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Statement from Sgt "A"

This is a follow up to my previous post concerning the previous employment tribunal hearing

The following extract is from a witness statement of a police sergeant who gave evidence for me at the employment tribunal.

Police forces are supposed to learn from employment tribunal cases and take action when issues have been raised during tribunal proceedings mainly, to prevent a similar situation taking place again.

Gary Self - Barrister at Pump Court Chambers

Mr Self accepted the statement and chose not to cross examine the witness. There are important issues raised within the officers statement and to date they do not appear to have been addressed so I think it is in the public interest to raise them again and ask what has been done.

If an organisation has been mentioned, I will bring this post to their attention either for information or to consider looking at procedures to prevent a similar situation taking place in the future.

The hearing was held in public and details of the Sgt are contained within the Judgment.

Content of Sgt 'A's Statement

"I am a former Police Sergeant and have served in both West Midlands Police and Hampshire Constabulary where I was an equal opportunites trainer and a Police Federation Representative."

"I was asked to act as a “Police Federation Friend” to Detective Sergeant Panayiotou. No other Federation Representative wished to become involved and I believe that this was due to one of the main characters involved Glen Cairns who was a serial bully."

"There was a culture of racism and sexism in the force, the incidents DS Panayiotou was raising took place on the Isle of Wight where I had previously been posted. I was disappointed because there had been a high profile employment case previously relating to the Island and a specially commissioned report known as the “Ashton Report” appeared to have been ignored which may have prevented Mr Panayiotou’s case coming to the Tribunal."

"Around that time I reported a highly sexist chain e mail which was being circulated including by supervisers." [Documentary exhibit provided]

"DS Panayiotou highlighted a number of incidents which related to racism and sexism which I was concerned with and I attended the Isle of Wight to view inappropriate postcards and posters in the Station Sergeant’s Office."

"One of Julian’s concerns was that he was being bullied and intimidated by Sergeant Cairn’s and that his Inspector was failing to take any action and that the Superintendent in charge of the Borough Command Unit was acquiescing in what was going on including the deliberate under recording of crime."

Insp Glenn Cairns Former DI Dave Stewart Paul Kernaghan

"In addition; the Detective Inspector on the Island was acquiescing in major crime not being investigated, failing to challenge racism and he believed perverting the course of justice in compromising a paedophile investigation."

"I was aware of Sgt Cairn’s for a number of reasons including his refusal to attend equal opportunities training. He was also an intimidating figure and I recall his demeanour on the Public Order Unit where he would where an unapproved Bowie knife on his belt. "

"I believed that the matters were so serious that DS Panayiotou should report them to the head of the Professional Standards department “PSD” at headquarters. An appointment was arranged and I was unable to attend on that day so Nikhil Shah a Harassment Contact Officer “HCO” attended in my place."

"Following DS Panayiotou’s meeting with Chief Superintendent Whiting he was asked to submit a report which he did [Documentary exhibit provided]. In the conclusion section of his report he requested that another force investigate his allegations as a superintendent and a Detective Chief Inspector were mentioned in his report and were presently working for PSD."

"I was informed that Deputy Chief Constable Readhead who was in overall charge of PSD would deal with DS Panayiotiou’s report and that there would be an investigation."

"I became concerned that PSD were not taking the matters seriously and that the manner the investigation was being conducted was being deliberately fudged to prevent any of the officers named being disciplined."

"As an example I sent an e mail [Documentary exhibit provided] to Ch Insp Parsons who had been appointed as an investigating officer to establish if he had seized the postcards and other inappropriate material."

"He failed to seize the postcards and other inappropriate material and left them there saying he had no cause to seize them as they were not part of his enquiry. This effectively protected Superintendent Dawson who was in the same office everyday and failed to ensure the inappropriate material was removed."

"I also raised my concerns at the time with the force Equal Opportunities Adviser Kathy Bowden-Ellis [Documentary exhibit provided]. There was also an offensive rubber stamp used by Sgt Cairns which had now disappeared and I suspect that this was because there had been a leak from PSD regarding this matter however; it was subsequently confirmed by other Sergeants that the stamp had been in existence."

"The manner PSD were investigating DS Panayiotou’s complaints appeared designed to expose him as a whistleblower and cause him more difficulty. He was now off sick and still being intimidated by Sgt Cairns who I believe should have suspended."

"An example of this concerned a ‘SWOT’ analysis at a training day on the Isle of Wight where an officer had converted the W in to a pair of breast to indicate that women were a weakness in the force. The trainer at the time Sgt Gary May challenged this but was shouted down by the audience."

