I would like to respond to your article in relation to my recent dismissal. Let me start by offering my most sincere apologies to those who I may have offended, the community of Northamptonshire for letting them down and the officers and staff at Northamptonshire Police.
I do, however, most certainly object to being described as ‘lewd’.
I did not upload any images maliciously onto a social networking site, the image was of a private and personal nature intended to be sent as an MMS to my partner. As soon as I found out about this image I took all reasonable and appropriate measures you would expect, removing the image, apologising and removing myself from that site.
I do not feel I brought Northamptonshire Police into disrepute, indeed many of my colleagues and friends lambasted me tirelessly for my error. I am not proud of this mistake, but it was an honest mistake nonetheless. To err is human, to forgive devine.
Northants Police profesional standards department then undertook what can only be described as a disproportionate investigation into my every move, every phone call, every email and finally found two members of staff who said that I had made comments to them that were of a jovial but personal nature. The members of staff concerned were either not offended or thought my comments a ‘bit off’, especially as I did not know them well.
At all times I have respected the race and diversity of all members of staff under my command and I have testimonials from senior and junior ranking officers supporting my inclusive and nurturing leadership style.
As for the email traffic, these have been taken completly out of context and only someone with a crude mind would consider them offensive. Nonetheless the panel of my hearing did not see the matter this way.
Although I understand the panel’s decision, I consider this wholly disproportionate to the matters that I was held to account for.
I have at no time been suspended and was actively engaged in policing right up to my dismissal. I have 25 years of excellent service and put in place a number of innovative community schemes in Northampton that benefit those who may be disadvantaged or at risk of harm.
I was responsible for a 70 per cent reduction in serious acquistive crime and a five per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour.
I have forged excellent community links with some wonderful hard-working people in the east of Northampton and I have had the support of many of the rank and file of Northants Police.
Modern policing is a difficult, often dangerous vocation that takes great skill and courage to complete, with sometimes little praise or recognition. It was a job I loved and held up the values of the service despite the inference of the panel to the contrary.
Formerly of Northamptonshire Police
Stand by principles in both councils
Two council debates about low paid staff and the Living Wage, and two completely different positions from the Labour party. First, a motion from the Lib Dems at County Hall calling for staff earning under the Living Wage to be spared from pay cuts. Unsurprisingly the Tories didn’t even want to discuss it, trying to shut down the debate.
Worse was Labour’s refusal to back Lib Dem calls to protect 1,373 low paid staff! Labour’s actions in sitting on their hands shows how far they have come from the party of the working poor. I suppose I should not be too surprised – after all the gap between the rich and poor grew massively in their 13 years of Government, they insulted pensioners with a measly 75p pension rise and they doubled tax on the lowest paid by abolishing the 10p rate.
Yet I still held out hope that Labour would behave responsibly and ditch their usual approach in the council of the last two years, which has been to single out the fellow opposition councillors in the Liberal Democrats, rather than to hold the ruling Conservatives to account. Clearly their ideological hatred of the Liberal Democrats is of greater importance to them than protecting 1,373 hard-working, low-paid people from pay cuts.
A few days later the Labour party changed their minds and voted for a motion at Northampton Borough Council backing the Living Wage. Hypocrisy of the highest order from a party who continually try to pretend their 13 years of Government never happened.
Labour have failed in their duty as an opposition party in Northamptonshire and yet again let the Conservatives off the hook. One can only wonder if this is a precursor to a cosy Labour/Tory coalition at County Hall after the next elections.
Cllr Brendan Glynane
Leader of the Opposition Lib Dem, Delapre Division Northamptonshire County Council
One solution to improving town centre
With regard to improving the look of Abington Street, one simple exercise would be to repair the clock on the Nationwide building at the cross-over point from York Road.
It has not worked for ages and is in direct eye-line when you enter the town centre.
Christian faith is under attack
The sudden rush by the current administration to force gay marriage on to the statute book should be seen as a smoke screen to deflect from the national financial crisis, but nevertheless represents the biggest change to our law and our culture in centuries. Something has to be wrong with it when Boris Johnson supports it.
