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NEW: Les Balkwell complains to new Kent Police & Crime Commissioner about the role of Kent Police's Chief Constable, Ian Learmonth

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NEW: Les Balkwell complains to new Kent Police & Crime Commissioner about the role of Kent Police's Chief Constable, Ian Learmonth

Post by Tony Bennett on 12.06.13 18:50

Extract from Les's letter yesterday to Ms Anne Barnes:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From: Mr L W Balkwell                                                
Tel: 01708 446850                                                     
Mobile: 07908 752522                                                  
88 Abbs Cross Lane
HORNCHURCH
RM12 4XW                    

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Ms Anne Barnes
Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent
First Floor
Gail House
Lower Stone Street
MAIDSTONE,
Kent
ME15  6NB

By hard copy

Dear Ms Barnes

re: Complaint of serious professional misconduct: Mr Ian Learmonth, Chief Constable [re: Kent Police Review into the death of Lee Balkwell, 2010-2013, continuing]

The complaint against Ian Learmonth

That, following major criticisms by the IPCC of the handling by Essex Police of the investigation into the death of Lee Balkwell in 2002, and their clear recommendation that there should be a full re-investigation of the death of Lee Balkwell by an outside police force, Chief Constable Ian Learmonth wrongly and unprofessionally agreed that his force should undertake a review of the case, knowing full well that neither he personally, nor his force, was capable of conducting a genuinely independent investigation, for the following reasons amongst others:

1)   He knew that Kent Police was not a genuinely independent police force because of the high degree of interconnectedness of the two forces, notably that they had for example formed the joint Essex-Kent Serious  and Organised Crime Directorate (EKSOCD) in 2009

2)   He knew that the then Deputy Director of EKSOCD was DCS Gareth Wilson, who was the Gold Command Officer for the first 12 hours after Lee’s death, had already been criticised once by the PCA/IPCC report and given ‘words of advice’ in 2004, and moreover was again being re-investigated by the IPCC in an investigation which ran from 2007 to 2012 and once again found him guilty (in 2012) of two instances of misconduct (moreover Gareth Wilson later went on to head up EKSOCD and in that capacity was the Line Manager to DCS Catling who was charged with the re-investigation of the Balkwell case), and

3)   (the most serious of the three allegations against him, and of which I have only recently become aware) That he was personally involved, whilst employed by Essex police, in the conduct of the initial Essex investigation and first subsequent review of the death of Lee Balkwell; in other words, he was asking the force (Kent) which he now heads to investigate actions for which he had line management responsibility back in 2002 and 2003 - when I was seeking the truth about how my son had died. In other words, he had direct management responsibility for the actions of DCS Bull (found guilty of 13 instances of misconduct by the IPCC for a ‘seriously flawed’ investigation) and of DCS Coxall (found guilty of 5 instances of misconduct by the IPCC in the way he carried out his review). If there was an initial cover-up by Essex Police of the true circumstances of my son’s death, as I am sure there was, then Ian Learmonth, as Chief Constable of Kent who was also responsible for the investigation and review of my son’s death in Essex from 1 September 2002, would be in a perfect position to continue the cover-up.    

I add these brief facts.



  1. My son was killed between 12midnight and 1.03am on Friday 18 July.


  2. The matter was for the first 8 to 11 hours investigated by Gareth Wilson (see above) and then by Graeme Bull (see above)


  3. Essex Police treated this from the get-go as no more or less than ‘a tragic accident’


  4. Bull remained the S.I.O. during the remainder of 2002 and early 2003


  5. After I began to escalate my complaints, Bull was replaced as S.I.O. by DCS Simon Coxall of the Crime Division and DCI Hood of Professional Standards, who carried out what appeared to be a wholly  ineffective review. All the work done by Bull and Coxall has been branded by the IPCC as ‘seriously flawed’ 


  6. Bull and Coxall reported to Steve Reynolds, the Head of the Essex Police Crime Division


  7. On 1 September 2002, Ian Learmonth became Acting A.C.C. for the Crime Division, in which capacity he would have overall control over any major crime investigations including the one into my son’s death. Thus from 1 September 2002 into 2003, Learmonth oversaw both a seriously flawed investigation and a seriously flawed review


  8. He did not disclose this to the IPCC nor to me before volunteering Kent Police to review (now the fourth review) my son’s death


  9. Further information about the Balkwell case is available in the IPCC report dated 30 January 2012, link:



  [url=http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/news/Pages/pr_300112_balkwell.aspx?auto=True&l1link=pages%2Fnews.aspx&l1title=News and]http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/news/Pages/pr_300112_balkwell.aspx?auto=True&l1link=pages%2Fnews.aspx&l1title=News%20and%20press&l2link=news%2FPages%2Fdefault.aspx&l2title=Press%20Releases[/url]

 
[REST OF LETTER SNIPPED]

Yours sincerely


Leslie W Balkwell

____________________

                            "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?" - Amelie, May 2007 -  "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?"


