Saturday 2 September 2017

Meeting with the Police Commissioner

Update 16th November; See later post Response from Police Commissioner

Update 14th October; The wait goes on and to date there's been no news regarding the removal of the harassment warning. The Police Commissioner's office emailed yesterday with the following update;
"Further to your meeting with the Commissioner and recent communication with this office, I write to advise you that the Commissioner has received some updates on your case, however, awaits a final response from the Chief Constable directly.  We hope to be in a position to provide you with a full and substantive reply soon."


Just in case you thought I'd gone away for good I thought I'd better get back to the blog. The silly season is nearing its end and the wheels of democracy, Carmarthenshire style, will soon rumble back into action. Not that Caebrwyn has been sitting on her laurels, having made a few enquiries via the Freedom of Information Act, including this one currently languishing in the County Hall in-tray.

Before we eventually wander back into the world of budgets, spin, dodgy decisions and assorted extra-curricular activities I must mention, briefly, a meeting I had yesterday at Police HQ with the Dyfed Powys Police Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn.

To cut a long story short, after I contemplated, on social media, whether the current strains on the police budget might have been a little less painful without the chief executive wasting 18 months of their time and money, Mr Llywelyn offered me a meeting. As my concerns and questions were related directly to the police I had asked for the chief constable to be present. Unfortunately he was otherwise engaged.

However, it was a positive meeting and Mr Llywelyn appeared open and honest and seemed interested to hear my side of events from over the past 18 months, and asked many questions. He seemed genuinely surprised at some elements of the saga, a bit of an eye-opener perhaps. In fact he also turned out to be an occasional reader of blogs, giving Cneifiwr and Jac o'the North a name-check...

I decided to focus my concerns and complaints into a brief document, suspecting that, given the remit of the Commissioner, much of the content would have to be placed before the police themselves.

There were three specific complaints regarding the police action against me. First and foremost was for the Police Information Notice (harassment warning) be removed from the record immediately. This was nonsense when it was issued last year and became even more nonsensical, and completely devoid of legal force when the CPS dropped the case against me a few weeks ago. It remains an insidious threat though, which shouldn't be there.

I have also queried why the police decided to prosecute given the basis and nature of Mr James' complaints, eg me asking my MP for help when I was losing my home, an article from Private Eye, etc, (a great summary can be found over on Cneifiwr's blog). The CPS decision confirmed that the police were wrong and I want this looked at.

Then there is the Conflict of Interest matter. As we know the 'close working relationship' between Dyfed Powys police and Mr James was acknowledged in 2014, and Gloucestershire Police were hauled in to investigate Mr James rather than Dyfed Powys.
According to the police, with regards to their investigation of Mr James' complaints against me, there is no conflict of interest.
I have asked for an investigation into this mysterious and inexplicable leap of logic.

In addition to the complaints above, I have also asked the Commissioner, who has control and oversight of police resources, to support my request that the police investigate Mr James for wasting police time and I have also asked the police to investigate Mr James for misconduct in public office.

With regards to the latter, and despite being spoilt for choice, I am asking the police, following the additional information revealed at the county court hearing on the 23rd March this year, to re-investigate the matter of the Wales Audit report highlighted by Jonathan Edwards MP in 2014. And also the misuse of public resources to provide evidence for the police.

As for wasting police time, I have provided factual details as to why I do not believe Mr James' complaints were genuine or correctly motivated. I believe there was an abuse of the criminal justice system, and a 'close working relationship' with the police, to pursue criminal complaints which either lacked any evidence whatsoever or were essentially civil matters, and were known by him to be so. The CPS decision confirmed this.

I am not holding my breath but let's just hope that the police treat my complaints as seriously as they did for Mr James. I have the evidence so we'll wait and see. Mr Llywelyn has assured me that all this will be passed on to the relevant departments, including the chief constable and that I will be kept informed.

