The Sunday Telegraph has a report which hints at some details of the various official investigations currently distracting the most senior officers of the Metropolitan Police Service from doing their jobs..
Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner, allegedly bugged Britain's most senior Asian policeman, according to leaked Scotland Yard documents.
By Chris Irvine
Last Updated: 3:55PM BST 17 Aug 2008
The papers allege Tarique Ghaffur, an assistant commissioner, had more than 300 of his telephone calls tapped in an elaborate operation overseen directly by Blair.
He was also photographed and taped attending more than 30 meetings with a fellow officer at restaurants and cafes in west London.
Although the surveillance operation officially targeted another officer, Ghaffur believes it was designed to trap him in a compromising position.
Officially they targeted Ali Dizaei, who was wrongly suspected of having contacts with prostitutes, corruption and spying for Iranian intelligence.
Ghaffur, 53, once the senior Yard officer responsible for signing off on surveillance operations, claims Blair was hoping to trap him into indiscretions even though he did not have the proper legal authority to monitor him.
Sir Ian Blair's snooping and investigations of his own senior officers, such as Tarique Ghaffur, Ali Dizaei and of Brian Paddick, have done immense damage to his own reputation, and to that of the Metropolitan Police Service itself.
It is only a couple of years ago since Sir Ian Blair admitted that he had secretly tape recorded a phone conversation with the then Attorney General Lord Goldsmith (astonishingly discussing telephone and other interceptions !) and also with members of the independent CPolice Complaints Commission. - see the BBC report Met chief in phone recording row
There is also the investigation into how exactly Andy Miller "a close personal friend" of the then Deputy Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, end up with multi-million pound contracts supplying the Metropolitan Police Service with "consultancy", supposedly to help with the integration of emergency 999 handling into military style C3i command and control and communications, computer and telephony systems ?
Why has it taken so long for the feeble Metropolitan Police Authority and the former mayor of London Ken Livingstone, to investigate any impropriety, some six years later ? Is it that they are simply ill equipped to understand modern computer and communications systems, and are as easily bamboozled by the false promises of easy technological magic fixes, as Whitehall mandarins and politicians are ?
Even if there was no impropriety in the contracts awarded to Teddington based Impulse Plus (which has subsequently been taken over by Hitachi Consulting), what benefit have Londoner's actually seen from the hundreds of millions of pounds which has seemingly been wasted on C3i "improvements" over the years ?
Anyone who has had the misfortune to dial 999, and then find that the people at the other end of the phone are completely unfamiliar with the geography of your location, as are the police who eventually turn up on site, will assume that the money has all been wasted or worse.
Boris Johnson needs to use the recently expanded powers of the office of Mayor of London, regarding the Metropolitan Police Authority, to root out the public perception of incompetence and the "politically correct" bureaucratic empire building, which has infected the Metropolitan Police Service, in spite of all the extra money and resources which it has been granted in recent years.