Wednesday 18th October 2017,
North Yorks Enquirer

NYCC Officers Under Investigation by North Yorkshire Police?

On the 7th July 2013 I published an article entitled NYCC: Out Of Control? The article reported on matters under discussion by the Executive Committee of North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC).

A member of the public, who had won a lengthy court battle against NYCC regarding a minor trading standards matter, made a substantial list of allegations against Officers from North Yorkshire Trading Standards (NYTS) and also Senior NYCC Officers.

It was alleged that Officers of NYTS:
• Engaged in an expensive two year malicious harassment campaign;
• Racially targeted the business on very minor allegations;
• Facilitated an unlawful arrest, which NYTS now apparently admit;
• Have been facilitating unlawful arrests for a long time;
• Accessed third party bank accounts illegally;

It was further alleged that Senior Officers of NYCC:
• Are being investigated by an outside Police force with regard to their conduct;
• Wasted a large sum of money on a prosecution that was doomed to failure;
• Harassed the complainant by reporting him to the Police for the same;
• Have little regard for proper conduct;

Given that nearly a year had elapsed since the last FOI request on the subject, and also that the wheels of justice appear to turn very slowly in North Yorkshire, it was time to see if any progress had been made. The following questions were asked:

“Regarding the Trading Standards matter, please could the Council disclose if any current or former members of staff have been reported to North Yorkshire Police with regard to this matter.”

“Please could the Council disclose if any current or former members of staff have been arrested by North Yorkshire Police with regard to this matter.”

When a public body is asked questions of this nature, it may reply with “We do not hold this information” or sometimes the more blunt reply of “No“. Or it may disclose the requested information.

The answers given by NYCC indicate that the Council does hold information pertaining to the request, but the Council sets out four reasons they will not disclose the requested information.

1: Section 31 – Law Enforcement
2: Section 36 – Prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs
3: Section 40 – personal information
4: Section 42 – legal professional privilege

It looks like the complaint about the conduct of NYCC Officers, which was made to the Executive Committee of NYCC on Tuesday 29th November 2011, some two and a half years ago, is finally being investigated by the proper authority.

One begins to wonder why it took NYCC so long to report the matter to the proper authority in the first place, if indeed it was the Council that actually reported the matter.

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