On 4th May 2017 I attended my Grievance Appeal Meeting at Worcester Police Station, accompanied by Fed Rep 1. Superintendent Kevin Purcell was holding this meeting, having considered my appeal.
Superintendent Purcell said that he had read my appeal, gone through it all, spoken to HR and he’d come up with this. I think you will agree that he isn’t a man to pull any punches!
‘We asked you to do a job with regards that Hunt. You were doing a good job, with no criticism and far from it, a good job, tidy job that was being well done. Had I come into possession of the information, the rumour, the gossip, the whatever, I would have called you in and said, “You ain’t going to like this. I’m going to take you off this and this is why”. And I would have expected you to be cross. Because that’s what I’ve got to do sometimes.
However, I’ve read all of this and what’s happened is, we haven’t had the integrity and the honesty to say to you, “we’ve got a concern over hear, and to protect you, the force, the organisation, everyone, we’re going to do this”.
So, the grievance that you’ve put forward, and I need to think about how I write it up, I agree with your interpretation of what’s happened. Which is, several things have been confused, which is, Are you being investigated? Why are you being asked to give an account before you leave the police station? Why is it all done this? I get it all. I absolutely get it and I’m not going to word it quite like this but, how staggered I am, in that the Inspector hasn’t had, at the time he’s made a mistake, but hasn’t had the thought thereafter or the humility to say, Actually I could have done this a different way and I confused a number of issues. Because, for me, that’s a great strength. So the first thing, getting it wrong, isn’t an issue for me. But once you’ve got it wrong, when you’re challenged about it, trying to defend an indefensible position is wrong.
Now, I can’t help, and I’ve worked at Hereford, as you know…….they’ve got nothing better to do. So you are a guy that’s doing ok for himself, you living the way you do. You’re probably a bit, not typical of the average bobby down there. So if anyone gets the chance to have a bit of a bite or a gossip, they will. And you can’t avoid that.
I cannot help it, whether your wife thinks you’ve had an affair in the past or are having one now or whatever. There is no evidence of that whatsoever but I can’t help the silly arses at Hereford who’ve got nothing better to do, I can’t help that. But what I can say to you, and I need to write it up in a fair and balanced way.
You were doing a good job. We thought there was some critical risk to the organisation if we let you continued. We should have, because our integrity says we will, called you in and said, actually this is an uncomfortable conversation but this is what we’ve got and to protect you and us, whether you like it or not, this is what we are going to do. And then, if we thought that potentially you had done something wrong, we should have had a proper look at the file, come back to you a week later and say, “Get your Federation friend in cause we need to chat to you”.
We didn’t do any of that and more importantly, I get we’ve made a mistake and I make mistakes every day. More importantly though is, if someone is so arrogant that they will not say, ‘actually I got this wrong’ and I reflect on it, then they’re going to have to do it because my final thing is going to be that the Inspector needs good advice and guidance, that they’ve got this so wrong. They’ve also got so wrong their attitude to the thing there, (code of ethics), that they’re a risk to me and to the organisation.
So that’s where I am, I’m hoping in return for that, we can find a way, and Sue THOMAS is really keen to get you back to work. It will be uncomfortable because you’ll think that some people have supported you, some have been gossiping, some have done this, some have done that.
You’ve got nothing to try and justify. But it will be uncomfortable,because you’ve been off for a while and going back will be hard and you’ll need good people around you. But Sue (THOMAS) is keen to get you back.
Sue didn’t have a view on what I found in this outcome but Sue, when I spoke to her about it, is pleased. She doesn’t see anything other than, she wants you back. She realises you’ve been dealt with poorly and that we should have done it better and she takes no great pride. It’s one of her Inspectors who is saying if effect, “I couldn’t give a toss, I’m not going to change my position”. Well, that don’t work, because every single day, every single one of us, you, me, doesn’t matter about rank, has to change our position. It’s a bit like standing on a beach watching an eighty foot wave coming, saying, well I’m not going to change, I could swim. I’m going to stand on the beach. You just don’t do it, you just recognise what’s coming and say, I’d better get out of here or I’d better change what I’m doing’.
Superintendent Purcell went on to say……
‘There’s no way around the fact that we have made mistakes and that we’ve added to those mistakes, grievously, because we’ve made it a personality assassination around you by they way were then continued to do this. So if we’ve made a mistake and then say, I got it wrong, then I can get that, but if we don’t do that it makes it look like we have got a problem with you and what are you going to feel like?
On behalf of the organisation, there is no, ‘well you need to reflect on this, you need to reflect on that’.
I will be saying to the organisation that they need to not allow Martin to have that view but to explain in no uncertain terms that he did get it wrong and that his unwillingness to accept that, doesn’t put him in a good light. If someone’s had a lesson already in another environment and then has the same issue again, we need to look a bit deeper at it’.
And true to his word, I received the following letter from him.
So…….things were looking up……….weren’t they?