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More on Learmonth

Post by Tony Bennett on 12.06.13 20:57

Ian Learmonth was not only the Acting Chief Constable (Crime) for Essex Police in 2002 and 2003 when Les Balkwell was raising question after question about the death of his son, but continued to work for Essex in a senior capacity until May 2005.

Learmonth is no stranger to controversy. He became Deputy Chief Constable in Norfolk in August 2007 and in late 2009 became the Acting Chief Constable.

Although he applied for the vacant Chief Constable's position at Norfolk, and despite being considered the front-runner, he was rejected for the post, and left soon afterwards to become the Chief Constable at Kent, where he is now.

He caused major controversy earlier this year when, after the new, 17-year-old 'Youth Crime Commissioner' Paris Brown was appointed by the new Police and Crime Commissioner, Ann Barnes, Learmonth ordered her mobile 'phone to be seized simply because of a few injudicious and somewhat 'politically incorrect' tweets she'd made over the past two years (discussed elsewhere on this forum). Not only that, but Learmonth even ordered Special Branch to quiz her, interviewing her for over an hour. The poor girl was distraught at this clearly over-the-top treatment ordered by Learmonth.

No sooner had Learmonth become Acting Chief Constable at Norfolk than he ran straight into another row. A Professor Phil Jones at the University of East Anglia, based in Norwich, together with dozens of co-conspirators, had been bringing science into gross disrepute by fiddling climate figures for the past decade in a vain attempt to prove that there was such a thing as man-made global warming/climate change (in fact, if anything, the world is cooling).

Someone leaked these e-mails. They caused huge embarrassment to the global warming extremists and substantially, if not fatally, set back their cause.

Learmonth spearheaded the hunt for the leaker, putting significant police resources into the investigation, despite the rest of the world having gained massively by learning how these so-called 'scientists' had been massaging the data to suit their agenda.

The poor taxpayers of Norfolk had to fund the hunt for the leaker for over 2.5 years before admitting defeat, much to the chagrin of the 'climeategate' liars:

http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/climategate-hack-investigation-climate-change-86691

Estimates put the cost of several police officers working full-time on this investigation at well over £1 million - money down the drain, as it got precisley nowhere.

Learmonth owns a few properties, including in Esesx, and is very fond of ski-ing holidays.

____________________

                            "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?" - Amelie, May 2007 -  "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?"


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Re: NEW: Les Balkwell complains to new Kent Police & Crime Commissioner about the role of Kent Police's Chief Constable, Ian Learmonth

Post by bobbin on 12.06.13 21:12

@Tony Bennett wrote:Ian Learmonth was not only the Acting Chief Constable (Crime) for Essex Police in 2002 and 2003 when Les Balkwell was raising question after question about the death of his son, but continued to work for Essex in a senior capacity until May 2005.

Learmonth is no stranger to controversy. He became Deputy Chief Constable in Norfolk in August 2007 and in late 2009 became the Acting Chief Constable.

Although he applied for the vacant Chief Constable's position at Norfolk, and despite being considered the front-runner, he was rejected for the post, and left soon afterwards to become the Chief Constable at Kent, where he is now.

He caused major controversy earlier this year when, after the new, 17-year-old 'Youth Crime Commissioner' Paris Brown was appointed by the new Police and Crime Commissioner, Ann Barnes, Learmonth ordered her mobile 'phone to be seized simply because of a few injudicious and somewhat 'politically incorrect' tweets she'd made over the past two years (discussed elsewhere on this forum). Not only that, but Learmonth even ordered Special Branch to quiz her, interviewing her for over an hour. The poor girl was distraught at this clearly over-the-top treatment ordered by Learmonth.

No sooner had Learmonth become Acting Chief Constable at Norfolk than he ran straight into another row. A Professor Phil Jones at the University of East Anglia, based in Norwich, together with dozens of co-conspirators, had been bringing science into gross disrepute by fiddling climate figures for the past decade in a vain attempt to prove that there was such a thing as man-made global warming/climate change (in fact, if anything, the world is cooling).

