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Tim Loughton MP vows to complain to police watchdog despite apology
An MP has vowed to complain to the police watchdog about Sussex Police’s behaviour – despite receiving an apology from the force.
East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton has said he will complain to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) after he was wrongly issued a Police Information Notice (PIN) from the force.
Sussex Police issued Mr Loughton and others with the notice despite it being illegal – former Chief Constable Martin Richards subsequently said this was a mistake and officers were not aware they should not have acted as they did.
New temporary chief constable Giles York has apologised publically to Mr Loughton and promised a full review headed by a detective superintendent into the issue.
But in a statement, Mr Loughton said he would complain to the IPCC despite there already having been a parliamentary committee set up to look into the matter.
He said: “I am relieved and pleased that the new management of Sussex Police have acted swiftly to acknowledge that they were in breach of parliamentary privilege, which is an important safeguard of free speech in our democracy, and that they failed to follow their own procedures in the use of Police Information Notices (PINs).
“But I am also angry that so much police time and taxpayers’ money has been wasted on this shambolic and nonsensical investigation which has caused great damage to confidence in the priorities of the senior management team at Sussex Police.
“The early departure of the former chief constable affords an important opportunity for the police to re-establish that confidence, not just of me but of our constituents across the county that Sussex Police can tell the difference between victims of abuse and perpetrators of abuse and protect us appropriately.
“Many questions remain about how Sussex Police allowed this situation to get out of hand to the extent it did and I will therefore be submitting a full complaint to the IPCC but I am pleased that in the meantime I have been given a full apology.”
Temporary chief constable York said: “Although the committee recognises that our breach of parliamentary privilege was inadvertent I wish to offer a full apology to the committee, Mr Loughton and the four other recipients.
“We always sought to treat all parties fairly. On that basis we will withdraw all PIN notices given to those involved in this matter.
“This is a complex area and as such I have set up a review of Sussex Police’s use of PIN notices. This will be headed up by a detective superintendent and will link in with the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne’s request to the College of Policing to formulate improved policy in this area.”
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