NEWS AND COMMENT-SUSSEX, UK: There is uproar over a decision by the police force which investigated the Brighton cat killings to sell video clips of their interviews with the Brighton Cat Killer, who is now dead. He died of cancer in jail not long after he was imprisoned actually. His name was Steve Bouquet and he was dubbed the Brighton Cat Killer because he stabbed 16 domestic cats of which 9 dead of their wounds.
He was an ex-Royal Navy seaman and died at the age of 54 on January to 6th 2022. Sussex police are charging £250-a-clip of their interviews with him during the investigation. They justify the charge to cover administrative time. It seems very macabre and voyeuristic to me. Other police forces disagree with this policy and would never do it. It seems contrary to good policing and police policy.
Note: This is an embedded video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source or the video is turned into a link which would stop it working here. I have no control over this.
I guess that they can do it because the man has died and the case is comprehensively closed and there is no need any more for the video material. And so, they sell it on the open market. As I understand it, they have an eBay account where they sell confiscated items from criminals. I find it a bit weird that a major police force has an eBay account to sell police material.
I’m not sure that this is morally justified in any case. Perhaps other criminals might want to view the video material to learn about how to go about killing domestic cats. The video material might be educational to some cat haters.
Some of the material which is for sale was produced as evidence in court. The co-founder and presenter of Charged True Crime UK, Mr Doherty-Cove said that the sharing of police interview footage “should be based on whether it is in the public interest to do so. However, by charging for the footage, it feels as though Sussex Police is limiting their content based on the deepness of a potential buyer’s pockets”.
Doherty-Cove requested some of the interview material for a film that he is making called: Charged: How to Catch a Cat Killer. It would seem to me that this film may prove useful to criminals who wish to abuse animals and you want to avoid detection. To be frank, I’m not actually sure that Mr Doherty-Cove is being more responsible than Sussex Police.
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said:
“We support the principles of open justice and the wider benefits to our local communities of sharing this information, legally and proportionately, for the prevention and detection of crime, and building confidence in reporting.”
They went on to state that what they are doing is “common practice and accepted within the production industry”. Apparently not.
Spokespersons for police forces in Essex, Surrey, Kent and Hampshire all said that they would not sell off video material as is the case with Sussex Police.
For example, Hampshire police said: “As a force we would not charge a fee for this in any circumstance.”
And Surrey Police said: “We do not charge for supplying video to the press.”
UK police charge around 4% of all criminals engaged in criminal behavior in the UK as reported. 94% of criminal activity is unpunished thereby encouraging more criminality. The UK have abandoned British citizens. They are on their own.
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