England Vs Pakistan, one-day international @ Lords, 20th September
With another weekend of alleged cricket corruption from the Pakistani national team dished up by the News of the World, and with the image of the Pakistani captain, Salman Butt, visiting Kilburn Police Station last Friday night, still fresh, l’ve started to wonder about the involvement of the Metropolitan Police (Met) in this investigation.
Whilst clearly something is wrong with the game of cricket globally at present, should the Met really be involved? This is given that we have the governing authority of cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC), through its anti-corruption unit, investigating the allegations as well. It appears to me to be an unnecessary over use of resources, when one investigation would do. In any case, don’t the Met have other more pressing priorities? Although the Met would be able to pursue criminal charges against, the ICC can dish out a much more severe and painful punishment to the players, like a life time ban.
So, whilst not undermining the gravity of the allegations, l’m not sure with the Met’s scarce resources, whether they should really be spending time on this. I’d rather see them pursuing local policing priorities like burglaries, muggings and anti social behaviour. These “low” to “mid” level crimes cause tremendous grief and anxiety to ordinary people, and much more so, then is readily acknowledged, not of course helped by the low detection rates. We need our police focused on crime which effects Londoner’s lives every day, leaving the custodians of the Cricket world to sort out their own mess.
Please see below the response to my written MQT;
Question No: 2743 / 2010
How did the MET decide to investigate the cricket corruption cases surrounding the Pakistani cricket side when the cricket authorities themselves in the form of the ICC are doing there own investigations?
Answer from the Mayor
On 30th August, officers from the Metropolitan Police met with representatives from the News of the World newspaper who provided evidence of a conspiracy to dishonestly influence a cricket Test match between England and Pakistan.
An assessment by senior officers and a senior crown prosecutor concluded that there were reasonable grounds to suspect that serious criminal activity had taken place. It was then deemed appropriate (and in the public interest) to mount an investigation.
In order to preserve evidence, it was necessary to take immediate action. The investigation is being conducted by officers from the Economic and Specialist Crime Command, with close liaison with the CPS and the relevant cricket authorities.