Police & Crime Commissioners: Rabbits In The Headlights

Police & Crime Commissioners: Rabbits In The Headlights

  • an ‘In My View’ Special Report by NIGEL WARD, examining the impact of Police & Crime Commissioners as they approach the first anniversary of their respective elections.  














Before reporting on my brief (but illuminating) encounter with North Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner Julia MULLIGAN [Con] at her ‘Time to Talk’ public relations exercise, held at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre (SJT) on Wednesday 23rd October 2013, 6:00pm to 8:00pm, let me take a moment to stake out a context in which our dialogue can best be clearly appreciated.

Police & Crime Commissioners have not met with universal approval since their respective elections on 15th November 2012. Not that the passing of their fore-runners, the regional Police Authorities, has been lamented – especially here in North Yorkshire, where financial profligacy and incompetent resource management became the hallmarks of the North Yorkshire Police Authority throughout the last ten years of its existence, under the highly dubious Chairship of Jane KENYON [Con], aided and abetted by Vice-Chair County Councillor Carl LES [Con].









Elsewhere in the north of England, the new Police & Crime Commissioners have been taking a metaphorical thrashing – richly deserved – on account of various criminal practices. It is not well received by the public when those at the apex of the law and order pyramid are shown to be petty thieves.

Take, for example, Lancashire Police & Crime Commissioner Clive GRUNSHAW, who presently stands accused of double-claiming his Mileage Expenses (from two separate authorities). The Crown Prosecution Service is evaluating the case for prosecution and Clive GRUNSHAW [Lab] is presently under considerable pressure to stand down until the case is resolved. So he should.

Curiously, Clive GRUNSHAW’s modus operandi appears to be indistinguishable from that of County Councillor Carl LES – presently Chair of the North Yorkshire Police & Crime Panel – whose case has been kept well away from the North Yorkshire Police and is being investigated ‘internally’ by auditors Veritau Ltd (owned by NYCC – with Carl LES himself on the Board of Directors).

Further north, Cumbria Police & Crime Commissioner Richard RHODES [Con] is also in trouble, having been ‘grassed up’ by a member of his own staff, also for taking liberties with his Travel Expenses. The propensity to ‘milk’ the expenses system seems to be viewed as a ‘par for the course’ perk in the highest echelons of Police management.









Nearer to home, the Durham Police & Crime Commissioner Ron HOGG [Lab] is under investigation for allegedly claiming benefits to which he was not entitled, having been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) by the Durham Police and Crime Panel after members received information from Officers working on Operation Sacristy, an ongoing criminal investigation into individuals with past and present associations with the Cleveland Police Authority.

(And speaking of the Cleveland Police Authority, readers will recall the demise and imprisonment of former Chair Dave McLUKIE for perverting the course of justice. This followed the sacking of the then Chief Constable Sean PRICE and his Deputy CC Derek BONNARD for corrupt procurement procedures., covered by me here on Real Whitby on 16th April 2012 – and still playing out as I write.)

Thus far, North Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner Julia MULLIGAN [Con] has escaped serious criticism, having been criticised only for a little financial profligacy (ten grand for a new ‘brand’ – and it is truly dreadful) and her indecisiveness in discharging her principle duty – appointing a Chief Constable.









As I arrived (a few minutes late) for Julia MULLIGAN’s ‘Time to Talk’ gig at the SJT, she was parrying the slings and arrows of some disaffected Barrowcliff residents who were less than complimentary about the ‘success’ of the ‘Dial 101’ initiative. According to the people from Barrowcliff, it is utterly useless.

A very articulate lady told a harrowing story of the way she had been stone-walled for nearly a year by the North Yorkshire Police over a Formal Complaint against a WPC who had made false accusations against her 87-year-old critically ill father. An old-school gentleman after my own heart, he had risen from his seat to greet the WPC and shake her hand – only to be falsely accused by her of ‘touching her inappropriately’. When the lady protested, she was told to shut her mouth.

