Why is latest Met Police Corruption Scandal dragging on?

This post contains two articles from the Times on the corruption scandal in Soho, Westminster, Camden and Croydon.

  • 2016 Feb 27 The Times [1] Police arrested over Soho scandal
  • 2017 Feb 3 The Times [3] ‘Sheriff of Soho took gifts from security boss’

This Police Corruption in Soho scandal appears to have been originally broken by  The Independent in Jun 2015 [11], but exposed in more detail by Heidi Blake of Buzzfeed, in Sept 2015 [2]

Buzzfeed announced the arrests of

  • Sergeant Frank Partridge, Scotland Yards Westminster Licensing Unit
  • Constable Jim Sollars, Scotland Yards Westminster Licensing Unit
  • Douglas Thompson,  former Westminster police officer, Head of Operations of TSS Security
  • Terry Neil, Managing Director of TSS Security
  • Hassan Serdoud, owner of Profile Protection

Partridge and Sollars were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. They were believed to have formed improper relationships with Security Firms TSS and Profile Protection. Nightclubs are believed to have felt pressured to use them as security [2]

part

Partridge

soll

Sollars

neil

Neil

Detectives from the Met’s anti-corruption unit, nicknamed “the Untouchables”, had been taking a secret interest in the Westminster Police Licensing Unit since autumn 2013 and had placed Sollars and Partridge under surveillance. [2]

Rival companies believed improper relationships existed between public officials and security firms in Camden and Croydon as well as Westminster. TSS even sat on the Steering Committee of Operation Griffin [14], the Mets anti terror initiative [2]

The most vocal critic of the security companies and the police, was Tony Clarke, a former Met detective who left the police in 1986 after five years as a surveillance officer. He later moved into door security and set up UK Security Facilities, which vied with TSS for lucrative contracts in Westminster and London’s other entertainment hubs. [2]

Clarke decided to notify the Met’s anti-corruption squad. He prepared a letter summarising the allegations in the summer of 2013 that claimed “massive corruption between TSS and the Metropolitan Police” had allowed the security company to control a “monopoly” of door contracts in Soho and central London. He alleged that the police licensing unit was recommending TSS to club owners as the Met’s preferred security provider and that “money is changing hands for this assistance”. [2]

One security industry insider said Partridge should not be scapegoated if the alleged corruption within the licensing unit is proven. “It’s no good Frank taking the fall,” he said. “He’s the one arrested, but your boss is responsible for what you do. The licensing department, they’ve got their wagons in a circle and they are hanging Frank out to dry. It’s absolute nonsense.” [2]

Another insider said “I think it’s a lot larger than just the people who have been arrested and I think it goes back a lot longer. I’ve been told that it went … incredibly high.” [2]

The bland Police statement was “The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards Anti-Corruption Command continue to examine allegations of corruption by Westminster Licensing Officers and inappropriate relationships between police officers and people running local businesses. ” [2]

Since then TSS has folded, Partridge has perhaps conveniently been sacked for other offences, which perhaps normally would not have made the “gross misconduct” barrier [6][7] and more arrests been made.

As of Feb 2016 there had been a total of 18 arrests [1] including

  • Ryan Bishti founder of “celeb” nightclub Cirque Le Soir on suspicion of bribery
  • Tom Eulenberg described as Cirque Le Soir clubs ringmaster
  • 2 Police constables
  • Members of TSS Security and Profile Protection
eulen

Eulenberg

bishti

Bishti

No one had been charged as of Feb 2016, no announcements are known to have been made that anyone has been charged to date.

The Department of Professional Standards had said it planned  to send a file to the Crown Prosecution Service in six months’ time from Feb 2016 [1] It is not known whether they have.

Suspicion is that the guilty are high up in the Westminster Police Licensing Unit, the process will be delayed, evidence lost, witnesses unavailable and the relatively low pecking order people like Partridge will be left to take the blame, if any blame is laid.

Meanwhile Cressida Dick, highly criticised for her role and responsibility for the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes has now been made Chief of the Met. We shall see what happens to the Westminster Police Licensing Unit investigation now.

