Police chief rejects call for Stanbridge public inquiry

First published in Romsey

HAMPSHIRE’S top police officer has rejected calls for a public inquiry into a school hit by sex abuse claims.

Andy Marsh, Chief Constable of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – he was cleared of any wrongdoing surrounding police inquiries into Stanbridge Earls – said there was no need for such an inquiry, as it was clear what lessons needed to be learned.

He was speaking at a public meeting with Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Hayes, during which he was questioned on confidence in the force.

Several questions were fired at him regarding the allegations surrounding the school near Romsey, which was closed last year. He he was asked if such an inquiry was needed to ensure that lessons were learned.

Mr Marsh said: “I have to say my understanding of it is that the lessons are laid bare.”

As previously reported, Mr Marsh was under investigation by Essex Constabulary on behalf of Mr Hayes, amid breach of confidentiality and contempt of court claims.

But last month, the senior investigating officer notified Mr Hayes that there were no grounds to justify the serving of misconduct notices upon the chief constable.

And this week, Mr Marsh received a letter from Essex Police, confirming that they found no evidence of wrongdoing and stated that he had “conducted himself entirely properly”.

Mr Marsh said that he welcomed the outcome of the investigation, and thanked everybody for their support over the recent months.

He added: “Effective policing requires high public confidence across our communities.

“This trust helps police to protect vulnerable people and to create a hostile environment for the most serious criminals.”

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