Wednesday 24 August 2016

Challenging the police harassment warning

Update 26th September 2016 - Police complaints logged

I would like to make it clear from the start that I have no problem with the police, I respect them for doing a very difficult job with very limited resources. It seems that not everyone takes this view, Mr James dumped his bag of dirty laundry on the doorstep of the chief constable and expected him to do a full Dot Cotton.

However, I have no other option other than to file a complaint. As it happens, this is also one of the only courses of action available to challenge a Police Information Notice.

So further to my earlier post, The police visit Caebrwyn, I have sent the following email, and hard copy, to Dyfed Powys Police to challenge the Police Information Notice (harassment warning) and file a complaint regarding the investigation.
If the response is unsatisfactory, I will take the matter further.
As for this blog, as I said in my previous post, it will be business as usual.

Here's my letter;

"To the Chief Constable
Dyfed Powys Police

Dear Sir,

I wish to make a formal complaint in relation to the Police Information Notice (PIN) issued to me by your force on Thursday 18th August 2016 and I am requesting that the notice is revoked without delay. The PIN reference is ACT/1094/18/04/2016/01/C.

I am also making a formal complaint about the manner in which Dyfed Powys Police conducted the investigation.

The PIN relates to allegations of harassment made via a complaint to the police by Mr Mark James. As I told the police officers who issued this warning notice, I deny categorically that these allegations constitute harassment in any form, the allegations are totally without merit.

I write a blog which is critical of Carmarthenshire County Council, and its decision makers, when I believe those decisions or actions would benefit from further public scrutiny.

I have a legitimate right to comment as a member of the public, and a Community Councillor, on matters which concern public decision making in a local authority.

The PIN is an attempt to stifle public debate and is in breach of my human rights, namely Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

I believe the complainant; Mr Mark James, chief executive of the council, has used the Police to serve what essentially an attempt at a civil injunction which has no right or means of appeal, nor is there, of course, a proper civil judicial procedure where I would have had the right to a defence.

This is an abuse of power by the police and the chief executive and interferes with my Article 6 right to a fair hearing. The fact that the PIN is kept on official police file for 14 months, this further interferes with my Article 6 rights.

With regards to my complaint about the police investigation, Dyfed Powys Police were called up on to investigate Mr Mark James and Carmarthenshire County Council in February 2014 following two Public Interest Reports from the Wales Audit Office. In that case, due to the close working relationship between the two authorities they passed the matter on to Gloucestershire Constabulary. In other words, there was a conflict of interest.

That same conflict of interest was present throughout the time that Dyfed Powys Police were investigating myself, on behalf of the chief executive of that same local authority, this year. The matter should have been transferred to an outside police force, neutral to both parties.

I am also making a complaint concerning the length of time the matter has taken. As I was informed by Mr James, via his solicitor, that I had been reported to the police in early April this year, I was aware of the investigation. This has caused me severe stress when it appears that the documentation relating to both complaints by Mr James were readily available.

Mr James' complaints, both harassment and perverting the course of justice failed in their entirety to meet the evidential test for criminal proceedings, and this is something the police should, and could have identified early on; police time has been wasted.

Please regard this communication as a formal complaint which I expect to be logged and treated as such.

Please acknowledge receipt of this email, which I am also sending as hard copy, and I look forward to your very prompt reply.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Jacqui Thompson"


Anonymous said...

Presumably you could reasonably have complained that James was actually harassing you by taking this action and requested that the police investigate and issue him with a PIN!

Anonymous said...

I quite agree Anon@21.39! Perhaps this is the next step that Jacqui could take? I wonder if Dyfed Powys police would feel that such a complaint would have to be transferred to another force because of their close working relationship with James and consequent "conflict of interest"? Double standards like that would be interesting to see.

Tessa said...

Good for you!
And yes indeed, agreeing with Anon@24-8-16 21.39 & following, you are certainly being harassed. I seem to remember that the definition of harassment is when you feel personally harassed, and the harasser is aware of that fact.
And if you feel professionally harassed - Mr James - then tough shit. Ask - ahem - "your and Meryl's" employees how they feel much (most?) of the time.
Welcome to the Real World!

Anonymous said...

Well, I must say that Cneifiwr's latest instalment of the ever popular 'Council of Despair' series, is well worth a read....

Unknown said...

A very good letter! I hope you get an equally thoughtful and satisfactory response.