If people get together to fabricate evidence against other people, they deserve to be investigated for a variety of crimes from perjury to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
But that rule doesn't seem to apply when those concocting stories are members of the police.
South Yorkshire Police have already disgraced themselves by their behaviour at the Hillsborough disaster and subsequent efforts to cover up leading officers' lies about what transpired there.
The same force is now implicated in a similar stitch-up concerning the charging of a number of miners with riot following violent clashes at the Orgreave coking plant near Rotherham during the 1984-5 miners' strike.
A BBC Inside Out investigation shown last night in the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire region lays bare the shocking truth of police statements bearing such uncanny similarities as to leave little doubt that collusion took place.
Coming in the wake of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report, which charged that 164 police statements had been altered in order to show the force in a better light, the Inside Out programme ought to set alarm bells ringing.
Was it common practice for South Yorkshire police officers to write what they were told and for senior officers to alter statements they didn't like?
Is it still the case and, if not, when did the practice end?
It cannot be acceptable that South Yorkshire Police merely "notes the issues raised in the programme and will consider whether any review is necessary."
Had the riot charges been made to stick, striking miners would have faced years in jail for crimes they had not committed.
The entire Establishment was mobilised against their union the NUM, with the BBC plumbing the depths by altering the chronology of film evidence to show miners throwing stones prior to being charged by mounted police when, in fact, it was the police that attacked first.
The matter of a review should be taken out of South Yorkshire's hands so that the serious issues raised by both these cases can be spotlighted rather than being swept under the carpet.
The demand for an inquiry tabled by Bassetlaw MP John Mann is unquestionable.
DAVID Cameron appears to have discovered the first rule for Tory Prime Ministers - when you're in a hole, appeal to the hang 'em and flog 'em brigade.
That can be the only explanation for his half-baked, rushed proposals for harsher sentences and privatisation of rehabilitation for former prisoners.
Britain's prisons are already bulging at the seams, so either his demand for longer sentences is so much hot air or he'll have to announce a new prison-building programme soon.
This country already jails more people for longer than most other European states, but politicians obsessed with their own "tough" images are loth to appear weak by proposing more non-custodial sentences.
Far from being weak, non-custodial sentences in the community have the capacity to be more effective in reducing crime than locking people up, disrupting family relationships and damaging future employment prospects.
Britain has an excellent probation service, but it has to be adequately financed.
Cameron's wheeze of paying private companies to replace the probation service is on a par with dispensing with government employment offices in favour of private whiz-kid companies such as A4e.
The result will be the same - huge profits for company directors and negligible benefit for ex-offenders.
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