1

Dick

People who believe, with credible evidence, that the people who are put in positions of apparent power in our democratic system are those that can be controlled by the darker forces by blackmail, will be unsurprised and not hopeful of the Met being routed of the corruption that has infected its upper ranks for decades.

Bearing in mind that TSS sat in on Operation / Project Griffin, questions also need to be asked whether that anti terrorism initiative has been compromised.

Met Police, if they are to properly serve the people, should welcome outside scrutiny of their dark parts, so that it is easier to rid the Service of unwelcome corruption. The longer corruption goes on the worse and more insidious it gets.

Past police corruption mainly relating to child abuse can be found here Cathy Fox Blog Police Corruption [15]

Cathy Fox FOI to CPS re Westminster Police Licensing Unit / Met Police Corruption Scandal [16] 

Timeline

2013  Tony Clarke complained to anti corruption unit. By autumn the unit the “untouchables” were taking an interest in the Westminster Police Licensing Unit [2]

2014 Oct 31 West End Extra [9] Soho nightclubs could be stripped of licences after reports of ‘serious disorder’

2015 Jun 24 Partridge, Sollars, Thompson, Neil and Serdoud arrested [2] in raid on Westminster Police Licensing Unit

2015 Mar Spectator [10] The shocking truth about police corruption in Britain

2015 Jun Police Inquiry Started [1] on allegations that officers responsible for granting entertainment and alcohol licences in Soho had accepted inducements or cash payments

2015 Jun 24 Independent [11]  Met Police officers arrested over alleged corrupt links to businessmen Detective Chief Inspector Tom Whorwood was in the DPS Anti-Corruption Command giving a statement

2015 Jun 30 A 8-year-old woman was interviewed under caution [12]

2015 Jul 10 A 68-year-old man was interviewed under caution [12]

2015 Aug 12 A 43 year old female police constable, based in Westminster interviewed under caution, and placed on restrictive duties [12]

2015 Sept 2 A 30 year old male police constable, based in Westminster, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. He has been placed on restricted duties, has been bailed pending further enquiries and is next due to return to a police station in mid March [12]

2015 Sept 15 Buzzfeed [2] These Cops Are Suspected Of Taking Bribes While Patrolling Soho

2015 Sept 16 Independent Police officers accused of taking bribes in major corruption probe [13] 7 people been arrested. Sollars, Partidge, 3 men late 40’s and woman aged 38,  searches of work, home and police premises. Officers suspended. All 6 on bail until end of month. Since the first arrests in June, a 48-year-old woman, 68 year old man and 43 year old female constable based at Westminster Licensing Unit have been interviewed under caution. Earlier this month, a 30-year-old constable based in Westminster, but not part of the unit, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office and released on bail until a date in December.

2015 end Sept Partridge aged 42, Sollars aged 55, Thompson, Neil and Serdoud answer police bail [2]

2016 Feb 23 Bishti, aged 35, founder of Cirque Le Soir, nightclub, arrested on suspicion of bribery. 3 others arrested including Tom Eulenberg aged 36, described as clubs ringmaster [1]

2016 Feb 24 Get West London [12] Four more arrests in Westminster investigation into alleged police corruption

2016 Feb 27 [1]  The Times Police arrested over Soho scandal Inquiry had been going 8 months, with 14 arrests – 2 other police constables, and members of TSS Security and Profile Protection, before 4 more in last few days.  The corruption investigation, Operation Joseph is a long standing intelligence operation. The Department of Professional Standards said it plans to send a file to the Crown Prosecution Service in six months’ time.

2016 Feb 27 Mail [8] Soho policemen nicknamed The Sheriff and The Gruffalo are arrested by colleagues probing a ‘West End bribery ring centred on a club where A-List stars are entertained by dwarves’

2016 mid Mar A 30 year old male police constable arrested Sept 2 2015  is next due to return to a police station in mid March to answer bail.

