I am surprised and disappointed at the comments made today by Home Secretary Theresa May inferring that I ‘rushed to defend the local force’ and failed to hold the Chief Constable to account.
I have always had a great deal of respect for Theresa May and I am dismayed that she has made these comments, which are clearly directed at the West Midlands region, without contacting me first. If my previous statements had been read, or comments listened to, I don’t believe the Home Secretary would have made such remarks.
Throughout the ‘plebgate’ issue I have condemned the actions of the officers concerned, while calling for fair and due process, and would expect the Home Secretary to support me in this.
To my knowledge I am one of a few Police and Crime Commissioners in the country to hold an open public bi-monthly forum at which I hold Warwickshire’s Chief Constable to account.
I have already announced there will be a public meeting in the near future in Warwickshire for the public to question both me and the Chief Constable on the whole ‘plebgate’ issue.
I have written to the Chief Constable requiring him to provide me with a detailed report concerning this issue, which will be published ahead of the planned public meeting.
This clearly demonstrates that I do in fact hold the Chief Constable to account and now that I have clarified my position I would ask the Home Secretary to apologise.
To see Theresa May’s speech in full see here