To her credit, Julia MULLIGAN [Con] was very candid in her criticism of the Professional Standards Directorate of the North Yorkshire Police, headed by Steve READ, whose handling even of very serious Formal Complaints against ranking North Yorkshire Police Officers has been superficial at best, and extraordinarily protracted over many months – sometimes, years.

She said:

“The Police Complaints system is extremely complicated. It is not focussed around victims and it is extremely difficult. Members of the public need help with it . . . it is just a huge, massive, bureaucratic, slow process.”

No bull, Sherlock! Like the ‘101’ initiative, the Police Complaints system is also utterly useless – as far as complainants are concerned. As a cover-up mechanism designed to protect the guilty, it works very well. But that is a national malaise.

Julia MULLIGAN was clearly relieved to have that embarrassment behind, so I took my opportunity to have a few words. The issues that I hoped (but did not expect) Julia MULLIGAN would evince the integrity to address included:

  • The failure of North Yorkshire Police to diligently investigate crimes of company theft, fraud and forgery in the Dales Timber Ltd allegations, implicating Councillor T.W. ‘Bill’ MILLER and his partner Councillor Jane KENYON (former Chair of the erstwhile North Yorkshire Police Authority).
  • The refusal by North Yorkshire Police to investigate prima facie evidence that County Councillor Carl LES double-claimed his Mileage Expenses on numerous occasions. County Councillor Carl LES is presently the Chair of the North Yorkshire Police & Crime Panel (to whom complaints against Commissioner Julia MULLIGAN must be addressed) and former Vice-Chair of the erstwhile North Yorkshire Police Authority.
  • The refusal by North Yorkshire Police to process investigative-journalist Tim HICKS’ allegations of abuse of office against Detective Inspector Heather Pearson and Councillor Jane KENYON, at a time when she (KENYON) was Chair of the North Yorkshire Police Authority.
  • The failure of the North Yorkshire Police to investigate burglary, fraud and institutional harassment in the Barbara Hofschröer case, and the failure of the North Yorkshire Police to accede to an appeal by Lord Maginnis of DRUMGLASS to convene a Safeguarding Conference with York City Council to secure the safe return of 84-year-old invalid Barbara Hofschröer and her carer, from exile in Austria to their home in York.

Readers may wish to read a transcript of my exchange with Julia MULLIGAN, here.

It must be said, however, that the bare text tells nothing of the true tenor of the exchange.

Only by listening to a recording, provided to me by a member of the public, does one gain a clear impression of just how evasive and thoroughly shifty Julia MULLIGAN can be when confronted with issues that she has obviously studied very closely – whilst denying having read numerous emails sent to her by me over the past year, marked in the ‘Subject’ line *** STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL *** [For the eyes of the PCC ONLY, and NO OTHER RECIPIENT] and “IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST”. I guess no-one in her office noticed that.

Readers of Real Whitby may wish to form an independent and unbiased opinion by listening to the audio recording, here.

In my view, it is deeply hypocritical of Julia MULLIGAN to have disregarded my emails, especially on such vitally important matters of integrity and transparency, in the public interest. All I have ever received, even  in the way of acknowledgement, have been three Auto-Response emails, informing me:















Julia MULLIGAN claims, on her web-site, that her remit comprises:

  • Finding out what you think about policing and crime
  • Making sure you are listened to and heard
  • Championing your needs with the police, community safety partners and government
  • Writing a Police and Crime Plan that reflects your priorities
  • Publishing an annual report that tells you if we are delivering the plan
  • Ensuring the police deliver an efficient and effective service
  • Holding the Chief Constable to account
  • Deciding the police budget and how much council tax is charged for policing
  • Monitoring the police budget and ensuring it is spent efficiently
  • Appointing and dismissing the Chief Constable (if needed)

To facilitate her aspirations, she would do well to read a couple of my recent articles:

“Cronyism: ‘Corruption, Petty & Grand’”


“’The Protection Racket’ – Three Decades of ‘Safe’ Crime”

Immediately thereafter, she may wish to review her own Oath of Office (I have underlined a few passages that should engage her attention):

“I, Julia MULLIGAN, do solemnly and sincerely promise that I will serve all the people of North Yorkshire in the office of Police and Crime Commissioner without fear or favour.