2016 Apr 21 Police Oracle [6]  Officer Dismissed for travelling in first class train carriage Frank Partridge dismissed from Met

2016 Dec 7 [7] Police Misconduct Appeal – Ex PS Frank Partridge Appeal turned down.

2017 Feb 3 The Times [3] ‘Sheriff of Soho took gifts from security boss’ Article says the wife of Terry Neil, boss of TSS says he boasted of his association as an enforcer for the notorious North London Adams crime family, and had a conviction in 1993 for armed robbery of a bank.

2017 Feb 20 London Lowlife [4] A Scandal in Soho

2017 Feb 26 Cathy Fox FOI to CPS re Westminster Police Licensing Unit / Met Police Corruption Scandal [16]

2017 Feb 27 Cathy Fox Blog request to Met Police re Met Police Westminster Licensing Unit and Corruption [17]

Two Times articles on Police arrested in the latest Soho scandal and Police.

2016 Feb 27 The Times Police arrested over Soho scandal [1]

With clientele ranging from Benedict Cumberbatch to Nicole Scherzinger, a drinks list that includes £120,000 champagne and an entertainment bill involving dwarfs and fire-eaters, the Cirque le Soir nightclub has long oozed decadence and glamour.

But now the exclusive haunt has been plunged into an alleged corruption scandal which has resulted in the arrest of four police officers who patrol the Soho district in London.

Ryan Bishti, 35, the charismatic founder of Cirque le Soir, has also been questioned over allegations that officers in the Westminster police licensing unit enjoyed “inappropriate” relationships with members of the nightclub industry.

Mr Bishti’s arrest on suspicion of bribery on Tuesday, alongside three others, including the ringmaster of his circus-themed nightclub, is the latest development in the biggest police scandal to hit the nightclub district since the 1970s.

An eight-month inquiry, centring on allegations that officers responsible for granting entertainment and alcohol licences in Soho had accepted inducements or cash payments, has resulted in 14 arrests.

At its heart is Sergeant Frank Partridge, 42, known as “the Sheriff” in Soho, his patch, and his colleague Constable Jim Sollars, 55, nicknamed “the Gruffalo” due to his reputation for enjoying free hospitality in Soho’s plentiful restaurants and bars.

The pair were questioned by anti-corruption command colleagues last year on suspicion of accepting cash or inducements from private security firms. In return, they are suspected of pressurising strip clubs and bars into using their doormen.

After being arrested in June last year on suspicion of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, the pair were suspended from their duties at the Met’s licensing unit in Westminster.

The unit, the biggest of its kind in the country, is run jointly by police and the local council and is responsible for granting alcohol and entertainment licences.

A string of arrests up to September also involved two other police constables and members of private security firms TSS Security and Profile Protection.

However, the inquiry widened this week with the arrest of four people including Mr Bishti and the club’s ringmaster Tom Eulenberg, 36.

The allegations are understood to relate to claims that police officers who oversaw the A-list club’s licence were given inducements such as free dinners, drinks and club entries.

One source said: “It is about large scale hospitality. Where does it begin and where should it end?” Mr Bishti’s lawyers said yesterday he had no comment beyond repeating his denial of any criminality.

Mr Eulenberg refused to speak to The Times when he was visited at his home in Earls Court, west London, in mid afternoon on Wednesday. A woman at the house said he was asleep.

TSS and Profile Protection denied any wrongdoing. Mr Sollars has denied corruption while Mr Partridge has not responded to previous inquiries.

No one has been charged and the allegations remain unproven while they are investigated. The Times understands that Mr Partridge in particular was a regular visitor to Cirque le Soir, a lavish venue which has described itself as “London’s most A-list club and decadent circus”.

Since it was founded in 2009 by Mr Bishti, the son of the blues musician Otis Grand, the club has attracted a long line of celebrities, including the model Cara Delevingne, the singer Rihanna, members of the band One Direction and the actor Leonardo Di Caprio.

Its management has boasted it is all about “conspicuous consumption”, where guests sip expensive champagne served by dwarfs as they are entertained by live circus shows including magicians and acrobats.

The American singer Miley Cyrus was pictured in 2013 kissing an entertainer wearing a giant baby mask.

Minimum spends start from as “little as £100 a head”. The club came under fire last year when promoters warned regular guests not to bring “fat girls”.

