IPCC Complaint – Sergeant Stuart McGuire of Greater Manchester Police
I wish to make a complaint against Sergeant Stuart McGuire of Greater Manchester Police concerning statements made by him and published in The Mancunian newspaper on 4th November 2011. The article in question is available online here: http://www.student-direct.co.uk/2011/11/2000-cannabis-plants-found-in-salford-pub/
I make the complaint on my own account but also in my capacity as the Leader of Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR), a UK political party, of P.O.Box 674, Salfords, Redhill, RH1 9BN. For the purposes of correspondence, please contact me via email
I confirm my consent for you to forward my complaint to the police force concerned. I consider that I am a victim of Sgt McGuire’s misconduct which has caused me considerable distress at his misuse of his office to promote myth, prejudice and propaganda as well as fear, consternation and hatred of cannabis users as a social group. As leader of CLEAR I am also acting on behalf of more than 5000 members who are victims of Sgt McGuire’s misconduct for the same reasons, particularly those members who reside in the Greater Manchester area and those who need cannabis as medicine for the treatment of conditions such as MS, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia and spinal injury.
As published in The Mancunian, Sgt McGuire said: “Many people view cannabis as a harmless drug, however it is important to realise that these people become addicted to it and then commit crime to fund their habit.” This is a false, inaccurate and misleading statement which attempts to deceive the public
a) that Sgt McGuire is an expert in the subject and the public can rely on the accuracy and veracity of what he says
b) that cannabis is an addictive drug
c) that cannabis users “commit crime to fund their habit”
d) into fear, consternation and hatred of cannabis users as a social group
In making this statement Sgt McGuire has acted dishonestly, without integrity, fairness and impartiality. He has abused his authority by making statements which are false, inaccurate and misleading but which, as a police officer, he knows that the public are likely to believe without question. He has also acted in a way that discredits the police service and will undermine public confidence.
a) Sgt McGuire’s words show that while he is ignorant of the evidence about cannabis he is ready to promote myths and prejudice.
b) Approximately 9% of cannabis users exhibit signs of mild dependence. Prevalence and withdrawal symptoms are equivalent to caffeine dependence. (Hall et al 2001, Coffey et al 2002, Copeland et al 2004, DSM-IV)
c) Cannabis use is not associated with acquisitive crime. The consensus conclusion of all government appointed experts on the subject is “The evidence available to the Council does not suggest that cannabis use is a substantial cause of acquisitive crime (Section 9.3)” (Cannabis: Classification And Public Health, 12.13, ACMD 2008
d) The public are likely to be alarmed by the Sgt McGuire’s words which are clearly intended to cause fear, consternation and hatred of cannabis users as a social group
I accept that Sgt McGuire has a duty to uphold the law as it presently stands, It is however entirely improper for him to engage in politics, scaremongering, the promotion of myth, prejudice and propaganda.
I would be grateful if you would deal with this complaint at your earliest convenience. I shall be happy to provide any further information required or to give oral evidence in support.