On the 20th December 2014, a letter was sent to CC Crompton expressing concern with the actions of DCC Holt in relation to this matter.
My letter was very detailed and raised 8 specific questions
- advise what you plan to do to prevent emails going astray within the senior command team referring to DCC Holts claim he never received the email, it was proven that he did
- advise why DCC Holt ignored IPCC advice / statutory guidance and imposed local resolution without prior discussion with myself he never contacted me to discuss any aspect of the complaint
- advise why the allegations I made did not fit the criteria for local investigation when force policy indicates they do force policy states ‘may lead to the instigation of criminal and/or disciplinary proceedings’
- advise whether DCC Holt saw documentary evidence or just took the accused officers word (in relation to seeking officers account of their actions) DCC Holt refused to tell me when asked
- advise why DCC Holt has not complied with force policy D50241 and failed to complete the correct documentation for local resolution an ADM/72 should be completed for ALL complaints according to force policy.
- advise why DCC Holt
– assigned somebody of lower rank to handle the appeal in direct breach of legislation regulation 30 / 33 of Police(Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2012
– assigned somebody to handle the appeal who has a direct reporting line into the officers the subject of the complaint regulation 30 / 33 of Police(Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2012
– assigned somebody to handle the appeal who has an indirect reporting line into the Head of PSD (who was also a subject of the complaint)
- advise why the appeal authority removed the Head of PSD from the original record of complaint, the IPCC say this should never happen I have documentary evidence from IPCC on this
- advise why the complaint was not re-opened as the appeal authority found that the original local resolution by DCC Holt failed to identify that the Head of PSD was not involved in the alleged misconduct 13.63 – 13.67 of IPCC Statutory guidance not taken into account on multiple counts
After weeks of chasing for a response, this eventually arrived on the 13th Feb 2015, a week after it was posted.
The letter refuses to answer the questions, again attempts to gloss over the conduct that wasthe subject of the original complaint that DCC Holt handled and then attempts to claim a disproportionate amount of time has been spent on my complaints! Then the final insult is where he has asked DCC Holt to meet with me!
The complaints he refers to, 8 of them, of which 4 were upheld and 4 were not upheld resulted in :-
- 3 apologies given by SYP
- 3 lots of management advice dished out
- 8 lessons learnt
- 9 recommendations
- 2 force policies amended
- SYP website being amended
- 2 referrals to the Information Commissioner upheld in my favour
How can all that be classed disproportionate?
I sent CC Crompton an email dated 4th March 2015 in response to his letter.
Chief Constable Crompton
South Yorkshire Police.
4th March 2015
Dear Mr Crompton
I am now in receipt of your letter dated 6th February 2015 and to say I am disappointed is an understatement.
It has taken you just short of 7 weeks to respond to my letter of 20th Dec 2014 that was effectively a complaint about DCC Holt, and then all you have done is refuse to address any of the points / questions raised in my letter. I’d like to address each section of your letter below.
1) Refusal to answer the points / questions I raised
All you have done here, as DCC Holt did, is to try and justify why there is no case to answer for the officers involved rather than address the reality of the matter. Referring to the sending of the RESTRICTED documents via email as being ‘simple human error’ shows that you are not taking the matter seriously. One person sending a document would be human error, seven instances exhibits a total disregard to policy / procedure by the very department whose job it is to address such matters!
FACT: Regardless of whether the documents that were sent were incorrectly classified or not is irrelevant in relation to the allegation, but does seriously question the application of document classification within SYP if it is to be believed that I was sent incorrectly classified documents on so many occasions by so many people.
FACT: The policy is clear that documents marked as RESTRICTED MUST NOT be sent to public email addresses.
FACT: There is EVIDENCE to support my allegation, you know, the stuff the police tell the public is required to prove something happened. Officers DID send documents marked RESTRICTED to my email address. That IS a BREACH of force policy.
If we apply the ‘balance of probabilities’ test, that I hear so often from SYP, to the FACTS and EVIDENCE available, it is clear that the complaint should have been upheld as there WAS a BREACH of policy.
2) You refer to the sheer volume of correspondence of mine over the last year or so and make reference to it being a sizable undertaking to ensure that you are kept fully informed to provide the responses I require.
FACT: I have only contacted you in relation to 4 matters over a period of 15 months.
It is my belief that on each occasion, you were the correct person for me to correspond with.
Nov 2013 – I contacted you indicating my intention to apply for judicial review in relation to a complaint outcome. CPR Pre Action Protocol states that a letter before action should be sent to the defendant before applying to the court. As Chief Constable, it makes sense that the LBA should be sent to you as head of SYP.
