and come and be armed raiders at your house to steal your cannabis. None of it is a good idea.”

6. It is incorrect to claim that “cannabis causes a lot of harm to the community”. The harms are caused not by cannabis itself but by enforcement of the law against it and would be exactly the same were basil, oregano or tomatoes prohibited. Hall’s expression of his opinions about legalising and taxing cannabis is clearly engaging in politics. His attempt to scare people about armed raiders is reprehensible. Police officers should not be terrorising the public with such exaggeration, falsehood and distortion. Hall is entitled to hold his political opinions but he is not entitled to express them in an official capacity. I recognise that cannabis is a controversial subject and people will hold different opinions but it is wholly wrong and unprofessional for any police officer to engage in this political debate and amounts to misconduct.

7. In the article linked to in 2. above, Hall is quoted as saying “We hear people talk about medicinal cannabis to help with arthritis, but then they are climbing up into their loft every three hours to water their plants.”. This is offensive to people who have arthritis and discriminates against them based on their medical condition. It is also manifestly ridiculous and inaccurate. Watering any type of plant every three hours would kill the plants. Also, modern medical practice is that people with arthritis are encouraged to keep moving. There is a great deal of peer-reviewed, published, scientific evidence that supports the safety and efficacy of using cannabis for chronic pain conditions. See attached document ‘Medicinal Cannabis:The Evidence’. Therefore, Hall’s remarks towards people with arthritis amount to misconduct.

8. Later in the article, Hall again engages in political debate. In response to the Liberal Democrat’s proposals for a regulated cannabis market, he is quoted as saying:

“It would impact on other legislation. We have relatively new laws on drug driving, but would we want the battle we have had with drink driving for decades to happen all over again? It could mean 30 years of hard publicity and no end of terrible accidents to get that through to people. You also have to ask what would happen to the thousands of unemployed drug dealers. They would turn to other areas of crime. And underground growers could profit further, as their product would not carry the tax and VAT of legal cannabis. Legalisation would not destroy the market for illegal cannabis. Tobacco and alcohol are legislated against but it doesn’t stop criminals from smuggling or counterfeiting.”

This is blatant politicking. Hall is engaging in politics in his official capacity which amounts to misconduct.

I would be grateful if you would deal with this complaint at your earliest convenience. I shall be happy to provide any further information required or to give oral evidence in support.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Reynolds

IPCC Upholds CLEAR Appeal Against Avon and Somerset Police.

with one comment

PC Adge Secker

PC Adge Secker

In January, a cocky, self-publicising cop from Bath published a typically ignorant piece of anti-cannabis scaremongering in his local paper.

PC Adge Secker wrote, amongst other nonsense, that “on average” cannabis plants are worth £1000 each, that “kids as young as 10 get hooked” and that it “…causes psychotic episodes so terrible that people throw themselves off buildings”.

CLEAR submitted a formal complaint to the Professional Standards department of Avon and Somerset Police.   We described the article as “full of exaggeration, falsehood and distortion” and said “it is wholly wrong and unprofessional for any police officer to engage in this political debate and amounts to misconduct”.

Avon and Somerset Police rejected our complaint, described it as “fanciful” and refused to record it or investigate it any further. Another article was published in the same local newspaper headlined  “Bath police officer’s views on cannabis backed by Avon and Somerset Police”.  The editor of the Bath Chronicle, Alex Brown, had already taken sides and supported this police misconduct writing that “any suggestion that he shouldn’t have an opinion and shouldn’t speak out is ridiculous”.  But the fact is that police officers are prohibited from engaging in politics for very good reason.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has now upheld our appeal. Avon and Somerset Police must now record and investigate the complaint.

The IPCC’s decision states “a reasonable person could share your general view that the officer has used his position to publish inaccurate information and enter into a political debate”.

It doesn’t mean we have won but it does mean we have forced this police force to take us seriously. Now PC Secker’s misconduct in telling porkies to support his political opinion will have to be investigated.  The rules of evidence will apply and we have a very strong case.

Most important of all, making complaints like this deters other police officers from engaging in such propaganda exercises.  CLEAR followers will recall that in 2013 we ran a series of similar complaints against Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.  In the end our complaints weren’t upheld but Sir Bernard has never since voiced his jaundiced opinions or pushed his anti-cannabis agenda.  That is the result we wanted.

Killer Cop Harwood Must Be Charged

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Incompetent And Corrupt

The only even half-excuse that Keir Starmer, the DPP, had for not charging PC Simon Harwood over the death of Ian Tomlinson was disagreement among pathologists.   As it was, he should have allowed a jury to determine which pathologist to believe.  Now, Dr Freddy Patel, who wasn’t even qualified to carry out the post mortem in the first place, has been found guilty of misconduct by the General Medical Council.

Killer

Richard Davies, chairman of the GMC panel said in relation to another case that Patel should not have set aside his “professional judgement for any of the parties involved during or after a post-mortem examination for reasons of expediency or anything else”.  Patel’s credibility is therefore shot to pieces.  No jury could choose to believe him in the Tomlinson case, particularly when the other two pathologists were both agreed on their diagnosis.

There is therefore no reason now not to charge Harwood and there must be a better than even chance of his conviction for manslaughter.

Starmer has a chance to try to rescue his reputation.  He should grab it with both hands immediately.

Boris To Decide MP Prosecutions?

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Up and down the country Chief Constables have been deluged with complaints about local MPs.  Many constituents believe that their MP’s conduct has gone beyond error and misjudgement to the point where the police need to investigate.  There is huge anger and if Harriet Harman’s “Court Of Public Opinion” gets its way then there is to be much humiliation and many prison sentences for miscreant MPs.

The Man For The Job

The Man For The Job

Chief Constables are accused of sitting on their hands and being in fear of taking on such high profile suspects.  In fact, there is confusion about jurisdiction and about what recourse is open to the public if the police will not take action.

An attempt has already been made to bring a private prosecution against Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.  District Judge Bruce Morgan at Redditch Magistrates Court adjourned the application for a summons and referred the matter to the Metropolitan Police, saying that the applicant could *come back to court” if the Met failed to investigate.

The Association Of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) says that the Met is taking the lead and that jurisdiction for all MPs is likely to be in the Met’s hands as expenses claims are paid out from Parliament and not in the constituencies.

The Met’s current position is still that it’s thinking about it.  It “needs to understand the Parliamentary processes for expenses” as part of its assessment as to whether to launch an investigation.  After its clumsy and inept handling of the Damian Green affair it’s not surprising that discretion should be the better part of its valour but really, it’s a shabby response to what is probably the greatest ever betrayal of public trust.

Perhaps that’s what the problem is.  It all just seems too big, too grand, too important.  In reality, the sordid, self-serving decisions that so many MPs have taken are just as small and pathetic as any shoplifter or petty thief.

What we need here is clarity and courage.  We deserve a police service that can see through the obfuscation, blather and bluff.  If  you look at them in the same way as you would a shoplifter or a petty thief , brush away their pathetic excuses, well, officer, what are you going to do now?

If the police fail to take action, where will the public turn?  The Independent Police Complaints Commission has a very narrow remit.  It can only address questions of police misconduct.  Questions of policy, or the conduct of Chief Constables are a matter for the local police authority and in London, that means the Metropolitan Police Authority, chairman of which is ex-MP, Boris Johnson.  The Association of Police Authorities (APA) is waking up to this fast approaching buck and where it might be stopping.  Let’s hope Boris is too.