"Chief Inspector Parsons rather than personally interviewing everyone on the training day sent an e mail to everyone and excluded DS Panayiotou’s name indicating he was the whistleblower."

"Officers remembered the incident but could not recall which officer did it including Sgt May and this was not plausible considering the relatively small number of officers that attended the training day. Ch Insp Parsons failed to identify the offender and no learning took place."

"Sgt Cairns had been sent to the Isle of Wight as a punishment for serious sexual assault/harassment matters on female members of staff and had been demoted from Inspector. He had been subject to various complaints whilst posted at Newport Police Station and he appeared to be protected at the highest levels by DCC Readhead."

"I informed DS Panayiotou of the HMIC Integrity report and gave him a copy of the executive summary advising him of an option to report matters to the HMIC which he did."

"DS Panayiotou wrote to the HMIC and requested that another police force investigate his complaints as he had no confidence in Hampshire PSD investigating his complaints fairly. I think by this stage DS Panayiotou had informed Ch Supt Stevens; the new head of PSD of his concerns regarding the actions of his staff in this matter."

"I was now being victimised for supporting Julian by Sgt Cairns and PSD who I had challenged. I was becoming ill and could no longer support Julian and he was left without any police Federation support as Hampshire Police Federation could not find a Representative who was willing to become involved having seen what was happening to Julian and I."

"Julian was unrepresented I became aware of an incident where DCC Readhead threatened Julian when he was off sick at his home address on the Isle of Wight when he had refused to let him in. DCC Readhead had attended with the head of PSD Ch Supt Stevens and Inspector Scipio."

"DCC Readhead had changed the gaol posts after Julian had agreed to them attending and at the last minute Inspector Scipio phoned Julian and informed him that DCC Readhead would no longer allow him to have a witness present which had previously been agreed."

"I know the incident affected him greatly and fortunately he had a witness at his house who heard DCC Readhead’s threats. As a result of this incident Julian had to attend his GP who wrote to the force and he also requested Amanda Hinckley from Occupational health to fund further sessions with a clinical Psychologist."

"I have seen a letter from DCC Readhead to DS Panayiotou dated 24 April 2002. [Documentary exhibit provided]. I consider it a bullying letter and not factual in relation to the reason he gave for attending DS Panayiotou’s home address. I spoke with Inspector Scipio regarding this matter and was informed that DCC Readhead wanted to kill two birds with one stone and was on the Island that day in relation to a shotgun licence application."

"He wanted to get DS Panayiotou to drop his employment tribunal claim and was going to take him to Newport police station to apparently arrange a confrontation with Sgt Cairns to resolve their differences; due to Julian’s medical condition this would have caused serious harm and Julian would have been likely to flip out."

"Because DS Panyiotou refused, DCC Readhead ordered him to attend Newport Police Station for an interview anyway where Sgt Cairns would be. DS Panayiotou refused and then in the letter of the 24th of April 2002 again orders DS Panayiotou to attend for interview and this time to force headquarters and that he would not be allowed to bring a solicitor."

"Julian and I became co-applicants in the employment tribunal case and it was clear that the force were gunning for us and appeared to be using Sgt Cairns to cause as mayhem and damage as possible and turning officers against us."

"A Police Federation representative was sought from another police force and Hampshire Police Federation arranged for Sgt Ahmed Ramiz to support both of us. A meeting was arranged at the Ship hotel in Chichester for the purposes of trying to resolve issues; Julian attended although ill and was effectively ambushed where DCC Readhead had again changed the goal posts at the last minute."

"An agenda had not been arranged despite several requests and Julian’s GP suggesting that this should be done, an independent person was not provide as promised and at the last minute Julian had to arrange for a former colleague from the Greek Police Association in London to attend with him."

"There were persons at the meeting who Julian had specifically requested he did not want there including Inspector Scipio and Ch Insp Clarke from the Isle of Wight."

"Julian although himself ill was also concerned for me as I was now under investigation as a result of the actions of Sgt Cairns. I find it difficult to talk about what happened to me and have been informed that the matter is dealt with in a statement from Jeremy Wheeler."

Former DCC Ian Readhead

"Julian agreed to DCC Readhead’s proposal that all matters would be dropped against myself and Julian if he dropped the employment tribunal case."

"When Julian found out that DCC Readhead had gone back on his agreement and that they were continuing with a discipline investigation against me Julian wrote to DCC Readhead [Documentary exhibit atached] effectively confirming that the deal was off and that he would be continuing with the employment tribunal claim."

"Both Julian and I dispensed with Ahmed Ramiz. A colleague of Julian’s from the Metropolitan Police, Neil Humphries was a Federation Representative and offered to support both of us until I obtained my own Representative DCI McGinley from South Yorkshire police."

