Sunday, 31 July 2016

SOMETHING ROTTEN IN THE 

STATE OF D̶E̶N̶M̶A̶R̶K̶  BEXLEY 


The following story is one I intended to write some time ago but was delayed by my recent illness. As it's still an ongoing issue, there is no reason for me not to write about it now.

Malcolm Knight is a local blogger and author of the "Bexley is Bonkers" website. For the last few years he has been holding Bexley Councillors and their senior paid officials to account for their dishonest, bullying and, let's face it, bonkers™ behaviour.

Not just restricting himself to Bexley Council, he also highlights the sometimes less than professional behaviour of the local Police who allow themselves to be drawn into covering up some of the shadier and often illegal conduct of Bexley Council representatives and officials.

I rather envy Malcolm in his choice of subject because Bexley Council it seems has a dedicated team of people whose job it is to think up new and interesting antics for them to get up to in order to give him something to write about.

I'm assuming that's what they are doing anyway; how else could they invent so many of the bizarre, insane and downright crooked schemes they dream up on a day to day basis?

I'm not suggesting that Malcolm has an easy job, far from it. Trying to keep up with the constant flow of nonsense, lying, scheming and general two faced hypocrisy which pours out of Bexley Council must be hard work considering the sheer volume of subject matter available. He does however, on less busy days, know that the next story is just waiting round the corner. 

Sometimes it even goes round to his house and knocks on his door.

On the 2nd April, Malcolm Knight reported the case of two very noisy parties over the Easter period at the home of Councillors Don and Sharon Massey where the Police had to be called out to intervene following complaints by the neighbours.

Councillors Don (Cray Meadows) and Sharon (Danson Ward) Massey seem to own No. 37 Larch Grove, Sidcup. This is a bit confusing as they also seem to be living at another property in Maidstone, but that is a story for another day.



On Good Friday this year, they seem to have left their teenage Daughter in charge of the house while they were away. This turned out to be an unwise decision because, as is often the way with teenagers, she decided that this was an opportunity to have a party and invited all her friends round for a knees-up, or whatever young people call that sort of thing nowadays. 

This didn't go down too well with the neighbours as you can imagine and, with it heading towards midnight and with no sign of the party ending any time soon, someone went round to the house to complain about the noise. Everyone, it seems, was too busy having a good time to be bothered speaking with irate neighbours and the racket carried on till around 1:30am.

Imagine then just how they felt when, on the following Tuesday, more teenagers began arriving again in large numbers. One can only assume the adults were still away. 

Anyway, the new party got going where it had left off two days earlier and the neighbours, now at their wits end phoned the Police on the 101 number to ask for advice on what to do. The operator, hearing the level of the racket going on over the phone sent a squad car round to the house and told the occupants to keep the noise down.

Wherever the adult Masseys were isn't known but they can't have been far away because they turned up not long after the Police arrived.

So far, this is just a minor dispute with a noisy neighbour. Your teenage daughter has decided to have a party which has got a bit out of hand resulting in the Police having to attend, so what do you do? 

If it was me, I would first read the riot act to my offspring then I would try and make peace with the aggrieved neighbour. I would go round to their house and apologise, perhaps taking some peace offering like a bunch of flowers or such like. Hopefully, my neighbour would accept my promise that I would ensure nothing like that would be repeated and we could be friends again. I would probably make my Daughter apologise as well as it was her who caused all the trouble in the first place.

If I were a local councillor with a public image to maintain and any sense of responsibility, I would probably want to apologise to the Police as well for causing them a nuisance and wasting their time having to deal with my delinquent daughter when they could be out catching criminals.

Is this what they did, is it buggery? What they actually did beggars belief.

Councillors Don and Sharon Massey launched into a verbal assault on the aggrieved neighbour, with Councillor Don being particularly aggressive, wagging his finger into the neighbours face. Councillor Sharon thought it was "laughable" that the neighbour had called the Police. One has to assume that if a bunch of juveniles were having a party in the house next door to her at 1:30 in the morning, she wouldn't call the Police; deary me, no.

Then it gets worse.

After Malcolm Knight got hold of the story and published it on 2nd April, the neighbour came home from walking her dog to find two Police Officers in her house and were confronting her with a copy of the Bexley is Bonkers story. They told her that Don Massey had made a complaint of harassment against her. They very aggressively questioned her about the blog entry, first saying that the Massey complaint was about the blog, then saying that it wasn't.