Mr Eulenberg will face an unrelated magistrates’ trial on Monday over the alleged assault of a former manager.

Mr Eulenberg, who denies wrongdoing, is alleged to have attacked an employee at 2.15am on May 19 last year when he refused to open a fire exit to let in the rapper Tyga, boyfriend of the American reality television personality Kylie Jenner. Last year the Met described its corruption investigation, Operation Joseph, as a “long-running intelligence operation . . . started in response to allegations of corruption by Westminster licensing officers and inappropriate relationships between the police officers and people running local businesses”.

The investigation will have to consider where the line of hospitality is drawn between public officials and businesspeople they regularly associate with through their work.

The Met’s gifts and hospitality policy allows officers to attend working lunches and dinners but are warned that “even a small gift to a sole or key decision maker may fall within the scope of the Bribery Act 2010 if it could be perceived to elicit the improper performance of that function”.

The Department of Professional Standards said it plans to send a file to the Crown Prosecution Service in six months’ time.

KR  One Sound of Da Police – the song Partridge was miming to.

2017 Feb 3 The Times ‘Sheriff of Soho took gifts from security boss’ [3]

This article is the subject of a legal complaint from Terry Neil

A police officer dubbed the “sheriff of Soho” allegedly received a bespoke suit and favours from a security company in return for contracts at London’s most exclusive celebrity haunts.

Frank Partridge, a former sergeant in the Westminster licensing unit, is accused of accepting inappropriate gifts from the nightclub industry. He was followed by undercover detectives as he frequented nightclubs whose licences he controlled, The Times has learnt.

In the latest development in the alleged corruption scandal in the capital’s nightclub district, a photograph has emerged of Mr Partridge dancing with a catsuit-clad woman in Cirque le Soir, a decadent A-list venue.

methode_times_prod_web_bin_50a883e0-e994-11e6-a93a-4fa396e7e4ed

Partridge

Mr Partridge, 43, nicknamed “Fun Time Frankie” by former colleagues, was seen with a large snake draped around his neck, miming to the hip hop anthem Sound of Da Police.

He is one of a string of people arrested over allegations that officers responsible for granting entertainment and alcohol licences in Soho had accepted inducements or cash payments.

The Times revealed last year that Ryan Bishti, 36, the founder of Cirque le Soir, which attracted celebrities including the actor Benedict Cumberbatch and the singer and actress Nicole Scherzinger, was also questioned over allegations of “inappropriate” relationships between police and members of the nightclub industry. Mr Bishti has denied any criminality.

Now further claims have been raised after the implosion of TSS, one of two security companies accused of fostering corrupt relationships with Mr Partridge and another police officer to secure lucrative contracts.

Soraya Henderson - SOHO VICE TAKEN FROM: https://www.linkedin.com/in/soraya-henderson-cbii-2a959829 AWAITING ID.

Henderson

TSS, run by Terry Neil and his wife, Soraya Henderson, has collapsed after the breakdown of their marriage and a shareholder dispute is being heard in the High Court. In a witness statement, Ms Henderson disclosed allegations about the relationships between Mr Partridge, 43, and Mr Neil, 50. She said: “I located in the office invoices for bespoke suits which I believe was for him and the police officer. I also found an invoice for character witness statements [from former licensing officers] and [an] unexplained £20,000 cash withdrawal from the company bank account.”

Outside court she claimed that Mr Partridge came back to the couple’s “party house” in Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire, and once drove her husband’s car home.

Mr Partridge’s colleague, Constable Jim Sollars, 55, was called “the Gruffalo” because of his reputation for enjoying free hospitality in Soho.

The pair were questioned by anti-corruption colleagues last year on suspicion of accepting cash or inducements from security firms. In return, they are suspected of pressurising strip clubs and bars into using their doormen.

Outside court Mr Neil did not deny buying clothes for Mr Partridge but said that he had given police a full statement. In a statement to the court, Mr Neil described the corruption allegations as preposterous. He said: “In the course of my work it is necessary for me to have a close working relationship with the police and I had friendships with some officers, but there is no evidence whatsoever of any corruption.”

