The complaint that started it all !
Following a number of ‘neighbour issues’ with the tenants of a privately rented property next door to us, I made a formal allegation of harassment against them to South Yorkshire Police. This isn’t a decision I took lightly but seemed the only option as the lettings agency repeatedly ignored concerns raised with them (something they regretted at the end of the tenancy).
I gave a 10 page statement to a PC from the SNT accompanied by CCTV evidence and previous incident numbers. The officer stated that the next step would be to obtain a statement from the tenants and then discuss with his management to decide what the next steps were. I’d already discussed the possible outcomes with his Sergeant the week before.
A few weeks passed, the PC sent me a few text messages saying investigations were ongoing then called me one day saying that he had not been able to make contact with the tenant but no further action would be taken. When quizzed on the unable to make contact comment, he backtracked saying it wasn’t related to this matter, that it was his Inspector who had told him no further action and that he had never said a statement would be obtained from the tenant and he turned very defensive. I contacted the Chief Inspector for the area expressing my concern at this sudden turn of events and asked that a meeting be setup to discuss this as I was puzzled. The CI called me to discuss on the phone but refused to meet with me.
A few days later I received a letter from the local Inspector regarding the matter. This letter made a number of false allegations about me and my family. Furious about this I lodged a formal complaint.
The complaint was assigned to Supt Andrew Parker. He called me asking if I would come down to the station for an informal chat with the Inspector and himself to go over the content of the letter. I agreed to this and attended a few days later as agreed armed to the teeth with documentary and photographic evidence to prove my case. The inspector and Superintendent arrived with nothing at all to support the Inspectors claims in the letter. This was clearly a fishing trip to see what I had against them.
Unknown to me at this time, Supt Parker changed the track from Local Resolution to Local Investigation so under legislation he should have stepped down at this point and handed the case back to PSD for reassignment but he didn’t.
The outcome of Supt Parkers investigation was that a number of the allegations made by the Inspector were indeed false. The Inspector penned a letter of correction but my complaint was not upheld.
The resulting investigation report penned by Supt Parker amazingly made further false allegations including one of theft of a football by myself !
At this stage I contacted DCI Diane Darbyshire, the appropriate authority, requesting full circumstances of these additional allegations against me as this was the first i’d heard of them. In 40+ years on this earth I have never been in trouble with the law and I was extremely concerned with these allegations.
DCI Darbyshire refused to provide me details of the allegations citing the Data Protection Act. I continued to request further details but DCI Darbyshire stood her ground and refused to provide the information and also refused a meeting to discuss my concerns.
I also submitted an appeal to the IPCC which was a bit of an eye opener :-
- IPCC failed to spot that the same Supt handled Local Resolution and Local Investigation.
- IPCC didn’t seem to have a clue if the original complaint was Upheld or not as they agreed with SYP that the complaint should not be upheld, but then in another sentence agreed with SYP that the complaint should be upheld
- IPCC failed to see that the appropriate authority had also missed that the Supt changed the complaint from Local Resolution to Local Investigation despite having overall responsibility for the complaint.
- IPCC failed to spot the various declarations made by Supt Parker under old legislation
After much communication and objections raised with the IPCC they eventually passed on four points of learning to SYP but they refused to uphold the appeal. To this day it is still unknown whether the IPCC believe that SYP upheld or did not uphold the complaint.
The IPCC did acknowledge that they could have handled the appeal better.