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Another victory for profiling

December 19, 2008

With the conviction of Robert Napper, the Metropolitan Police announced today that there was no need for an enquiry into the Colin Stagg fit-up, on the grounds that ‘lessons were learned.’ In other words, the Police know what they did wrong and it won’t happen again. So that’s alright then. Except it’s not. It has not been too widely reported that the female police officer who participated in a ‘honey trap’ to frame Colin Stagg received £125,000 compensation, early retirement and a pension, while Napper, the person responsible for the crime, who had been reported to the police by his own mother for rape, was arrested twice for carrying a loaded handgun within eight weeks of the murder on Wimbledon Common, had a history of copycat crimes, including rape and battery of a mother and child and was allowed to roam free to commit further horrible crimes while the police and tabloid media engaged in a vicious miscarriage of justice aimed at clearing up the case of a mother brutally murdered in front of her infant child. Their grotesque entrapment antics led to further crimes being committed. It has been claimed that using today’s technology, the same ‘mistakes’ could not happen, yet contrary to media reports, DNA samples from both Napper and Stagg were available and could have been used to at least eliminate Stagg from their ‘enquiries.’ This is doubtful: Stagg was ‘convicted’ by the police, egged on by the media, keen to find a perpetrator for a heinous crime, at an early stage. The ‘honey trap’ was sordid, illegal and reckless. There should be an enquiry, but there won’t be.

John Baker’s piece for THUS today summarises the details of this case better than I can. It is sad that we are not taking this opportunity to re-examine the lack of police (and media) accountability which led to this gross miscarriage of justice. The victims were not just the family of the murdered woman, nor Colin Stagg and his family. Several other people raped and possibly murdered by Napper, certifiably criminally insane, might have been spared had the police not behaved like actors in a bad TV drama. As far as we know, nobody lost their job or has been called to account – at least not publicly.