While serving as a police officer in the Metropolitan Police Service, J.J. Patrick undertook an almost unheard of course of action: he acted as a whistleblower and sparked a parliamentary inquiry into the national recording of police crime figures.
The shorthand is that the police were hiding thousands of crimes, including rapes and robberies, and had been doing so for years in order to make the crime rates look better.
At first his evidence to the Public Administration Select Committee was dismissed, but within days senior figures across the country had to concede he was right.
Parliament concluded in the final report that:
“This inquiry was prompted by the concerns expressed by PC James Patrick, a serving officer in the Metropolitan Police…We are indebted to PC Patrick for his courage in speaking out, in fulfilment of his duty to the highest standards of public service, despite intense pressures to the contrary…We are grateful to PC James Patrick, a serving police officer, for his courage in coming forward to voice his concerns…there are some wider lessons to be learnt from PC Patrick’s experiences…We have grave doubts that the Metropolitan Police Service has treated PC Patrick fairly or with respect and care…”
You can read J.J.’s original written evidence submissions and the transcript of his session of direct questioning in the Houses of Parliament here:
You can also find out a little more about the subsequent discussions around J.J. Patrick in the parliamentary Hansard records, where he is mentioned no less than fifteen times.