Someone leaked these e-mails. They caused huge embarrassment to the global warming extremists and substantially, if not fatally, set back their cause.

Learmonth spearheaded the hunt for the leaker, putting significant police resources into the investigation, despite the rest of the world having gained massively by learning how these so-called 'scientists' had been massaging the data to suit their agenda.

Learmonth owns a few properties and is very fond of ski-ing holidays.
We know of Phil Jones, and the patent fraud exposed, to enable the globalists to establish their 'Carbon Tax'. Isn't it funny how the whistle-blower who enabled the thousands of true scientists, whose papers had been refuted and rejected, because they pointed out what we are all witnessing, that the figures had been faked and falsified, the proof was there in front of everyone, and the world is currently cooling.
I am not saying that 'global pollution' is not a serious issue, and in dire need of being addressed, but 'carbon dioxide gases and global warming' has been abused to fill the pockets of those imposing spurious tax laws.
The emails proved 'fixing of falsified data', and any police servant who hassles people who expose wrongdoing brings suspicion upon himself for he shows himself to be acting contrarily to the public interest which is what he is paid to serve.

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Re: NEW: Les Balkwell complains to new Kent Police & Crime Commissioner about the role of Kent Police's Chief Constable, Ian Learmonth

Post by Tony Bennett on 12.06.13 21:23

@bobbin wrote:
@Tony Bennett wrote:Ian Learmonth...become Acting Chief Constable at Norfolk and ran straight into another row. A Professor Phil Jones at the University of East Anglia, based in Norwich, together with dozens of co-conspirators, had been bringing science into gross disrepute by fiddling climate figures for the past decade in a vain attempt to prove that there was such a thing as man-made global warming/climate change (in fact, if anything, the world is cooling).

Someone leaked these e-mails. They caused huge embarrassment to the global warming extremists and substantially, if not fatally, set back their cause.

Learmonth spearheaded the hunt for the leaker, putting significant police resources into the investigation, despite the rest of the world having gained massively by learning how these so-called 'scientists' had been massaging the data to suit their agenda.



We know of Phil Jones, and the patent fraud exposed, to enable the globalists to establish their 'Carbon Tax'. Isn't it funny how they got at the whistle-blower who enabled the thousands of true scientists, whose papers had been refuted and rejected, because they pointed out what we are all witnessing, that the figures had been faked and falsified, the proof was there in front of everyone, and the world is currently cooling.

I am not saying that 'global pollution' is not a serious issue, and in dire need of being addressed, but 'carbon dioxide gases and global warming' has been abused to fill the pockets of those imposing spurious tax laws.

The emails proved 'fixing of falsified data', and any police servant who hassles people who expose wrongdoing brings suspicion upon himself for he shows himself to be acting contrarily to the public interest which is what he is paid to serve.



Yes, thank you bobbin for making this very important point.

Learmonth showed by his actions whose 'side' he is on; after all, the police cannot prosecute every crime, and have to choose and prioritise.

Likewise Learmonth's judgment in hounding poor Paris Brown was clearly flawed.

So often whistleblowers are the ones penalised, despite the so-called whistleblowers' charter: the 'public interest' defence for disclosing information.

Sadly, in the Balkwell case, there are honest police officers who want to tell the truth about the dishonest Essex Police investigation into Lee Balkwell's death, but are deterred from telling the truth because of fear of prosecution under the Official Secrets Act, and loss of their job and police pension.

During the past 7 years I have spoken to many such honest police officers, who are distraught at the corruption at senior level in today's police forces, but are powerless to do anything about it.

Here's a classic example of what happened to one honest Essex Police Officer:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 
Policeman was bullied

12:58pm Tuesday 19th September 2006, Basildon Echo

A former policeman was the victim of a sustained harassment campaign after reporting a senior colleague for misconduct, a High Court judge has ruled.

David Clark, from Westcliff, who retired on medical grounds after he was constantly bullied by senior officers, has spoken of his relief at winning his case.

Mr Clark, who had served both in Rayleigh and Hadleigh, had claimed the Chief Constable of Essex Police was vicariously liable for his injuries.

Mr Justice Tugendhat accepted he suffered "bullying, harassment, humiliation, intimidation, oppression and victimisation" at work after he made a complaint about a senior officer's handling of a case.

On top of the £18,000 general damages to cover pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, the former detective constable will receive damages to reflect loss of earnings, which could run into six figures.