Mr Neil has been arrested over corruption allegations and Ms Henderson has been interviewed under caution. TSS, Mr Neil and Ms Henderson all deny any wrongdoing.

The investigation will have to consider where the line of hospitality is drawn between public officials and businesspeople with whom they regularly associate through their work.

Ms Henderson also claimed in court that her husband boasted of his association as an enforcer for the notorious north London Adams crime family, and also disclosed his conviction in 1993 for armed robbery of a bank. This information may be considered by Met detectives working on Operation Joseph, the corruption inquiry, who are investigating whether any licences were inappropriately granted.

Mr Partridge has already been dismissed from the Metropolitan Police in an unrelated matter of gross misconduct after he travelled in a first-class train carriage without permission four times.

Elizabeth Fox, his solicitor, said that it would be inappropriate to respond while allegations were under investigation. Mr Sollars has previously denied corruption.

Links

[1] 2016 Feb 27 The Times Police arrested over Soho scandal http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/crime/article4700779.ece

Announced Mr Bishti’s arrest on suspicion of bribery on Tuesday, alongside three others, including the ringmaster of his circus-themed nightclub, is the latest development in the biggest police scandal to hit the nightclub district since the 1970s.

An eight-month inquiry, centring on allegations that officers responsible for granting entertainment and alcohol licences in Soho had accepted inducements or cash payments, has resulted in 14 arrests.

A string of arrests up to September also involved two other police constables and members of private security firms TSS Security and Profile Protection.

However, the inquiry widened this week with the arrest of four people including Mr Bishti and the club’s ringmaster Tom Eulenberg, 36.

the Met described its corruption investigation, Operation Joseph, as a “long-running intelligence operation . . . started in response to allegations of corruption by Westminster licensing officers and inappropriate relationships between the police officers and people running local businesses”.

The Department of Professional Standards said it plans to send a file to the Crown Prosecution Service in six months’ time.

[2] 2015 Sept 15 Buzzfeed These Cops Are Suspected Of Taking Bribes While Patrolling Soho https://www.buzzfeed.com/heidiblake/these-soho-cops-are-suspected-of-taking-bribes?utm_term=.heRkev9ZBO#.jpm96mlq05

[3] 2017 Feb 3 The Times ‘Sheriff of Soho took gifts from security boss’ http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/sheriff-of-soho-gook-gifts-from-security-boss-vz57r25qn

Ms Henderson also claimed in court that her husband boasted of his association as an enforcer for the notorious north London Adams crime family, and also disclosed his conviction in 1993 for armed robbery of a bank. This information may be considered by Met detectives working on Operation Joseph, the corruption inquiry, who are investigating whether any licences were inappropriately granted.

Mr Partridge has already been dismissed from the Metropolitan Police in an unrelated matter of gross misconduct after he travelled in a first-class train carriage without permission four times.

[4] 2017 Feb 20 London Lowlife A Scandal in Soho https://londonlowlife.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/a-scandal-in-soho/

[5] KRS-One – Sound of da Police https://youtu.be/9ZrAYxWPN6c

[6] 2016 Apr 21 Police Oracle Officer Dismissed for travelling in first class train carriage https://www.policeoracle.com/news/investigation/2016/Apr/21/officer-dismissed-for-travelling-in-first-class-train-carriage-_91616.html

[7] 2016 Dec 7 Police Misconduct Appeal – Ex PS Frank Partridge https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/mayors-office-policing-and-crime-mopac/news-and-events/police-misconduct-appeal-ex-ps

Finding made under the 2012 Conduct Regulations:

  1. The panel found it proved that: on four occasions, on 4th March and 12th July 2014 and on 22nd January and 23rd June 2015, ex PS Frank Partridge dishonestly travelled in a first class carriage on National Rail knowing that his membership of the Association of Train Operating Companies (“ATOC”) rail concession scheme did not entitle him to do so.

