‘Secret Southport Policeman’ Claim Prompts Call For Enquiry
Claims made by Councillor David Barton at last Wednesday’s (21st September) Southport Area Committee that an unnamed officer from Merseyside Police sanctioned his plans for a ‘private army’ to patrol the streets of Southport has prompted a senior Lib Dem councillor to call for an inquiry.
Birkdale councillor Simon Shaw is Vice-Chair of the Merseyside Police Panel which oversees the work of the Police Commissioner. He was written to the Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, asking her to ensure that “Merseyside Police investigate to establish who is telling the truth here.”
Last week suspended Conservative councillor David Barton announced his controversial plan for a ‘private army’ to patrol Southport’s streets http://www.otsnews.co.uk/anti-social-behaviour-patrols-launched-to-protect-southport-businesses/ This provoked much discussion at the Area Committee meeting held just a few hours later.
Local police inspectors attending the meeting expressed their concerns about the proposal and said that they had not been consulted. However Cllr Barton then proceeded to read out a prepared statement in which he claimed that Merseyside Police had “sent out a detective from head office” who allegedly told him that “there is no issue with adopting this approach.”
However suspicions were raised when Cllr David Barton refused to give the name of the officer who he claimed had sanctioned the move, saying “it would be inappropriate at this time to disclose that officer’s name”, despite Cllr Shaw asking him twice.
Cllr Shaw condemned the secrecy, saying: “Cllr Barton’s claims about what this ‘secret policeman’ said are highly dubious. As he is implying that someone in the police is not telling the truth, I think it is essential that his claims are fully investigated.”
“In particular I am concerned about his bizarre jibe addressed to the local police inspectors who attended the Area Committee when he said ‘if you don’t know about it, maybe there’s a reason why not’. It’s all very suspect.”
“That’s why I have written to Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy, advising her of the facts and asking her to ensure that Merseyside Police investigate who, exactly, is telling the truth here.”
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