Letter from Ron Ball, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Sir,

It is a disappointment that the Home Secretary, in her speech to the Policy Exchange on 7th November, grossly misrepresented my position in respect of the recent developments in the Plebgate affair. She alleged, without naming me, that I rushed to the defence of my local police force after the IPCC cast doubt on the internal disciplinary investigation into the treatment of Andrew Mitchell MP. Nothing could be further from the truth, and it is a matter of regret that truth is a rare commodity in the Plebgate affair.

For the record, I have fully discharged my duty of holding the chief constable to account and have been briefed by him on developments over many months. I believe that the three officers who became involved with Mr Mitchell at his constituency office were ill advised to engage in a political campaign and I have been very clear and consistent about this. I believe the officers should have apologised to Mr Mitchell for the hurt their actions caused.

I believe the IPCC should have managed the investigation into the conduct of these officers.

Had they done so and not evaded their duty in such a high profile case we would not be where we are now. The officers now face a further investigation, the legality of which I am deeply concerned about.

I have been consistent in arguing that the officers should be subject to due process and dealt with in a fair and transparent manner. Instead they have been subjected to trial by media and in the eyes of many have already been judged to be guilty.

If the Home Secretary believes in fair play and due process and the need to be vigilant in preserving the rights of all to be properly dealt with then I believe she should apologise for her intemperate, inaccurate and sound bite criticism of me and stand alongside me in striving to ensure fairness for all.

Yours sincerely

Ron Ball

Police and Crime Commissioner

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