Mr Clark, 50, who won many commendations during his career, told the Echo: "It's come as a huge relief. I left with depression and a pulse rate of 203, when it should have been 75. I'm about to have a heart operation that will hopefully make me back to normal.

"It was a nightmare. My locker was broken into, my desk searched, there was shouting, constant undermining and humiliation.

"There was a police car parked down my road morning and night observing my comings and goings."

The court heard Mr Clark left the force after 26 years in January 2002, after stopping work in October 1999, suffering from shingles and depression.

His troubles stemmed from his participation in Operation Orchid, an investigation into theft and handling stolen goods.

Mr Clark was appointed officer in charge in July 1997, but claimed he felt like a "marked man" after he complained the investigation had been seriously undermined by Det Sgt John Kreyling, who "de-arrested" a suspect Kreyling knew personally.

The suspect was later acquitted, along with several others.

Mr Clark's complaint of oppressive conduct through the force's grievance procedure was shelved and he was later posted to Hadleigh police station to perform beat duties.

The judge also found Det Chief Insp Graham Bird had been negligent in failing to protect Mr Clark.

Kreyling moved to Basildon police in 2002 before retiring from the force. Bird has also retired.

The judge said that Kreyling was "not capable of belief" and could not be regarded as a "candid witness".

Ruling in Mr Clark's favour, the judge said that he was a "careful and honest" witness.

Mr Clark told the Echo: "The police tried to cover it up. I hope other officers will not be deterred from coming forward and saying the right thing."

Lawyers for the chief constable denied liability and negligence, arguing Mr Clark's injury was not foreseeable and that he failed to take reasonable care for his own health.

____________________

                            "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?" - Amelie, May 2007 -  "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?"


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Re: NEW: Les Balkwell complains to new Kent Police & Crime Commissioner about the role of Kent Police's Chief Constable, Ian Learmonth

Post by bobbin on 12.06.13 21:47

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@bobbin wrote:
@Tony Bennett wrote:Ian Learmonth...become Acting Chief Constable at Norfolk and ran straight into another row. A Professor Phil Jones at the University of East Anglia, based in Norwich, together with dozens of co-conspirators, had been bringing science into gross disrepute by fiddling climate figures for the past decade in a vain attempt to prove that there was such a thing as man-made global warming/climate change (in fact, if anything, the world is cooling).

Someone leaked these e-mails. They caused huge embarrassment to the global warming extremists and substantially, if not fatally, set back their cause.

Learmonth spearheaded the hunt for the leaker, putting significant police resources into the investigation, despite the rest of the world having gained massively by learning how these so-called 'scientists' had been massaging the data to suit their agenda.





We know of Phil Jones, and the patent fraud exposed, to enable the globalists to establish their 'Carbon Tax'. Isn't it funny how they got at the whistle-blower who enabled the thousands of true scientists, whose papers had been refuted and rejected, because they pointed out what we are all witnessing, that the figures had been faked and falsified, the proof was there in front of everyone, and the world is currently cooling.

I am not saying that 'global pollution' is not a serious issue, and in dire need of being addressed, but 'carbon dioxide gases and global warming' has been abused to fill the pockets of those imposing spurious tax laws.

The emails proved 'fixing of falsified data', and any police servant who hassles people who expose wrongdoing brings suspicion upon himself for he shows himself to be acting contrarily to the public interest which is what he is paid to serve.





Yes, thank you bobbin for making this very important point.

Learmonth showed by his actions whose 'side' he is on; after all, the police cannot prosecute every crime, and have to choose and prioritise.

Likewise Learmonth's judgment in hounding poor Paris Brown was clearly flawed.

So often whistleblowers are the ones penalised, despite the so-called whistleblowers' charter: the 'public interest' defence for disclosing information.

Sadly, in the Balkwell case, there are honest police officers who want to tell the truth about the dishonest Essex Police investigation into Lee Balkwell's death, but are deterred from telling the truth because of fear of prosecution under the Official Secrets Act, and loss of their job and police pension.

During the past 7 years I have spoken to many such honest police officers, who are distraught at the corruption at senior level in today's police forces, but are powerless to do anything about it.

Here's a classic example of what happened to one honest Essex Police Officer:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 
Policeman was bullied

12:58pm Tuesday 19th September 2006, Basildon Echo

A former policeman was the victim of a sustained harassment campaign after reporting a senior colleague for misconduct, a High Court judge has ruled.

David Clark, from Westcliff, who retired on medical grounds after he was constantly bullied by senior officers, has spoken of his relief at winning his case.