The sacrament of marriage makes it clear during the ceremony that this is a union between a man and a woman. Are we then going to change a sacrament that has stood for hundreds of years?
This will have far-reaching effects that I believe the Government have not thought through. Financially, legally and in the workplace.
Wait until one female partner asks her employer for paternity leave and is refused.
We live in perilous times. Government seems determined to break down society at a rate that is unprecedented. The Christian faith is under attack and we need to defend our culture against those who seek to destroy it.
Julian Way Kingsthorpe
Remember how you were elected
On the BBC R4 “Today” proggramme (Dec 8, 2012) a police commissioner was being interviewed and asked to justify the way that many commissioners were appointing their cronies to newly-created jobs.
I then heard that the interviewee was Adam Simmonds.
Mr Simmonds was asked about his own appointment. He rather boasted that his vote was 55 per cent with a turnout of about 20 per cent.
He somehow forgot to mention that this was only because a strong contender was disqualified, leaving Mr Simmonds with limited opposition.
With integrity and honesty like this at its head, the future of Northants Police looks bright.
Lovers Walk Dunstable
Why the EU is important to the public
I keep on getting told by quite a lot of people, including some newspaper editors, that the EU is not exactly top of the list in peoples’ interests. They are more interested in everyday things like the cost of living, local crimes rates and, for too many, where the next job is coming from.
Well, since we are in the EU our economy is affected by what happens across Europe. As we are not in the Euro, this impact is delayed, but nevertheless, things like unemployment rates elsewhere do have an impact.
Under the EU Policy of Freedom of Movement, unemployed people will tend to move to countries where employment prospects are better. Even the three parties representing us at Westminster are now becoming alarmed at the prospect of increasing immigration. Within the last month, David Cameron stated that he was going to stop masses of unemployed Greek people coming here for work.
The latest unemployment figures for the EU tell the story. The UK unemployment rate for October was 7.8 per cent and it has stayed around that figure for the last year or so. That is below the EU average of 10.7 per cent and lower still than the rate for the 17 countries in the Euro, 11.7 per cent.
At the bottom Greek unemployment is at 25.4 per cent, Spanish unemployment is at 26.2 per cent, while youth unemployment in these two countries is nearly 50 per cent.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out what kind of flow of workers there could be and in what direction.
Without doubt this will have an increasing impact in the UK and even this Government is getting worried. Only recently on the BBC, a Conservative MP said that they were working to get immigration down from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands.
Of course, if UKIP said that we would be branded racist.
Now are you interested in ‘Europe’?
Derek Clark MEP
East Midlands MEP and UKIP Spokesman for Employment
Stamps can help guide dogs appeal
I am asking people to save their Christmas stamps and donate any unwanted Christmas presents to help raise money for the Guide Dogs for the Blind charity.
As many of you have sent me hundreds of stamps/postcards already, I still ask everyone to send in stamps from their Christmas cards to support such a very good cause. Unwanted presents can also be sent in to be used towards raising money through raffles and tombolas and anyone receiving a new mobile phone for Christmas can send in their old one to help the cause as well. Money can now even be raised from foreign coins or any old coins.
All items can be sent to David Staples, 14 Kingsnorth Road, Twydall, Gillingham, Kent ME8 6QY
Why does the PCC need 17 staff?
Just how many people does Adam Simmons, our newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner, need? First it was 10, now it has grown to 17. What in particular is an “Officer for Northamptonshire Resilience” meant to do and as for all the support staff he and the other officers he intends creating will presumably need, I suppose it is the poor taxpayer who will foot the bill in the long run. As for his claims that the new commission will be transformational and mean less meetings and bureaucracy, I must be missing something. I see that the draft consultation is appropriately called”Beginnings”. Heaven knows where it will end. We were told that these new PCCs would deliver change and be more transparent and open. All I see is a empire building exercise.
NHS needs protecting from change
The NHS is under enough pressure and needs to be protected from going private.
British Railways is proof of that and has been in chaos ever since. Petitions have been signed all over the county that prove that we the public do not want the NHS to go private. 38Degrees has also helped to bring this to the public’s attention.We need the NHS to be there for all of us.
Kettering Road, Northampton