"I believe in an attempt to give the employment tribunal the appearance that DCC Readhead was acting properly in the way he had been dealing with Julian’s disclosures he contacted West Midlands Police to arrange for someone to quality assure his handling of the case."

"For whatever reason the persons who were going to come down were replaced fortunately by DCI Linda Boyle from their PSD who had honesty and integrity."

"Neil Humphries arranged for us to meet with DCI Boyle at New Scotland Yard and both Julian and I made disclosures which she recorded and submitted a letter to the head of Hampshire PSD on 2 September 2002 [Documentary exhibit attached] which summarised our disclosures."

"I subsequently learned that DCI Boyle was to be called back in 6 months to review progress regarding our disclosures however she was not called back and DCC Readhead apparently called her bosses stating she had gone beyond her remit."

"As far as I am aware DCC Readhead never dealt with the disclosures forwarded by DCI Boyle."

"In my disclosures I informed DCI Boyle that Maureen Adamson who was the Director of Personnel and others lied at the Employment Tribunal of Lesley Evans which was held at Southampton Employment Tribunal."

"I was a witness for the Respondent in that case and Maureen Adamson verbally abused and swore at me. She was so rude that she felt it necessary to ring me at home in the evening to apologise, the apology was not sincere and I felt she was concerned that I may change camp and support the Claimant."

"I know that other witnesses were threatened by Mrs Adamson for example a Detective Inspector who was told that if he told the truth his extra marital affair would be disclosed to his wife. Almost all of the witnesses lied in that ET."

"I was also involved in another employment tribunal case of Nympha Sinawi (now Bolt) and I was disturbed at the way witnesses were handled by the Constabulary particularly coaching of witnesses and pre hearing briefings held by Graham love in the Netley public order classroom."

"Further examples of the culture of senior members of the force include DCC Readhead and Maureen Adamson failing to challenge at a Federation Conference at Winchester the Chair of the Federation saying “you will be pleased to know that you haven’t got to sit through a boring equal opportunities video”.

"Also present were members from Hampshire Police Authority. I copied an e mail to Julian and DS Humphries that I had sent to Jeremy Wheeler on 16 august 2002 [Documentary exhibit supplied] as I needed help. I informed him that I was now certificated sick with stress and anxiety worrying because Superintendent Godden had threatened me with losing my rank or job if I insisted on seeing this matter to the bitter end. I informed him that I had enough of institutional bullying."

"I was aware that Julian and his wife had worked hard to progress community relations on the Isle of Wight and was saddened that he decided to resign from the Racist incident support committee which he attributed to victimisation by DCC Readhead who believed his membership of the Integration In Our Island Network was not compatible with him being a police officer when he allowed another officer to remain a member of the group."

" Julian was a ‘can do’ person and problem solver. He was so popular that even when he left the island and was transferred to Shirley Police Station that he was being contacted for advice and assistance and Julian would arrange for local officers to deal with the problem."

"Our employment tribunal was settled in 2004 but this did not resolve issues. We were effectively pushed into settling at a very late with federation Funding being withdrawn and I did not sign a confidentiality agreement not to discuss the case."

"I was ill and could not go on if we had to represent ourselves. I already had to sell my home due to having had my pay cut by the force whilst waiting for the case to be heard."

"During this case I was suicidal and also self harmed as a result of the frustration and injustice I was experiencing."

"I had begun drinking as a result of the situation and I was arrested near my home and banned from driving. I was required to resign although home office guidance allowed the force to keep me as there were no aggravating factors and the reading was low."

"At the same time a Detective Constable over the limit was caught driving at 107 miles per hour and kept his job in Hampshire."

"I make no excuses but mention this as an example of the differential treatment which I believe was related to my having been a Claimant in the employment tribunal matter. I left the force on a half pension and the whole experience severely affected me and my family and made me ill."

"We both felt let down by the Federation appointed solicitors because despite the length of time the case had gone on for which was 3 years, nothing had been resolved, no apologies were given and the disclosures we made were not dealt with by DCC Readhead."

"In relation to business interests, Julian was always upfront and I was surprised with the level of integrity he showed by keeping the force informed of changes in his wife’s business and developments when many others did not even register their business interests."

"I can give an example of a pyramid scheme operating on the Isle of Wight which was unethical and involved officers at all levels and members of the public."

"Julian to me was an honest person victim/customer focused with a strong sense of right and wrong. He remained resilient despite sustained victimisation and intimidation perpetrated at the highest levels in Hampshire Constabulary."

There are several paragraphs that jump out that any member of the public or citizebn of Hampshire might want to know what action the force has taken to deal with the matters, some of which are criminal matters.