The meeting concluded with Mr Llywelyn asking me, with a smile, what I thought of the departing words of the previous Commissioner, Christopher Salmon in May 2016;

"Carmarthenshire County Council. Wales’ answer to a Sicilian cartel. It’s everywhere you look (thankfully only in Carmarthenshire – so far as I can tell). It extracts vast amounts of money from residents which it showers on favourites, hoards property, bullies opponents, co-opts friends and answers to no one, least of all local councillors."

I said he was spot on. Mr Llywelyn was non-committal....
Give him time...


Anonymous said...

Well well, chickens coming home to roost one hopes. Perhaps the dark lord will be getting his collar felt in due course.... We can only hope.

It is interesting that the commissioner is a lecturer in Criminology, so of all people should have a reasonable grasp of the law.
he has also worked with plod as a crime and intelligence analyst so should have more than a working knowledge of the processes and machinations of the force.

However, given the not so good press and image associated with the role this is a great opportunity to turn that around. I imagine he is privately relishing the opportunity to bring James to task and answer for his actions, majority of which, evidently, are solely for his own advantage.

Whilst he's at it, I hope there are some questions related to his 2nd job. I understand in these times of hardship people often have more than one job in order to keep the roof over their heads, but it seems James is confused over that too, having got the phrase inverted, i.e., needing multiple roofs (think Cardiff) to keep him in a lifestyle he believes he is entitled. If he considers the role of chief executive can be done part time then the council should apply that maxim and release him.

But I digress.

This is the opportunity for a double whammy for our police commissioner. He can be instrumental in reigning in [and hopefully removing] probably the most detested man in Carmarthenshire, who undoubtedly has no respect for those he SERVES, whilst improving and justifying the role of police commissioner.

I for one truly hope this process develops into a full investigation and the result is the removal of our little Napoleon. And BEFORE he manages to jump ship to his old buddy merry grovels new adventure in Delta Lakes.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Anon @ 13.58; I (and most of Carmarthenshire probably) concur with every word you have written. We can but hope.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting, Wait till you hear what we have been through.

Peter mash Morgan said...

The Police Commissioner is a bullshit job..created..

anyone with around 5oo+ pictures of the queen can apply..
And of course, no comission without the payback..
ZERO influence on policy et all..
as said, its a bullshit job..

Oh remember this ladies+gents+sheep+nervous??
There's a comissioner without powers.. (who u met)
vs an android..

Anonymous said...

A propos of absolutely nothing, if I remember correctly the rĂ´le of the most senior Local Authority employee used to be "Clerk to the Council". This, surely, is a much more apt description of what we expect of the incumbent rather than the ego-boosting job title "Chief Executive Officer". Of course, it doesn't sound so grand and important but it would be nice if it could be remembered that is precisely what the job is - clerk.

Anonymous said...

The Clerk to the Council is/was a completely different job to that of the one James has. One is for Parish Councils and the other County Councils.

You are mixing apples with pears.

Anonymous said...

Wrong, Anon @ 9.26 - many years ago (and, admittedly, it was many!) when I worked for Pembrokeshire CC, before Dyfed, the top man was the Clerk to the (County) Council.

Anonymous said...

The chief officer of the old (pre 1974) Carmarthenshire County Council (a far superior and much better organised and run council that the present CCC) did indeed carry the title of "County Secretary" This post was held by one Gwilym Peregrine, who performed his job quietly and with supreme efficiency. He could "knock spots " off any of the senior council officials now in office!

Keanjo said...

The Clerk to the Council or County Secretary was a fully qualified Lawyer who was accepted as being the 'senior among equals ' by the heads of departments- the Treasurer ,County Engineerand Surveyor. Planning Officer etc.,all of whom were responsible to the Council for their departments. By and large in my experience the County Secretary was highly respected by all.The modernisers, notably Maggie Thatcher ,thought the introduction of a Chief Executive would improve the efficiency of Councils but that was a bad misjudgement and Local Government has gone downhill ever since,culminating in the mess we are in now.