I will act with integrity and diligence in my role and, to the best of my ability, will execute the duties of my office to ensure that the police are able to cut crime and protect the public.

I will give a voice to the public, especially victims of crime and work with other services to ensure the safety of the community and effective criminal justice.

I will take all steps within my power to ensure transparency of my decisions, so that I may be properly held to account by the public.

I will not seek to influence or prevent any lawful and reasonable investigation or arrest, nor encourage any police action save that which is lawful and justified within the bounds of this office.”

Readers are invited to glean such instances as they can of Julia MULLIGAN upholding her Oath (‘without fear or favour’, ‘act with integrity and diligence’, ‘execute the duties of my office’, ‘ensure transparency’ and ‘not seek to influence or prevent’ ) in her dialogue with me. Listen to the ausio; the air is thick with fear and favour.

Perhaps a Formal Complaint is in order. But Formal Complaints against the North Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner must be lodged with the North Yorkshire Police & Crime Panel, the body of which County Councillor Carl LES is the Chair. Since Julia MULLIGAN refuses to hear a Formal Complaint against County Councillor Carl LES, it is difficult to believe that Carl LES will hear a Formal Complaint against Julia MULLIGAN. Thus are the wagons drawn into avery tight circle, protected – in her words – by “just a huge, massive, bureaucratic, slow process”.

No bull, Sherlock!

Mr Ian ANDERSON, predecessor to Lisa DIXON in the position of Head of Legal at SBC, once said to me, “It’s clear what you don’t want, Nigel. What is it that you do want?”

I want good local government. And I want good policing. The first step to ‘good’ is honest. I can accept a little dishonesty amongst members of the public, amongst double-glazing salesmen, tradesmen and used-car dealers; such is human nature. Caveat emptor – one is taught to be cautious.

But I cannot accept dishonesty in public servants. That is not a matter of human nature; it is a matter of design – premeditated collusion in a scurrilous betrayal of the public trust.

I want an end to it.

Meanwhile, I am waiting for an explanation as to why Julia MULLIGAN and her cohorts are so hostile to that purpose.

And (of course) I am still waiting for Julia MULLIGAN to make good on that thrice-stated commitment to meeting me. This article will be her excuse not to do so.


Only one out of every fourteen electors of North Yorkshire voted for Julia MULLIGAN.





19 Responses to "Police & Crime Commissioners: Rabbits In The Headlights"

  1. Carole Gerada  November 3, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Because of a complaint I made against police prejudice against me, they have managed by have me removed as a Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator! 1. If you complain against the police they have the right and the power to take your rights and powers away. How can that be ethical or democratic?

    Therefore there is no accountability for police and Julia Mulligan is powerless to ensure her police force uphold the law, which is required by all members of society. I thought NW was independent from the police, but recognised and supported by them. Not true. The police run NW. We are now living in a police state.

  2. Dave  November 3, 2013 at 1:43 am

    In reality these people are meaningless..They have non-jobs, created simply to justify the current status quo. If they don’t follow the status quo and are seen to actually act on Evidence of corruption they will be promoted sideways into “JOBS” that are less able them to inform the general public about what really happens behind the closed doors of Local Officialdom..!another great write up .. Thank you guys for keeping us abreast of the ” Real” situation..:)

  3. Paul Saunderson  November 3, 2013 at 7:12 am

    So Julia spent 10K on THAT logo.Local school kids could have done better.

    Julia owns her own marketing agency. I wonder who got the job.

  4. Al Roberts  November 3, 2013 at 9:43 am

    @ Paul Sanderson, You are not alone in your criticism of the “rebranding exercise” and of course the subsequent cost.

  5. Jon Risdon  November 3, 2013 at 10:37 am

    The phrase “postcode lottery” springs to mind……….

