Police have apologised to a man after investigators found they gave incorrect information in a press release regarding an anti-social behaviour order imposed on him.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found information given to the media by Lancashire police about the circumstances surrounding an ASBO being imposed on David Beaver, 50, of Ashton, Preston, was not accurate.
In it, a police officer, PC Hutchinson, had claimed Mr Beaver made persistent calls to the police which had included a 999 call about a complaint of his wheelie bin being moved.
But the IPCC accepted Mr Beaver had actually called the non-emergency police number, 101, to report an allegation of crime against him - not 999 to complain, as had been implied by the officer. The Evening Post understands the officer concerned will be spoken to by his superiors.
Mr Beaver told the Evening Post he had reported that a man, who he had been in a neighbours’ dispute with beforehand, had threatened him, after Mr Beaver had moved his bin back from a place the man had moved it to, as Mr Beaver felt the bin would not be emptied. The IPCC statement said: “I have therefore upheld this appeal, and am recommending that PC Hutchinson receives management action in order to ensure that the officer is reminded of the need to provide accurate information for inclusion within police press releases.
“I am also recommending that Lancashire Constabulary issues a correction press release in order to acknowledge this error. Consideration should also be given to issuing an apology for the publication of the inaccurate information.”
However, it said it does not amount to a breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour and, therefore, there is no case to answer for misconduct.
But Mr Beaver says he believes the force is trying to undermine the IPCC’s decision because it has not responded to it for two months.
Today he said: “This complaint has also been upheld twice by the IPCC, firstly to re-investigate and most recently for the police to take management action against this officer. Within two months, the police have undermined the IPCC decision and taken no action.
“It would have been a simple task for them to follow the IPCC instructions to provide an apology to the press and take the management action.”
A Lancashire police spokesman said: “We acknowledge the findings of the report and would like to take this opportunity to apologise to Mr Beaver for any distress this incident or the length of time it has taken to respond has caused.
“A personal letter of apology has been sent to Mr Beaver.”