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Dear Sirs,

Thanks for your response of the 23rd Jan 2020 with the conclusion of the local resolution. However it is an extremely poor and unsatisfactory response, still, in no way producing any of the intended outcomes of LR, dealing with any of the issues, and is even factually incorrect.

I remind you of the things that should have resulted, but which have not:

-          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 still 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. I still see no intention to correct or even remove the misrepresentation still in prominent view to the public and other decision makers. I still see no mention of who IS responsible or who DID “misinterpret”.

It is a total failure to properly deal with the complaint.

You do not seem to have read the article my whole complaint started from:

“Since 2012, the number of people killed and seriously injured on Dorset’s roads has shown a sustained fall.

In 2012 it was 355, in 2018 with figures to be confirmed, it was 239, a reduction of slightly more than 32

Slight or minor collisions have showed a similar reduction of a little over 30%.”

https://www.dorset.police.uk/news-information/article/6850

Notice the words “the number of people killed and seriously injured”  and that therefore this is about people killed and seriously injured, not collisions, although the last sentence states the slight or minor collision reduction was similar, I am not commenting on that. Yes there is a % symbol missing but I am not commenting on that either. As it is about CASUALTIES the numbers stated are completely wrong but beyond that, their interpretation is completely wrong too.

It is greatly disappointing that such a fundamental error has been made in such a serious complaint. And it is astonishing that you have failed to comment on the other crucial points in the complaint, such as that, regardless of the accuracy of the numbers:

1.       You cannot describe a reduction between 2012 and 2018 as “sustained” when for example there is a substantial increase between 2011 and 2017 in clearly volatile data

2.       Neither can you claim the entire benefit for a “reduction” when what you did was only one of many factors that influence the result (safer cars, increasing congestion, etc)

3.       Those considering buying a course from the police maybe be influenced by this misrepresentation so this is likely to be a breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

I will answer your numbered points:

1.       “Mr Leisk has already stated that he has only made comment to the reduction in KSI figures” – We all know he has made comment!  The problem is, his statement was based on the WRONG NUMBERS, and even misrepresented those. “as confirmed by the Department for Transport” –completely wrong, the DfT’s figures are entirely different to those in the article. What Mr Leisk needs to do is to review his announcement, and either confirm it to be correct by answering my concerns, or to acknowledge that there are errors and PUT THEM RIGHT.

2.       All the figures I have commented on and all the references I have made are to person death and serious injury counts, NOT collision counts. Why is there no clarity? Please detail the collision figures and the casualty figures, whether or not they were right in articles and whether or not they are right now.

3.       At least the 2018 figure was unconfirmed as above. And the figures were wrong, year after year. I have provided the actual numbers in full detail. Why have you not established who made the error and how?, “believing figures to be right” when they are wrong does not make publishing wrong figures AND misrepresenting them, and then doing nothing when errors are reported, acceptable.

4.       “All persons I have spoken to have stated that they believed the figures to be accurate when published and have apologised if there are any errors” Who are these “persons”? Whether that is the case or not, this is not a remedy to senior police massively exaggerating their work performance. “The published figures refer to the amount of KSI collisions, not casualties” – WRONG. They are death and serious injury counts, again, “the number of people killed and seriously injured

5.       Persons stating they thought something was right when it was wrong is not the same as “offering advise on the issues that the error could cause” is it? Why have you not mentioned those issues, the advice, and who has received it? I can only assume that you have concluded there has been no wrong, everything is ok, nothing needs to be improved, all because “persons thought the numbers were right”. Ridiculous.

 

 

I find it hard to believe that such a serious complaint against a senior officer could produce such a weak and evasive response entirely skirting around the key points unless it was intentional. This demonstrates that Local Resolution was never the right process for this complaint. The fact that a complete distortion misrepresenting police performance, now that there can be no doubt about it, has been ignored by the individual, others, and force involved and it now remains, continuing to mislead others, demonstrates that this misinformation is deliberate, not accidental.

It seems that Devon and Cornwall Police would (once errors are brought to their attention) prefer the misinformation to remain and dig the hole deeper than take it on the chin, deal with it professionally and fully and improve standards. I am not asking for much, just for announcements to be accurate, unbiased, honest, and if mistakes are reported, for corrections to be made and systems improved for the future. Why the resistance to this?

Regardless of what anyone thinks of the issues I raise, the way they have been dealt with so far is appalling and if this is any indication of how Devon and Cornwall police operate generally it is truly worrying.

Please prove me wrong and deal with this properly and quickly now.

Ian Belchamber