March 23rd, 2011

Of inconsequential tolls

Posted in The Job - General by 200

I’m not one to offer any sympathy to most senior police officers but a sad day none the less for the friends & family of Assistant Chief Constable David Ainsworth who has been found hanged at his home address after what appears to be a suicide.

Ainsworth was being investigated by his force over a string of complaints related to allegations of sexism in his force at Wiltshire & previous force in Kent. He was suspended from normal duties last year & moved to work at the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham while the allegations made by various female employees were investigated. The complaint being cited by most of the press reports alleges that on seeing a female employee with a fitted blouse he is said to have remarked ‘nice buttons’.

It is not known whether his investigation has anything to do with his suicide, that may be revealed as a result of the forthcoming inquest. However, I do know that being investigated by your force is not a pleasant experience whether you have done anything wrong or not, and is made so much the worse by the amount of time it takes to investigate. The man was accused of sexism & inappropriate behaviour. Had he been accused of rape or murder I have no doubt that, in most cases, the matter would have been fully investigated, all evidence obtained & the  file done for  court.

Officers on the street investigate matters far more serious than this on the same day & have the case prepared within a few days. How can an alleged breach of discipline take in excess of 6 months to deal with?

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