Public voice over policing

As a Horsham resident from childhood and a retired Sussex Police officer who served the community for about 20 years I am delighted the current system of police authorities is being abolished. Their relationship with chief officers appeared a bit too cosy.

Having met Katy Bourne, Conservative Party elect candidate for the new role of Police and Crime Commissioner last Saturday during a town centre walkabout it was refreshing to meet an individual who is approachable and keen to hear the public’s views and concerns, especially mine.

In my case, this relates to an unresolved official complaint made in April 2000 to the then chairman Margaret Johnston and Ann Swain, member for Horsham, who even failed to acknowledge my polite communication.

In June 2004, after due legal process under the Police Pension Regs 1987, I obtained a certificate of Permanent Disablement by an independent medical examiner.

The conclusion of the 55 page report reads, ‘It is most unfortunate that the manner and the course of events in this case led to the complexities.

It is hoped that this case would help bring more clarity in the procedural issues, both for individual police officers and the organisation.’

On January 30 this year I met with Patric Welch, current chief executive of Sussex Police Authority, Philip Baker, solicitor to the authority, together with a representative from the Professional Standards Department and Insp Bob Brown, chairman of Police Federation branch board.

Unfortunately my complaint remains totally ignored.

Until matters are satisfactorily resolved obtaining closure including an apology I will strive to achieve justice.

It would be in the public interest to eradicate this embarrassing costly event, causing me trauma and disillusion of an organisation I had been proud to serve from 1973-2001, thus permitting a new era of transparency and accountability.

Good luck Katy Bourne, and other candidates wishing to make history allowing the public to voice their opinion over policing priorities.

PAUL HAMLIN

The Street, Capel