At no time during this interrogation did they properly explain the nature of the complaint or what they expected her to do about it.

Anyway, after taking advice, the neighbour asked the Police for a copy of the complaint made against her, this should be a copy of form 9993 which is a written statement of the complaint.

No copy of this form has ever been produced by the Police but the neighbour did manage to recover a copy of the Police log detailing the visit to the house and an account of the Police interview with the neighbour on 2nd April. They had posted it to the wrong address but she was eventually able to locate it.

As the complaint of harassment was made on 2nd April and it is now nearly August, the neighbour should have received a form 9993 outlining the details of the complaint and what action she is expected to take. As no form 9993 has ever been issued, it is therefore reasonable to assume that no formal complaint of harassment was ever made. If this is the case, why did the two Police officers visit the neighbour's house and say there was? Either there is a complaint of harassment, in which case, produce the form 9993, or there wasn't a complaint of harassment, in which case the two Police Officers were lying. If there is a third possibility, if anyone reading this knows what it is, please let me know and I will amend this piece.

 You can read the full account of the Police report here in the Bexley is Bonkers 4th May edition.

Now things turn truly Pythonesque. On the 20th May, the same two Police Officers who visited the Masseys neighbour and threatened her turned up on the doorstep of Malcolm Knight at 9:30pm with a claim that a Victoria Massey (apparently the teenage Daughter who had caused the initial problem with her noisy party) had made a complaint against him as well. Again, no form 9993 was issued and apart from a threat to have him arrested if he didn't attend Bexleyheath Police Station at some undisclosed future date, he hasn't been able to get any more information about the allegation against him.

These two Police Officers have either not been briefed about who Malcolm Knight is, or they did know and decided to chance their luck anyway. Either way, to decide to turn up at someone's house late in the evening and make false claims of harassment against them when he already has at least two Chief Constables and a variety of other Police and council officials facing legal proceedings against them for unprofessional or improper conduct was at least unwise, one could almost call reckless.

In any case, what is quite clear is that Councillors Don and Sharon Massey are nothing but arrogant bullies who think that the normal rules of civilised behaviour don't apply to them. They are happy to drag the reputation of the Police and the Council they claim to represent into the mud just to satisfy their own sense of self importance.

This was a minor incident, nothing but a bit of a teenage party that got a little out of hand and could have been dealt with using just a modicum of common sense and decency, something that Don and Sharon Massey seem to think only applies to other people. They have now got two Police Officers and, presumably, whoever was pulling their strings into what is going to be a whole bundle of trouble through nothing but their own stupidity.

I've been given the names of the two Police Officers responsible for the visits to both Larch Grove and Malcolm Knight with an invitation to publish them. I have chosen not to do so.

Malcolm Knight has a less than charitable view of the Police, believing that none of them can be trusted. This is an understandable attitude given the history of his own experiences with the Police which you can read about by following his blog. My own view (call it naive if you want) is that the overwhelming majority of them do an honest, difficult and often dangerous job for the kind of salary that the likes of some Bexley Councillors would claim in expenses out of the petty cash tin.

This is what makes what is happening even more despicable. Don and Sharon Massey are nobodies; nasty, vindictive and thoroughly unpleasant nobodies but nobodies none the less. They like to think that they can lord it over the likes of us because they get elected by Tory Micky Mouse voters who will keep returning them to power no matter what they do and believe that they have the right to use public servants to carry out malicious bullying campaigns against anyone who they think challenges their own sense of self importance, because that is exactly what is going on here.

This isn't a political dispute, it's not where the neighbour has started a campaign to get them removed from office (even though that is certainly what they deserve). They have decided to use their influence to force the Police to carry out a disgraceful attack on someone who has the misfortune to live next door to them, then use the same tactics to try and silence anyone with the temerity to report what they are getting up to.

The Police have a hard enough task maintaining public confidence anyway without the likes of Don and Sharon Massey giving ammunition to those who say that the Police are simply lackeys doing the bidding of their political masters.

I don't know if this post is going to result in me receiving a nocturnal visit from the Massey Mafia, I will just have to wait and see.

You can read the whole of the Bexley is Bonkers Larch Grove index by following this link.