Mr Clark, who had served both in Rayleigh and Hadleigh, had claimed the Chief Constable of Essex Police was vicariously liable for his injuries.

Mr Justice Tugendhat accepted he suffered "bullying, harassment, humiliation, intimidation, oppression and victimisation" at work after he made a complaint about a senior officer's handling of a case.

On top of the £18,000 general damages to cover pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, the former detective constable will receive damages to reflect loss of earnings, which could run into six figures.

Mr Clark, 50, who won many commendations during his career, told the Echo: "It's come as a huge relief. I left with depression and a pulse rate of 203, when it should have been 75. I'm about to have a heart operation that will hopefully make me back to normal.

"It was a nightmare. My locker was broken into, my desk searched, there was shouting, constant undermining and humiliation.

"There was a police car parked down my road morning and night observing my comings and goings."

The court heard Mr Clark left the force after 26 years in January 2002, after stopping work in October 1999, suffering from shingles and depression.

His troubles stemmed from his participation in Operation Orchid, an investigation into theft and handling stolen goods.

Mr Clark was appointed officer in charge in July 1997, but claimed he felt like a "marked man" after he complained the investigation had been seriously undermined by Det Sgt John Kreyling, who "de-arrested" a suspect Kreyling knew personally.

The suspect was later acquitted, along with several others.

Mr Clark's complaint of oppressive conduct through the force's grievance procedure was shelved and he was later posted to Hadleigh police station to perform beat duties.

The judge also found Det Chief Insp Graham Bird had been negligent in failing to protect Mr Clark.

Kreyling moved to Basildon police in 2002 before retiring from the force. Bird has also retired.

The judge said that Kreyling was "not capable of belief" and could not be regarded as a "candid witness".

Ruling in Mr Clark's favour, the judge said that he was a "careful and honest" witness.

Mr Clark told the Echo: "The police tried to cover it up. I hope other officers will not be deterred from coming forward and saying the right thing."

Lawyers for the chief constable denied liability and negligence, arguing Mr Clark's injury was not foreseeable and that he failed to take reasonable care for his own health.
I'm hoping that we will see whistle blowers gaining courage as it starts to become a growing trend.
With the successful 'stir' caused now by the whistle blowing (of USA surveillance) by Edward Snowden /Guardian newspaper coverage, it has become evident that it is essential to have whistle-blowers to counteract the corrupt leaders who behind closed doors get everything so sewn up that the common law of a land can no longer penetrate their defenses.
Whistle blowing is the only possibility to breach the impenetrable defenses.
The only surprise I have is that it hasn't happened earlier.
If surveillance is such that a private sector person can acquire the skills to penetrate and cover anyone, that would also mean they could penetrate the private communications of all politicians, judges, police, including of course the corrupt ones.
This means that no body, from jo-public to highest ranking bilderberger/mason is actually safe from snooping.
Why haven't they realised they are as vulnerable as the ordinary man in the street if someone, with a public spirit, decides to develop the skills to go 'hacking' 'perusing' the private data of the elite.
Communications via email, phone, mobile phone, banking transactions etc. if electronically carried out will be visible to anyone acquiring the skills to go looking.spin

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Re: NEW: Les Balkwell complains to new Kent Police & Crime Commissioner about the role of Kent Police's Chief Constable, Ian Learmonth

Post by plebgate on 12.06.13 21:59

As you stated Bobbin there is a whistleblowers' charter.  Why should people have to blow the whistle on people who are abusing their positions of power and then be afraid of bullying etc. from their "superiors".

When will the" ruling elite" realise this is the 21st century, the people are fed up being treated as if we are back in Victorian times and things have got to change.

Fairness to all British people whatever their colour or beliefs.   Not one rule for them and another for the rest of us.

I do believe the internet will bring about this change and yes you are right, those who spy on the cannon fodder will also spy on them.    The internet will eventually bring  justice to the people I believe and the sooner the better imo.

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Re: NEW: Les Balkwell complains to new Kent Police & Crime Commissioner about the role of Kent Police's Chief Constable, Ian Learmonth

Post by bobbin on 12.06.13 22:44

@plebgate wrote:As you stated Bobbin there is a whistleblowers' charter.  Why should people have to blow the whistle on people who are abusing their positions of power and then be afraid of bullying etc. from their "superiors".

When will the" ruling elite" realise this is the 21st century, the people are fed up being treated as if we are back in Victorian times and things have got to change.

Fairness to all British people whatever their colour or beliefs.   Not one rule for them and another for the rest of us.

