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Name and shame

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Dear Sirs,

Thanks for your response of the 15th Oct 2019 informing me that my complaint is to be dealt with by “local resolution”. But I see no plan for what this will mean and as I am now being told the next step is to appeal about this decision, and the letter was titled “LR Complete Letter”, I have to presume that if I don’t, I won’t hear anything else and nothing else will happen. In your initial response, I see that “local resolution” should mean things like:

-         --  finding out why it happened  

-          - allowing someone to say sorry, if appropriate  

-         -  making sure action is taken to deal with the problem or to stop the same thing happening to someone else in the future

-          - a letter from the police to explain what has been done about your complaint

-          - accepting that something could have been handled better

-         -  action by the appropriate manager to change the way a police officer or member of staff behaves

I can see nothing like this. I can see no reference to any of the points made in the complaint and no challenge to any of them, while at the same time there is no acknowledgement that the statement of Adrian Leisk is misleading or any attempt to suggest it isn’t. All the crucial core elements of this complaint seem to have been avoided. Incredibly, I can see no intention to correct or even remove the misrepresentation still in prominent view to the public and other decision makers. Only a point-blank refusal to acknowledge any wrongdoing: “Chief Inspector Leisk is not responsible for the interpretation of the data that is produced and will only make comment on the information that he is given.” But continuing the theme of avoidance, the “local resolution” has failed to mention either who IS responsible or who DID “misinterpret”.

“I can assure you that no distortion of any figures was intended and communications are constantly monitored and reviewed to ensure accuracy and maintain integrity.”

But there is no accuracy or integrity in what Chief Inspector Leisk announced to the public: “This is an impressive result and testimony to the innovation and investment that Dorset Police has applied to roads policing, as well as to the professionalism and hard work of all those officers and staff working in this complex area of policing.” https://www.dorset.police.uk/news-information/article/6850

The only hint of anything right is an apology “on behalf of Dorset Police”. Chief Inspector Leisk seems keen to lead the “Alliance” when there is good (albeit fake) news but this “Alliance” seems to vanish in a puff of smoke when it comes to taking responsibility for complaints when the fake news is exposed.

Arguably it is the Head of roads policing for the Alliance who is ultimately responsible for the road safety improvements and the quality and honesty of any information released, including that of others such as the CC and PCC of Dorset who also contributed to the same appalling document. Chief Inspector Leisk must have also known about the other false statements and allowed them to remain in this announcement. It is ridiculous to say that “Chief Inspector Leisk is not responsible for the interpretation of the data that is produced” and the only thing that would make this anywhere near tolerable would be to add this disclaimer to all future police announcements (and the one I am complaining about) so that those who read them know that those who write them (and those who supervise them) won’t take any responsibility for them being in any way accurate. All I ask for is honesty, transparency and consistency.

I find that “A complaint will be suitable for Local Resolution or Local Investigation if it is assessed that if the conduct which is complained about (even if proved) would not justify bringing any criminal or disciplinary proceedings. (or involve an infringement of rights under Articles 2 or 3 of ECHR)”

The conduct complained about is a high-level deliberate misrepresentation of the only measure possible of the success of road safety work (which therefore needs great attention to ensure it is correct) which will influence budgets of £millions, the careers of those involved and the number of people that will be killed and seriously injured on the roads. The “local resolution” has made no attempt whatsoever to demonstrate otherwise.

The Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 (section 26) states:

(1)A police constable listed in subsection (3) commits an offence if he or she—

(a)exercises the powers and privileges of a constable improperly, and

(b)knows or ought to know that the exercise is improper.

If I (a simple member of the public) can find out in a few hours that there is no road safety improvement, the Head of the Roads Policing Alliance SHOULD have known it. And if he knew it, he SHOULD have known that to describe it as an “impressive result” was a lie. The “local resolution” has missed so much that it has also missed dealing with this simple point.  

This is a serious matter. What would we think if senior members of a £100m private firm announced a 30% profit improvement when they knew, or obviously should have known, that profit had not improved at all? “Improper” is an understatement.

To conclude:

1.       This complaint was not suitable for local resolution.

2.       The local resolution that was carried out failed to face any of points of the complaint or provide any of the intended outcomes, even to the point that it will allow serious misrepresentation to remain.

I therefore whole-heartedly object to this complaint being dealt with by the “local resolution” process and am deeply disappointed by how this complaint is progressing so far.


Ian Belchamber