UKIP councillors have demanded the suspension of Hampshire’s Chief Constable, Andy Marsh It comes in the wake of a probe by the Essex force, Operation Oregon, into claims that he ordered a whitewash over the failure of police investigations into sex abuse allegations at Stanbridge Earls School near Romsey.
Mr Marsh is facing nine complaints, including that he leaked details of alleged victims and gave ‘instructions’ to officers that were designed to ‘mislead’ parents of alleged victims.
Now UKIP’s deputy leader at Hampshire County Council, Tony Hooke, has written to Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Hayes demanding action.
His letters states: “I am deeply concerned that the Chief Constable, Andy Marsh, has not yet been suspended from duty. I consider this to be a serious error of judgement on your behalf.
“Consequently, if Chief Constable Marsh is not suspended by you in the next 48 hours, I will have no alternative but to raise the issue with the Home Secretary and ask her to intervene.”
Sam Gibson, head of communications at the office of the PCC for Hampshire, said: “We have assured the people that delivered the letter that they will receive a response from us within 48 hours, but we do not wish to add anything further at this stage.”
Mr Hooke is to host a public meeting to discuss “Confidence in the Leadership of Hampshire Constabulary” next Tuesday (May 6) The “Open Compass” meeting will be held in the Mitchell Conference Room at Hampshire County Council office, between 7pm and 8.30pm Mr Hooke called the meeting after the crime commissioner announced that he was postponing his Compass Meeting entitled “Confidence in the Police” with the Chief Constable until the conclusion of Operation Oregon and Operation Flamborough, the investigation into Hampshire police’s handling of abuse claims at Stanbridge Earls School.
“We are going to hold our own meeting next week where members of the public can raise their concerns about Hampshire Police and ask, in public, the questions they have not be able to ask at Compass meetings,” he said.
“At this moment, I can state quite categorically that myself and numerous members of the public that have contacted me about this issue have lost faith in the leadership of Hampshire Police.”
Mr Hook said people wishing to attend the meeting or ask questions should email: ThePublicInterestUK&gmail.com.