Author Topic: Police Resignation  (Read 730 times)

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admin

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Police Resignation
« on: September 08, 2020, 02: PM »
From the Daily Telegraph 8.9.20

"The head of a police force branded the worst in Britain has quit after being accused of using staff to dig dirt on a political rival and deleting private Whatsapp messages in potential breach of freedom of information laws.

Barry Coppinger, Cleveland’s police and crime commissioner (PCC), announced on Tuesday he was stepping down with immediate effect after it emerged that he was facing an investigation by police watchdogs into “alleged unlawful and/or improper behaviour” over his use of data.

His resignation comes less than a year after the force - which has had five chief constables in six years - was rated inadequate in all areas in a damning report by HM’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

The report by HM Inspector of Constabulary Phil Gormley found it was failing in its efforts to prevent crime, arrest suspects and protect the vulnerable.

In his resignation letter, Mr Coppinger said he did not want to distract from the work being done to turn round the force after the “damning” report.

“That's what the focus must be on, but that would not be the case if I remained in post whilst the situation regarding the whatsapp messages was looked into.  That, along with my health concerns, has made me decide to stand down with immediate effect,” he wrote.

Mr Coppinger denied the inappropriate deletion of WhatsApp messages and claimed the allegations of digging dirt on a rival were misconstrued and not political.

He had been accused by Steve Turner, his rival Conservative PCC candidate, of using taxpayer-funded staff for a politically motivated investigation designed to find information that they might be able to “exploit” against him.

The claims were revealed in texts obtained by his rival using freedom of information laws. In one a staff member claims someone "may be able to exploit" the Tory candidate's criticism of a scheme which saw heroin users given free drugs in a bid to cut crime, a policy backed by the PCC.

In the messages, Mr Coppinger asked the staff member, "did you manage to find anything on Turner?" to which he replies: "I haven’t so far, also got [REDACTED] on the job. [REDACTED] may be able to exploit this – he backs a scheme that saves lives and saves the public from crime and costs. Turner wants to scrap it."

Mr Coppinger, the Labour PCC, claimed the conversation was not political and said his rival Steve Turner had "misunderstood the context.”

Last Thursday, his chief constable Richard Lewis wrote to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) raising concerns of “alleged unlawful and/or improper behaviour contrary to the Data Protection Act 2018 and/or the Freedom of Information Act 2000” by Mr Coppinger.

It is understood to relate to a private Whatsapp messaging group where Mr Coppinger requested Mr Lewis and other members of it should, like him, delete messages every week despite Freedom of Information requests seeking for them to be revealed.

In his resignation letter, Mr Coppinger defended his actions: “I do use whats app on my personal mobile phone and I have cleared messages on a regular basis, not with any intention to conceal anything, but simply due to storage capacity limits.

“Recent focus on this area has led me to consider whether that was the right approach and it is right and proper that the appropriate independent authorities now consider this.

“To be clear, the deleted messages were of a mundane, logistical nature and did not, to my recollection, include anything significant to the work of the Force or Office of Police and Crime Commissioner. Communication of that nature would only be made through secure emails on Force devices. That communication is retained and can be accessed for scrutiny if appropriate.”

 ​An IOPC spokesperson said: “We have received a referral from the Cleveland Police and Crime Panel regarding a complaint made against the Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner and will make a decision on the level of our involvement in due course. We have also received correspondence from the Chief Constable of Cleveland Police concerning his own actions in relation to this matter which we are also considering.”

 

 



diSme

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Re: Police Resignation
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2020, 07: PM »
Aw poor baz....  :'(
I believe everything and nothing

kevplumb

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Re: Police Resignation
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2020, 07: PM »
about the bleedin expensive ornament went
only question is did he jump or was he pushed
if the latter there is a que a mile long in waiting  ;D ;D ;D ;D
A councillor is an elected representative of their ward, not their political party!
 Councils need communities but communities don't need councils
Party politics have no place in local goverment

Inspector Knacker

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Re: Police Resignation
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2020, 09: AM »
Funny one this. A Chief Constable nearly every year of his tenure should have set the alarm bells ringing a long time ago surely?
What purpose this role serves is beyond me. Anybody with no experience whatsoever of policing could be put into this role. It’s a bit like putting someone who’s never seen an aeroplane in charge of air safety....?

akarjl2

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Re: Police Resignation
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2020, 05: PM »
It’s a bit like putting someone who’s never seen an aeroplane in charge of air safety....?

Or electing an MP with outstanding allegations against him who doesn't live in the town or have any interest in the town......go figure eh?
....bong-eyed pro ALM fruitcake

Inspector Knacker

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Re: Police Resignation
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2020, 07: PM »
It’s a bit like putting someone who’s never seen an aeroplane in charge of air safety....?

Or electing an MP with outstanding allegations against him who doesn't live in the town or have any interest in the town......go figure eh?
A glowing tribute to the embalmers art.

Does the ‘MP’ stand for...Missing presumed.......?

kevplumb

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Re: Police Resignation
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2020, 02: PM »
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
A councillor is an elected representative of their ward, not their political party!
 Councils need communities but communities don't need councils
Party politics have no place in local goverment