The role of the police

In reading the many stories about low-level or high-level corruption in today’s papers – the reports from Jennifer Arcuri’s diaries of her relationship with Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg failing to report £6 million in loans from his company registered in the Cayman Islands, the sale of honours to former treasurers of the Conservative Party, the endless reports of double standards – it is invariably stated that the police have decided not to pursue further inquiries or decided there is not enough evidence to prosecute (as in Operation Lansdowne). One increasingly wonders why not: not just now, but in the past as well. They presumably thought that the cases were too political and did not want to upset their paymasters. But what is the police there for if not to uphold the rule of law ? Jennifer Arcuri seems to have been happy to hand over her diaries to someone making a television programme. So, did no-one think to talk to her when they were investigating his behaviour, rather than just sending her a questionnaire (and they didn’t think it ‘appropriate’ to interview Johnson, who was himself the subject of the investigation) ? Why is corruption not a police matter ? There is a law against Misconduct in Public Office and it is surely the police’s role to ensure it is upheld.

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