Jan 2014 – I had cause to complain about the behaviour of two PSD officers who attended my home address. As the Head of PSD had also been involved in the events leading up to and including the visit, I did not see any alternative contact point I could use to register this complaint to avoid any conflict of interest and ensure impartiality.
Mar 2014 – Following an ICO ruling that SYP had breached the DPA and a second case where I believed SYP had once again breached DPA, I contacted yourself as registered data controller to seek the forces compliance. As you are well aware, the ICO also ruled that SYP breached the DPA in the second case. To date SYP have only managed to partially comply and provide the documents I am entitled to.
Dec 2014 – The latest contact was to register concern in the way that the DCC Holt handled a complaint against members of the PSD team including the Head Of PSD. As you are effectively DCC Holts line manager this also makes sense that any such concerns should be communicated to yourself.
I welcome your feedback if you believe that I should have contacted someone else in relation to the above matters.
3) ‘Your complaints, while understandably important to you, take up a disproportionate amount of time for staff within the organisation to progress’
This is perhaps the most troubling comment in your letter for two reasons
– implies that time is being wasted looking into these complaints
– implies that the complaints are not important to SYP.
I have included a table at the end of this letter detailing each of the complaints I have raised with SYP along with their outcome. Where appropriate, I have also included reference to any IPCC appeals or ICO referrals.
As you will see, the vast majority of the complaints / appeals / referrals have resulted in apologies, management advice being given, lessons learned and policies being updated. This hardly seems disproportionate to me. This should be as important if not more so to SYP than to myself as it highlights areas for improvement that you should be ensuring are implemented!
4) Your proposal for me to meet face to face with DCC Holt.
Seriously, are you having a joke?
I raised serious concerns in my letter to you about DCC Holt and your answer after almost 7 weeks is for me to have a personal 1:1 meeting with him?
My letter to you of 20th Dec 2014 carried EVIDENCE that
– DCC Holt did not follow force policy in relation to the handling of complaints
– DCC Holt cherry picked which pieces of IPCC Statutory Guidance / bulletins to comply with and having total disregard to the rest
– DCC Holt assigned a person to handle an appeal who is of lower rank to the person who made the decision under appeal, this is a BREACH of legislation
– DCC Holt assigned a person who works under the persons the subject of the original complaint that is the subject of appeal, this is a BREACH of legislation
– Richard Goulding REMOVED Supt Mann from the original record of complaint as he found that Supt Mann didn’t send an email. The IPCC inform me this should not have happened.
– the appeal found that DCC Holt did not identify that Supt Mann did not send an email in breach of the policy which casts doubt over DCC Holts attention to the FACTS and EVIDENCE he considered.
|Dec 2012||CO<Redacted>||Insp sent letter making a number of false allegations||Insp issued verbal apology
Insp wrote retraction letter
Insp received management advice
|Mar 2013||IPCC||Subsequent appeal to IPCC in relation to <Redacted>||IO given management advice
SYP received 4 points of learning
|SAR pack not in compliance with DPA
Head of ICU refuted this.
Head of PSD refuted this and initially refused to record the complaint.
|Local Resolution resulting in an apology from SYP|
|Apr 2013||ICO <Redacted>||Refered SYP to the Information Commissioner for continued breach of DPA.||ICO upheld my complaint that SYP did breach the DPA|
|Apr 2013||CO<Redacted>||1) Not investigating matter reported to Inspector
2) False allegations made about me by Sgt to Insp
|Jun 2013||CO<Redacted>||Sgt making false allegation and derogatory comments.||Not Upheld|
|Jan 2014||CO<Redacted>||1) Two PSD DCI turning up at my home unannounced and refusing to leave when told it was inconvenient.
2) Call handlers
|1) Not upheld, One lesson learnt
2) Apology from SYP
|Mar 2014 &
|ICU<Redacted>||SAR pack#2 not in compliance with DPA||Head of ICU refuted this.
CC Crompton refuted this citing legal dept and national experts as in agreement with him.
|Mar 2014||ICO <Redacted>||Referred SYP to Information Commissioner for breach of DPA.||ICO upheld my complaint that SYP did breach the DPA.|
|Jun 2014||CO<Redacted>||USB memory stick returned from SYP riddled with virus / malware||Upheld
Three lessons learnt.
|Jul 2104||CO<Redacted>||6 Members of PSD breached force policy||Farcical handling of complaint by DCC Holt and appeal by Richard Goulding.|
|Dec 2014||No Ref||Letter to CC Crompton outling concerns and raising a number of questions in relation to CO<Redacted>|
|CO<Redacted>||SYP Website and published complaints procedure is out of date and does not reflect legislation that came into force Nov 2012||SYP website updated.
Force policy to be amended.