Posted by: westlancashirerecord | October 4, 2018

More Political Waste Of Scarce Police Resources

Here in West Lancashire residents pay £177.45 for Band D properties, up by 7.25% year on year for Lancashire Police Authority funding, that we hope will be used to fight real crime. So it comes with a sense of complete disgust that some elected members of local authorities call for police intervention at the drop of a hat for what are blatantly civil disputes among political parties.

It’s reported that at South Ribble  councillors have been warned over an f-word police call. All 49 members of a council have been reminded of the “unprecedented” demands on officers after police were called over use of the f-word at a meeting. Tory councillor Paul Wharton  complained to police after Labour’s Ken Jones  swore at him during a South Ribble licensing committee meeting last month.

Lancashire Police has since written to all councillors reminding them to use internal complaints procedures instead. Mr Jones called it a “waste of police time”. Mr Wharton has yet to comment. The letter from Chief Insp Crowe was distributed among the council’s membership by its monitoring officer David Whelan.

It said both men were spoken to by officers and a full crime report submitted after the complaint on 12 September but that no further action was taken.

It added “At a time of austerity where demand on the police is at unprecedented levels…we would ask professional bodies including those made up of elected officials to consider use of internal standards regimes first in matters which relate to standards of professional behaviour”.

Mr Jones said he had apologised to the committee chairman for his actions at the meeting, adding “That should have been the end of it. The letter said what everyone else was thinking.”

Cllr David Howarth  who leads the council’s Liberal Democrat group, was not at the meeting but described the complaint as “petty and childish”. “If we all called police every time somebody swore, nothing would ever get done,” he said. “Members of the public who had been told that police unable to respond to reports of anti-social behaviour or theft would be particularly angry” he added.

Too damned right, and the proper course of action now is for the Lancashire Police to send a bill for the full costs of this pathetic and childish episode to the Ribble Conservative Association. 

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