I do believe the internet will bring about this change and yes you are right, those who spy on the cannon fodder will also spy on them.    The internet will eventually bring  justice to the people I believe and the sooner the better imo.
The beauty of this is that the elite will never be certain that they are not being followed.
They will also have to live with the fear of exposure or discovery, at any moment, and spend their lives watching over their shoulders, never knowing when, where or how, worrying instead of actually enjoying their time, leaving the heritage of a better planet for their grandchildren, that the one they inherited.

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Re: NEW: Les Balkwell complains to new Kent Police & Crime Commissioner about the role of Kent Police's Chief Constable, Ian Learmonth

Post by bobbin on 12.06.13 22:55

Farmers fail to feed nation after extreme weather hits wheat crop
Wet autumn followed by cold spring has led to one of the smallest harvests in a generation, hitting food production



Poor weather has devastated the British wheat harvest. Photograph: David Bagnall/Alamy
The wettest autumn since records began, followed by the coldest spring in 50 years, has devastated British wheat, forcing food manufacturers to import nearly 2.5m tonnes of the crop.
"Normally we export around 2.5m tonnes of wheat but this year we expect to have to import 2.5m tonnes," said Charlotte Garbutt, a senior analyst at the industry-financed Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. "The crop that came through the winter has struggled and is patchy and variable. The area of wheat grown this year has been much smaller."
Analysts expect a harvest of 11m-12m tonnes, one of the smallest in a generation, after many farmers grubbed up their failing, waterlogged crops and replanted fields with barley. According to a National Farmers Union poll of 76 cereal growers covering 16,000 hectares, nearly 30% less wheat than usual is being grown in Britain this year.
Britain is usually the EU's third biggest wheat grower but it will be a net importer for the first time in 11 years. "Our poll is a snapshot but it is extremely worrying. If this plays out nationally, we will be below average production for the second year in a row," said NFU crops chair Andrew Watts. "If the experts are to be believed and extreme weather is to become more frequent, we must look at ways of supporting the industry."
The diminished wheat harvest will add to growing concerns about the amount of food that British farmers can grow per hectare. According [url=http://www.hgca.com/cms_publications.output/2/2/Publications/Final project reports/Desk study to evaluate contributory causes of the current yield plateau in wheat and oilseed rape.mspx?fn=show&pubcon=9165]to a new analysis by the development board[/url], UK wheat and oilseed rape yields have barely improved since the 1980s, despite genetic developments and better fertilisers. No one reason is given but severe and fluctuating weather is thought to have played a part.
Other crops have been badly damaged by the past year's severe weather. Oilseed rape and oats have suffered, and sugar beet, which is grown on 125,000 hectares mainly in eastern England, has been hit by a mystery condition that has stopped seeds germinating and has cut production by 50% in some areas. "The weather has definitely had an impact. The affected crops were sown in the very cold weather," said Mark Stevens, a scientist with the British Beet Research Orgaanisation.
The severe weather has also led to one of the latest fruit harvests in years. Major varieties of apple, including cox, are not expected to be in the shops until late September, said Adrian Barlow, chief executive of the trade body English Apples & Pears. "We don't yet know the long-term consequences of the winter. We have extremely cold weather which was good, but we have had trees with their feet in water for months and extremely windy conditions. But we are hopeful of a better harvest than last year."
However, the long winter could make for a succulent soft fruit crop, according to Harry Hall, Britain's biggest strawberry grower. "The crop is around three weeks later than average but the fruit has had extra time to grow so the quality is really good," said Hall, who expects to sell 7,700 tonnes this year.
Food prices are unlikely to rise significantly as a result of the poor British harvests, because these are determined by international trade. However, cereal food producer Weetabix had to halt production of some of its breakfast cereals as a result of the disastrous wheat harvest in April.
The full impact of the hard winter is only now being seen, according to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Its latest analysis says the total income from farming decreased by £737m in 2012 to £4.7bn, with farmers facing both crop losses and higher costs to feed their animals.
Earlier this year the British Agriculture Bureau said flooding in the UK had caused £1.3bn in damage in 2012.
This week, the UN and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reported that environmental factors such as droughts, bad harvests and lack of land were likely to limit the growth of global food output. Agricultural production is expected to grow 1.5% a year on average over the coming decade, compared with annual growth of 2.1% between 2003 and 2012. Another widespread drought like the one experienced last year in the US and elsewhere could raise crop prices by 15%-40%, it said.


(a bit off topic, but disproves the global warming. We may have to retain out taxes to pay for the extra food that we will need to import)

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