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The BBC's Richard Wells
"The driving force behind zero tolerance policing"
 real 28k

Ray Mallon
"I have been treated disgracefully for two and a half years"
 real 28k

Molly Meacher of the Police Complaints Authority
"It is absolutely outrageous"
 real 28k

Thursday, 22 June, 2000, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
'Super cop' fights back
Ray Mallon
Ray Mallon's stance won him the name "Robocop"
The officer who pioneered "zero tolerance" policing in England and Wales is fighting to reclaim his job after he was cleared of corruption charges.

Detective Superintendent Ray Mallon challenged Cleveland Police to give him back his former post of head of Middlesbrough CID.

Speaking for the first time since the Crown Prosecution Service dropped criminal claims against him, he said there had been "an insatiable desire" to bring him down.

Det Supt Mallon, 45, has been suspended from duty since December 1997 after the allegations were made.

'Reinstate me'

"My message is simple. The force has suffered, the public has suffered, my family have suffered," he said.

"The honourable thing to do is to reinstate me."

DS Mallon was one of eight officers suspended from Middlesbrough CID during the Operation Lancet investigation.

He could still face a disciplinary inquiry from his own force and the Police Complaints Authority.

Mr Mallon criticised the investigation, and described it as a total waste of time and money.

It took almost three years and cost 3-5m.

'Calm, cool and collected'

It began after a court case at Teesside Crown Court collapsed when a defendant claimed officers had tried to bribe him.

The inquiry covered allegations of serious assault and intimidation, including violence against suspects to extract confessions and minor procedural irregularities.

DS Mallon had always maintained his innocence.

At the time of his suspension in 1997, he said: "I'm very calm, cool and collected about all of this, because I always say when you tell the truth you've got nothing to worry about.

'Robocop'

In 1996 DS Mallon said he would resign if he failed to cut crime in his patch by 20% in 18 months - subsequent figures showed a 22% reduction.

His stance won him the nickname "Robocop".

DS Mallon followed the policy of "zero tolerance" pioneered by the New York police department.

The strategy is based on the Broken Windows theory devised by two American academics in 1963.

The theory suggests there is a link between disorder and crime.

Signs of decline in an area, such as litter, lead to "responsible" people leaving, which in turn undermines the community's ability to maintain order.

Minor offences, according to the theory, should therefore be pursued with the same rigour as serious crime.

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29 Sep 98 | UK
What is zero tolerance?
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