SIR: I write, as the Labour and Cooperative candidate for our police and crime commissioner, in response to Michael Campbell MBE’s letter (Chronicle, January 21).

I did indeed share his disgust at the reports of the behaviour of a group of dismissed Hampshire Police officers. I unreservedly support the chief constable in pursuing this action. As the hearings occurred over several days and involved barristers on both sides, this represented a significant investment in time and financial resources. It was clearly seen as an important priority. I am greatly re-assured by that.

I have had experience working with the police for over 40 years. I do not think that these attitudes are as widespread as they once were. But this case shows that they remain too prevalent, and can continue out of sight. There is a continued need for vigilance and we must ensure that all processes governing recruitment, training, appraisal, promotion, and audit are as robust as they can be and ensure one can be in any doubt that behaviour of this sort will be decisively confronted. The current recruitment being undertaken also provides a significant opportunity to ensure the workforce more closely resembles the communities it serves. This will not solve these problems but it is part of the answer.

As a manager and inspector of health, social care, and the criminal justice system, I put the highest importance on these issues, often taking a lead amongst other managers. I sought to embed a true culture of anti-discrimination, equality, and decency into all parts of services I managed. I give an absolute assurance that I will continue this if elected as your police and crime commissioner. It will remain an absolute priority and part of my Police and Crime Plan.

I do disagree with one aspect of Mr Campbell’s letter. I believe this chief constable has shown that she will NOT need her ‘feet putting to the fire’. She has shown that tackling this behaviour is a priority and I would be pleased to give my support as the police and crime commissioner.

Tony Bunday,

Labour and Co-operative Party candidate for the Hampshire and IoW police and crime commissioner