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Don’t forget to blow the whistle if you think I’m corrupt, Commissioner Jones tells staff

Don’t forget to blow the whistle if you think I’m corrupt, Commissioner Jones tells staff

🕔18.Nov 2013

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Bob Jones is urging his staff to “blow the whistle” if they suspect he or anyone in his office is guilty of fraud, corruption or other serious offences.

In a letter to employees, the PCC office chief executive explains that Mr Jones is committed to “the highest possible standards of openness, probity and accountability” and that anyone who has concerns about any aspect of the commissioner’s work should come forward.

The letter sets out five possible areas where major concerns might be lodged:

– Conduct which is an offence or a breach of law, including data protection.
– Disclosures related to miscarriages of justice.
– Significant health and safety risks, including risks to the public as well as other employees.
– The unauthorised use of public funds.
– Possible fraud and corruption.

People making complaints are expected to put their name to the allegations, but anonymous claims may also be investigated if the issues are exceptionally serious.

The letter, from Jacky Courtenay, chief executive at the West Midlands Office for Policing and Crime, states: “Employees are often the first to realise that there may be something seriously wrong within the West Midlands Office of Policing and Crime.

“However, they may not express their concerns because they feel that speaking up would be disloyal to their colleagues or to the Police and Crime Commissioner.

“They may also fear harassment or victimisation. In these circumstances, it may be easier to ignore the concern rather than report what may just be a suspicion of malpractice.”

It continues: “The Police and Crime Commissioner is committed to the highest possible standards of openness, probity and accountability. In line with that commitment we expect employees and others that we deal with, who have serious concerns about any aspect of the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner, to come forward and voice those concerns.”

As well as PCC staff, the whistleblowing policy applies to contractors working for the commissioner’s office.

Anyone considering levelling a complaint is advised that their allegations will be treated confidentially and they “have nothing to fear” by coming forward, although they might have to give evidence at a later stage.

However, employees that decide to take allegations of misconduct outside of the commissioner’s office, to the media, are advised that they may lose their rights under employment legislation if they disclose confidential information.

Cover Image: via Wales Online / Shropshire Star

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