11:07am Thursday 4th November 2010
By Ben Parsons, Crime Reporter
A member of Sussex Police Authority has revealed he is facing a complaint over comments he made about the policing of Smash EDO protests.
Councillor Ben Duncan is a Green member of Brighton and Hove City Council who represents the city on Sussex Police Authority. He has publicly criticised police tactics against anti-arms protesters who aim to close the EDO factory in Moulsecoomb, which they claim makes parts for weapons used in illegal military action.
Coun Duncan wrote on his blog yesterday: "I myself am subject to another standards board complaint - as a member of the Sussex Police Authority rather than Brighton and Hove City Council - my 6th in two-and-a-half years.
"I have been told it vaguely relates to something I've said on this 'blog regarding EDO protests in Brighton - but in a Kafka-esque twist I'm not allowed to know either the detailed nature of the complaint - or who made it - until after a committee has examined it.
"Natural justice at work? You decide!"
Sussex Police Authority is the committee of councillors and independent people who oversee the running of Sussex Police, performing functions like approving budgets, appointing chief officers and scrutinising performance.
A spokeswoman for Sussex Police Authority confirmed a complaint had been received and said the authority is "looking into the matter".
She said she was unable to confirm the detail of the complaint.
After the latest Smash EDO demonstration on October 13, Coun Duncan wrote on his blog: "The whole policing operation, it has been reported, cost about £200,000 - an outrageous waste of time and money in the face of massive Government cuts, and in the face of warnings that over 1,000 jobs are for the chop.
"The decision to spend so much money was one taken by the police themselves.
"But, as ever, it's the protesters who are singled out for blame, for not telling the police of their plans in advance.
"This logic is not only naive and a little simplistic, it's vastly counterproductive."
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