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the meaning of integrity July 17, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : ethics , trackback

The Independent has the full text of Sir Paul Stephenson’s statement on his resignation as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service. It contains the following sentences:

As Commissioner I carry ultimate responsibility for the position we find ourselves in. With hindsight, I wish we had judged some matters involved in this affair differently. I didn’t and that’s it. However, the issue of my integrity is different. Let me state clearly: I and the people who know me know that my integrity is completely intact.

But the Commissioner did accept a stay at Champneys in Tring which news reports value at around £12,000. It seems to me that people in charge of police forces should not be accepting this sort of hospitality from anyone, and that the fact of accepting such hospitality raises real questions about the recipient’s integrity whether or not he realizes there is a problem.

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1. Peter Lederer - July 18, 2011

According to today’s Seattle Times, “Sir Paul Stephenson, the police commissioner, met for meals 18 times with company executives and editors during the investigation, including on eight occasions with Wallis while he was still working at News of the World.” Presumably just a laudable interest in a thorough investigation

And now there is a second major police official who has resigned, John Yates: “I have acted with complete integrity,” he said. “My conscience is clear.”

Is there a new working definition of integrity afoot in the land?