  6. Tom Brown  November 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Fireproof rabbits in headlights. These mis elected commissioners have been advised to ignore the law and go beyond authority, do what they like but in no way discredit ‘Common Purpose’ (GOOGLE IT).
    The filth started in RIO in 1992 the so called ‘EARTH SUMMIT’ (GOOGLE IT) where an agenda for the 21st century was born.
    We are ratifying this agenda NOW, or at least a corrupt government is doing it for us. Of course if people do not toe the line they will need to be policed. Think on it.
    Since the Earth summit throughout the world
    Children are being taken from their parents
    Gay marriage is being forced through
    Families through marriage are not to be encouraged
    Hate law prosecutions are to be vigorously pursued as top priority
    The elderly with the help of social services are deprived of their property
    The law of the land is being adulterated by GUIDE LINES designed to bypass our rights but making it look like the law

    ALL ENFORCED BY THE POLICE ( that’s if a decent bobby on his oath actually does it and magistrates on theirs)

    Agenda 21 is determined to remove all borders, (don’t we in England know that?)

    And then there is of course ‘THE LAND REGISTRY’ (a Europe wide requirement if not worldwide)
    We,are (but other countries may not be) aware of William the Conquerors ‘DOOMSDAY BOOK’ in which he claimed everything in England was to be recorded as his. And so it is with the land registry all private property surreptitiously belongs to the state.


  7. Alan  November 3, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Police commissioners should not be affiliated to political parties – the law is supposed to be above such. The same applies to local councillors, and in North Yorkshire a blue shirt goes a long way. This has led, in part, to the present disenchantment with the public for voting, so that a mere 7% is capable of electing a new police commissioner. It is to be hoped that Julia Mulligan sets up truly independent, transparent, and honest investigations into such as Kenyon and Les, at the moment pubic perception is that councils and authorities appear to be more concerned with self serving than public service. As the late, and not at all all lamented, NYPA appeared both incompetent and corrupt, it would have been better to start anew, with fresh people, rather than having as chair the vice chair of NYPA. How is it possible to believe in honesty and objectivity when Les is being investigated by a company in which he is a director? There is a clear perception of bias, whether real or imaginary, and something needs to be done to improve public confidence in the impartiality of our police force and its managers.

  8. Paul Saunderson  November 4, 2013 at 6:59 am

    On reading this article, I decided to ask Julia Mulligan a question or two under the Freedom of Information Act. So that the issue is transparent, I put the information request up on the “What Do They Know” website. See:


    I got an error message. The e-mail address supplied to this website by North Yorkshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner does not work.

    That is transparency à la Julia Mulligan. I had to chuckle.

  9. James Miller  November 4, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I chuckled the first time I saw Ms. Mulligan being interviewed. It was on ‘Look North’ that bastion of investigative tele-journalism and, literally, the only program on any channel that I personally have ever made a ‘bias’ complaint against.

    Ms Mulligan and the newly elected South Yorkshire Commissioner were interviewed by the (now retired) Christa Ackroyd, a lady renowned for her love of the ‘hunting, shooting, fishing’ wing of the Conservative Party.

    She first questioned Shaun Wright (Labour) for about 5 minutes about how he was going to spend his public funds, questioning every detail. Very boring. The questioning of Julia Mulligan only lasted about 30 seconds and consisted of just one question; ‘What is the first thing you are going to do?’ Reply; ‘I am going to meet with the (Acting) Chief Constable.’ Closing comment from C.A.; ‘Very wise.’ (I felt Ms Ackroyd should have added, in true ‘Rowan and Martin Laugh-in’ fashion, ‘But also stupid.’

    I was sensing a farce in the run up to the quasi election but I didn’t expect the Span……………..

  10. Nigel  November 4, 2013 at 11:25 am

    An interesting development in the battle for the hearts and minds of the 600,000+ people in North Yorkshire who (for the most part) assume a high degree of professionalism and integrity from our Police Force:


    “In the first instance, the system is virtually impenetrable to all but experts. This pits the public against the police, “doing battle” with one another, sometimes having to resort to expensive legal advice.

