Category A (Psychology)
I’m going to detail the 6 false and/or incomplete pieces of information that Psychology and Security submitted in their reports to my Category A review, I’ll look at each one separately and look at what preceded the negative file entry, the file entry itself, the lengths I had to take to correct the false/incomplete entry, and each member of staff’s motivations for fabricating their allegation or misleading, by way of incompleteness of the entry.
# 1, ‘thank a member of staff’
After my 2 day hospital stay in September 2015 (atrial fibrillation), I wanted to thank every officer on my ‘bed-watch’ for their professionalism, courtesy and care. A new initiative had recently been implemented: a ‘thank a member of staff’ form. Seems simple, right? Read on…
Out of the first 3 applications I submitted to find out who the officers were, so I could put their names on the form, 2 went unanswered and 1 gave no names. A complaint followed; same result. An appeal; same result. It was becoming clear that they (Security at this point) did not want me to have the names of the officers. This was already becoming a little ridiculous. All I wanted to do was to thank them, officially.
On 9th January 2016, I submitted a number of ’thank a member of staff’ forms, including one for my (then) personal officer; but still none for the bed-watch officers. Around that time, I asked my personal officer if they could find out the last 2 officer’s names; I’d already got 11 from my own enquiries. Unbeknownst to me at that time, my personal officer had made a negative file (C-Nomis) entry. It was only when I received Psychology’s report, later on that year, that I found out about this C-Nomis entry;
“On 20.01.2016 Mr Coutts’ personal Officer, Officer […] reported “Mr Coutts has tried gaining information from me regarding 2 other members of staff. Mr Coutts tried gaining 2 staff [sic] names by saying that it was for staff recognition forms for staff praise; in fact he wanted those 2 names for complaint against conduct of staff on a bed watch”.
To think that, only 11 days earlier, I’d submitted a ‘thank a member of staff ‘ form for this officer and he goes on to make a false, and extremely damaging allegation regarding my honesty. This is what the psychologists used to support their opinion that I should be ‘honest about [my] motivations for information” Pure Orwellian.
On 24th January 2016, 4 days after the C-Nomis entry that was still unknown to me, I submitted the ‘thank…staff’ form; as requested by one of the wing’s Custody Managers (CM). That was that; or so I thought.
After the C-Nomis entry had been disclosed, I spoke to my personal officer who told me that the allegation had come from some unknown 3rd party. I was also aware at the time (August 2016) that none of the officers had even been thanked. As I had handed the ‘thank’ form to the same CM who was also, supposedly, blocking my personal
officer from making a further C-Nomis update rectifying the false information, it was beginning to appear that their was more going on than meets the eye.
Sure, it could have been a bona fide error on the part of the unknown 3rd party but for that CM to then stop the truth going on C-Nomis in favour of the lie…well, what does that tell you?
A complaint followed, in which I made the following points:
1. You only get 3 months to make a complaint. Even if had wanted to do this, I would only have had until December 2015 to do this.
2. I don’t do devious. If I had wanted to make a complaint, I would have said up front (I don’t have a history of behaving in this way but I do have a history of giving fair notice of my intentions, e.g. making a complaint).
3. I had already made a complaint about the handcuffing arrangements; which had nothing to do with the bed-watch; it was a Security decision.
And best of all…
4. I did submit a ‘thank a member of staff’ form for all of the bed-watch officers.
This CM was in on the original lie and was now attempting to cover it up; this was now the realms of misfeasance in a public office. I was led on a merry dance (more unanswered applications) before finally getting a reply some months later (should be 7 days). The CM said he was willing to put an additional C-Nomis entry on, saying that I dispute the original entry; too little, too late.
A complaint followed; this time to the No.1 Governor requesting an investigation into the staff involved. By this point, I’d also found out that the CM had not even submitted the ‘thank’ form. What does that tell you? He said that “there could have been an alternative motive behind your request.” This is paranoia which is so out of control that professional treatment should be being offered.
Finally, on 3rd November 2016, I get an apology and a new entry is added to C-Nomis (although, no action is taken against the staff involved). The new entry, which the C-Nomis made and had to give me a copy (that must have stung):
“With reference to the entry made on the 20th January 206. After being looked into, there is no solid evidence to substantiate the comments made and as such, should be ignored [sic] for any future reports. [My personal officer] made the entry in good faith and no malice was intended.
“…no solid evidence…” There is no evidence, none! “…should be ignored for any future reports.” Well, that’s not happened, has it? “…no malice was intended.” Really? Then why was the CM’s conduct so obstructive?
I also didn’t know until I received these Cat A reports that one of these staff had submitted a negative Information Report (IR) to Security regarding my lawful right to challenge and correct this false allegation. No malice? Draw your own conclusions.
Be happy, be safe.
Graham Coutts, 29th October 2017