Manx police did destroy records - but it's not related to Freedom of Information legislation, Chief Constable says

By Adrian Darbyshire in Emergency Services

Chief Constable Gary Roberts insists the destruction of records by police is not related to Freedom of Information legislation.

In an employment tribunal case, Inspector Bryan, head of Police Professional Standards, told the hearing that: ’Consequent upon the implementation of the FoI Act some 18 months ago, there had been a directive internally to destroy old emails and paperwork.’

But the Chief Constable said destruction of documents had nothing to do with FoI but dates back to a public inquiry into the 2002 murder of Soham schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

Sir Michael Bichard, who chaired the 2004 inquiry into the vetting procedures that allowed killer Ian Huntley to get a job as a school caretaker, outlined a series of recommendations on the way police forces should share information and how they should have a standard code of practice on keeping records.

As a result, said Mr Roberts, records which there was no justified or lawful reason to keep any longer than was necessary had been destroyed.

He said: ’The constabulary has been working towards adherence to police-specific guidelines that emanated from the Soham inquiry and, as a result, over a period of several years its management of information and its record keeping have undergone a radical overhaul.

’Work in this regard began well in advance of Freedom of Information legislation being produced.’

He added: ’The Constabulary’s policies are entirely in keeping with the requirements placed upon it by both the Data Protection Act (which inter alia requires that personal data is held no longer than necessary) and with the Freedom of Information Act.’

The tribunal case was brought against the Manx Constabulary by former police officer Kerry Anne Best who was seeking compensation for alleged sex discrimination.

But her claim was ruled out of time, having been lodged 22 months after the last alleged act of sex discrimination - when the time limit for making a claim is three months.

Mrs Best, who served with the Force from 2007 to the end of April 2015 when she left on the grounds of ill health, claimed the police failed to make sufficient allowance for her when she was left on crutches for a time following a difficult third pregnancy.

The constabulary denied this was sex discrimination - and neither were her two other claims concerning a special priority payment and missing work one lunchtime to sign house purchase documents.

If the claims had been lodged earlier, documents would not have been destroyed which may have tipped the balance in favour of her case proceeding, the tribunal chairman said.

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Manx born (formerl CV) · 120 days ago · Report

And you know all this how exactly Gav?

Gav · 120 days ago · Report

Manx CV please crawl back up their a****. I don't believe a word of this crap. Obviously a cover-up, clear as day, don't need Sherlock to see that. They all stick together and collude to hide the truth. Open Government hahahhaha don't be daft. Bunch of cretins defrauding the public trust in my book.

Retired PO · 120 days ago · Report

@Darwin. The reasons for the listening device were two fold. Firstly to allow other officers to listen in on an interview. Secondly to listen to conversations between co-accused who had been left together in the room. The listening to of such conversations led to hundreds of crimes being detected and tens of thousands of pounds worth of stolen property being recovered.

Retired PO · 120 days ago · Report

@Darwin, the article in the Telegraph that you refer to assumed much and was totally inaccurate. The room concerned was situated at the end of the main CID office. As such it was outside of the secure cell block area where all consultations between clients and their advocates took place. No criminal offences were committed and no miscarriages of justice were found to have occurred.

Manx born (formerl CV) · 120 days ago · Report

PTCO, no apology, I just prefer the facts to be accurate. Obviously you didn't read the rest of my post. Darwin, of course you can believe what you like.

Post Truth Correctional Officier · 120 days ago · Report

Darwin, Manx Born seems apologise for the establishment quite often. It's what he's good at

Darwin · 120 days ago · Report

Manx Born - it was bugged for 10 years! Hard to believe they only listened in on one interview...:

50/50 · 120 days ago · Report

Excuse after excuse, the police remain a law unto themselves. Is anyone ever going to challenge them.

Manx born (formerl CV) · 120 days ago · Report

Two four letter words to describe Mr Robert's explanation. One beginning with B and the other with S. And Darwin, there was only the one interview that was bugged which was never used by advocates. Which is no why cases were overturned. I totally agree with your final sentence.

Darwin · 120 days ago · Report

The IOM Police force don't do themselves any favours. It wasn't that long ago they was revealed they'd been bugging the interview room/s. So many cases could/should have been overturned because of that. With all their blunders you could make a new Police Academy film.

Phil · 120 days ago · Report

Definitely "iffy" then

Retired PO · 120 days ago · Report

In my 30 years with the Force, the general rule regarding destruction of documents was that all records should be kept for at least 8 years. Generally, the limitation on proceedings, criminal and civil, varies from 6 months to 8 years. One would imagine that the claims made by Ms Best would be within the 8 years mentioned. I am therefore very surprised that records appertaining to her sexual discrimination case have been destroyed.

PL · 120 days ago · Report

Sounds like a FOI request is needed to establish the facts. I'm sure Adrian is already on the case.

Post Truth Correctional Officier · 120 days ago · Report

Is it just me or does this sound a bit "iffy"

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