    The next problem is that the system principally reflects the interests of the police rather than the public. It is largely focused on identifying officer misconduct rather than resolving problems for victims.

    This makes reform very difficult because the police unions (in all but name) do everything they can to protect their members’ interests – after all, that’s their job and they are good at it.

    Finally, truly independent investigations are reserved 
for all but the most serious 


    Yeah. Right.

  11. Paul Saunderson  November 4, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I just received this message:


    I’ve tried re-sending the message however it appears their email
    system is still broken.

    You might want to call them and let them know?


    Richard – WhatDoTheyKnow.com volunteer


    I suspect Julia Mulligan does know that the e-mail address she gave this website doesn’t work. Presumably that is why she gave them it.

  12. Nigel  November 4, 2013 at 4:07 pm


    You may wish to make an attempt using Julia’s direct personal email address:


    That said, she did say (in public) that she does not see all of her emails. Apparently they are ‘filtered’ for her by staff in her office. Even the ones marked *** STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL *** [For the eyes of the PCC ONLY, and NO OTHER RECIPIENT] and “IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST”. I do not know what to suggest to catch her attention. Semaphore?

  13. James Miller  November 4, 2013 at 5:49 pm


    A bomb?

    There is an old saying ‘There are none so blind as those who won’t see.’

    I wish to state here and now that I am against bombs in any form. DPP please note, that was a sick joke. I do not think anything will attract the Commissioner’s attention. Unless you invite her to a hunt ball.

  14. Steven Old  November 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    I was at that meeting, Julia was speaking normal not flustered nice and calm until Nigel asked to speak to her then she fell to pieces everyone in the room could see straight through her, there was people laughing in the back ground all that embarrassment just for a straight forward question that was well within the public interest. Nothing like sticking your head in the sand as if its going to go away. It must be nice to receive £70k plus a year with £30k expenses but how do you sleep on a night? knowing what you are doing is wrong, even more so to see this all over the internet Julia is branded for life just like the rest unless she does the right thing.

  15. Paul Saunderson  November 4, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    The right thing, presumably, being either to resign and / or instigate the arrest of all the corrupt police officers and officials in North Yorkshire, not to forget her double-dipper husband.

  16. Nigel  November 12, 2013 at 9:04 am

    I see we have another self-seeking Police & Crime Commissioner hitting the news this mornong.


    After over-claiming £3,000+ of travelling expenses, he said: “I want to make it categorically clear that I believe everything I have done since taking office regarding my expenses has been above board.”

    That is the problem. They actually believe they are in the right, and that the law does not apply to them.

  17. James Miller  November 12, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Fortunately for all professional politicians the law is so phrased that it is vague, allowing these ‘benefit scroungers’ enough wriggle room to get away with it on the grounds that nobody could understand the regulations. It seems strange that if somebody on benefit tried the same thing they would be jumped on from dizzy heights and, if it were serious enough, would go to prison. Come along Mr. Camoron, the Labour Party originally gave these ‘public’ (for which read ‘political’) servants another lump of butter for their bread but you may like to make sure that it is low fat substitute they are spreading, not butter. Or maybe not?

  18. Paul Saunderson  November 16, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Here’s an interesting one:


    Note how evasive the official dealing with this request about the 10K branding exercise is. There is also a clear failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.

    More transparency à la Julia Mulligan.

    Not fit for purpose.

  19. Paul Saunderson  December 4, 2013 at 7:59 am

    In Julia Mulligan’s case, the “What Do They Know” website would be better named the “What Do They Not Want to Tell You” website.

    Two recent requests have been ignored. North Yorkshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner has broken the law. Will the Internal Reviews get the Mulligan treatment as well?

    Corruption in North Yorkshire Police

    Paul Saunderson made this Freedom of Information request to North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner

    Response to this request is delayed. By law, North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner should normally have responded promptly and by 3 December 2013



    Paul Saunderson made this Freedom of Information request to North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner

    Waiting for an internal review by North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner of their handling of this request.



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