It never fails to astonish us that when police do have resources, they often don’t apply them to their own officers. Periodic lie detector tests in Colchester could easily have prevented child abuse cases from being negligently mishandled.
Detectives Lee Pollard and Sharon Patterson, both in their 40s, were sentenced to 2 years and 18 months imprisonment respectively this week. Judge Lickley, who presided over the case at the Old Bailey, said that they had shown contempt for everyone related to the cases and that it was clear they thought their deceit would never be discovered.
The consequences of their actions (or lack of them), are that survivors may never get justice and possibly that the truth of the cases will never be revealed.
At times when she should have been working, Patterson was often having her nails done. The prosecution described both her, and her married accomplice, as incompetent, lazy and deceptive individuals who were disdainful of the victims whose cases they were supposed to investigate.
They had sufficient resources and staffing levels for the investigations to be handled properly. However, they chose instead to destroy photographic and documentary evidence as well as forging paperwork to conceal their lack of activity.
Performance reviews of their work eventually uncovered what they were doing. Had periodic lie detector tests in Colchester been part of the police ongoing screening process, it is highly likely that their incompetence would have been revealed much sooner.
Lie detector tests in Colchester
This is a particularly horrible case because it involves child sexual abuse allegations. The work of our polygraph examiners includes hundreds of cases each year of historical sex abuse. It takes a great deal of courage for survivors to report their abuse to the police. They take lie detector tests in Colchester and nationwide to prove they are telling the truth, sometimes for the benefit of families and friends. Their polygraph results give them the confidence to take the next step and report their abusers to the police.
It is truly despicable that detectives like Pollard and Patterson could be in a position to sabotage investigations that have taken so much effort to commence.
Invitation to Essex Police
We know that the British Home Office allows police forces up and down the country to conduct polygraph tests when monitoring sex offenders. Indeed, they are sometimes a compulsory condition of prisoners being released on probation. They also monitor domestic abusers, when they are released on licence from prison. We believe it really is time for them use the polygraph to monitor the performance of their own staff.
We invite Essex Police to contact us in order to learn how best to use the polygraph services they have available to them. The fewer “Misconduct in Public Office” convictions police officers get, the better we assume it is in maintaining a respectable reputation for police forces nationwide.