|Dorset Police are
obliged by statute law to hold public consultation meetings.
In fact, Dorset Police Authority even have a Community Consultative Committee.
Police Authority members are paid £ 17.00 per hour for attending committee meetings
and attending public meetings. Police Authorities all over the country hold these meetings
in halls at suitable times, in the evening when the rate payers have finished work.
They have to advertise these meetings in the press so that the public may attend them.
We have the minutes of the Consultative Committee, 19th. April 2001, which has an
appendix E - showing the minutes of the Consultative meeting at the Pavillion Theatre
Weymouth, 6th March 2001. These minutes clearly show that a gentleman who is a
member of our organisation raised issues as to why he was apprehended when
legally delivering campaign leaflets?
It is minuted that the Chair of the Police Authority, Mr. Peter Jones intervened with regard
to the allegations being put forward from the floor, and requested that these matters
are dealt with after the end of the meeting .
Why not have these matters dealt with in the public arena and in front of the press?
Why does Mr. Jones want to consult after the meeting is closed?
Is this not against the sprit of public consultation as he is required to do by statute law?
We further have minuted that Mr. Jones for some reason does not think that the
Weymouth venue is suitable for this type of meeting, despite it being used by many
other organisations for this type of purpose.
It had been muted that the Clerk to the Police Authority, Mr. Peter Harvey should find
other means of public consultation. Despite suggestions that the evening meetings
were poorly attended, the minutes of those meetings do not reflect this.
Mr. Harvey has advised members that these public meetings should be reduced to
the absolute minimum of just one meeting per year in each division of the Police Force.
Mr. Harvey has further advised members for them to go out and randomly meet the
public in the street would fulfill the legal requirement of public consultation.
Set against this the Police Authorities Mike Byatt, Chairman of the Community
Consultative Committee has arranged a stall to be set up on a pavement in Weymouth,
between 2pm and 5pm on Friday 18th. October, when most rate payers who previously
attended evening meetings after work, will not be able to have a dialogue on this one
and only annual opportunity, Nor will this be muinited, as in an
Official Chaired Meeting in a Hall.
Furthermore, the press will not be present, as on previous occasions.
We question whether this type of event constitutes proper public consultation?
To see proof of the one and only Official Annual chance to
Quiz Police Officers, on the pavement in Weymouth, CLICK HERE!