Standards of Professional Behaviour breached:

The panel found that ex PS Frank Partridge breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in relation to:

  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Abiding by force policies
  • Undermining confidence in the police service

The panel found that ex PS Frank Partridge’s conduct, together with the corresponding breaches of Standards of Professional Behaviour, taken both individually and collectively, were so serious as to amount to Gross Misconduct.

Outcome following misconduct hearing

Ex PS Frank Partridge was dismissed without notice

[8] 2016 Feb 27 Mail Soho policemen nicknamed The Sheriff and The Gruffalo are arrested by colleagues probing a ‘West End bribery ring centred on a club where A-List stars are entertained by dwarves’ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3466977/Soho-policemen-nicknamed-Sheriff-Gruffalo-arrested-colleagues-probing-massive-West-End-bribery-ring-centred-List-nightspot.html

[9] 2014 Oct 31 West End Extra Soho nightclubs could be stripped of licences after reports of ‘serious disorder’ http://archive.westendextra.com/news/2014/oct/soho-nightclubs-could-be-stripped-licences-after-reports-%E2%80%98serious-disorder%E2%80%99

[10] 2015 Mar Spectator The shocking truth about police corruption in Britain http://www.spectator.co.uk/2015/03/the-shocking-truth-about-police-corruption-in-britain/

[11] 2015 Independent Met Police officers arrested over alleged corrupt links to businessmen http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/two-met-police-officers-arrested-over-alleged-corrupt-links-to-businessmen-10343382.html

Detective Chief Inspector Tom Whorwood of the DPS Anti-Corruption Command, said: “These arrests are part of a long-running intelligence operation. It was started in response to allegations of corruption by Westminster Licensing officers and inappropriate relationships between the police officers and certain people running local businesses.”

[12] 2016 Feb 24 Get West London Four more arrests in Westminster investigation into alleged police corruption http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/incoming/four-more-arrests-westminster-investigation-10941282

[13] 2015 Sept 16 Independent Police officers accused of taking bribes in major corruption probe http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-officers-accused-of-taking-bribes-in-major-corruption-probe-10504209.html

[14] Wikipedia Operation Griffin  http://archive.is/GgbGM

[15] Cathy Fox Blog Police Corruption https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/?s=police+corruption

[16] 2017 Feb 26 Cathy Fox FOI to CPS re Westminster Police Licensing Unit / Met Police Corruption Scandal https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/westminster_police_licensing_uni

[17]  2017 Feb 27 Cathy Fox Blog request to Met Polcie re  Met Police Westminster Licensing Unit and Corruption https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/met_police_westminster_licensing

[18] Policy and Powers http://archive.is/Oicjn

[19] Westminster Borough Commander Peter Ayling http://archive.is/woHQR

[20] Our Partners http://archive.is/dsynE

[21] Wikipedia Met Police Vice and Clubs Unit http://archive.is/LlStg

[22] Met Police Licensing in Westminster http://archive.is/36mKv

This is all written in good faith but if there is anything that needs to be corrected or you wish to write to me please email policelicensing@cathyfox.33mail.com quoting the article title

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” – Edmund Burke

“He who does not bellow the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers.” Charles Peguy

To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men  – Ella  Wheeler Wilcox

Every time we act in the face of fear, we dilute it’s power and increase our confidence – via Gary Havener

Only the small secrets need to be protected, the large ones are kept secret by public incredulity – Marshall McLuhan

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About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
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4 Responses to Why is latest Met Police Corruption Scandal dragging on?

  1. Pingback: via Why is latest Met Police Corruption and Sex Scandal dragging on? — cathy fox blog on child abuse – HUMANSINSHADOW.wordpress.com

  2. Pingback: Why is latest Met Police Corruption Scandal dragging on? | Lolathecur's Blog Below are two very important entries from the "Jewish Encyclopedia". Read them VERY CLOSELY.

  3. Reblogged this on Buried News and commented:
    Often the media focus on the corruption of third world police forces, its time they saved on travel expenses and looked closer to home for corruption.
    Suspicion is that the guilty are high up in the Westminster Police Licensing Unit, the process will be delayed, evidence lost, witnesses unavailable and the relatively low pecking order people like Partridge will be left to take the blame, if any blame is laid.

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