“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
said Martin Luther King Jr.
It is a phrase that resonates with everyone who has suffered injustice at the hands of the police, press and politicians, because the one thing the police, press and politicians always misjudge, as they sit smugly in their ivory towers thinking they have got away with it, is that those subjected to such malicious injustice have an inner core the injustice created that will not be broken and they never, ever, forget.
Small victories can be won along the way, like the ousting of Simon Hayes who was voted out of his job as Hampshire Police & Crime Commissioner last week.
Despite this, myself, and other victims of crimes in Hampshire, will never give up seeking justice and pursuing those responsible, retired, voted out, or not.
During his tenure as Hampshire PCC Simon Hayes, according to many, put the Chief Constable and Conservative politicians before the victims of crimes and colluded in the covering up of politically motivated crimes. Children in particular suffered, and still suffer to this day, as a result of his refusal to protect them ahead of his job, his friends and colleagues.
One of his supporters on Twitter last week complained that “politicians” should not be allowed to stand for the role of PCC – clearly she was unaware of Hayes’s staggeringly long political career as a Tory politician over the previous decades in Hampshire before he had a damascene conversion and became “independent” and stood as the PCC.
But the constant claim of “independence” did not fool those in political circles for Hayes’s loyalty to fellow Tory’s made a mockery his campaign slogan. Only a few months ago Hampshire County Council Leader Cllr Roy Perry allegedly tried to persuade Hayes to stand as the Tory Candidate in the PCC Elections but Hayes in his arrogance declined. He thought his carefully choreographed “man of the people” PR campaign had worked and he was by all accounts confident he would be returned for a second term.
But behind the mountains of glossy press releases his time as PCC will be remembered by his victims for the staggering number of complaints about the Chief Constable and the PCC himself. Many complaints upheld but no action ever taken.
Some complaints even culminated in High Court action against the Chief Constable at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds to the Hampshire tax payer. In recent weeks I understand a record amount of damages were also awarded to one victim in a case linked to child abuse and a failed Hampshire Police investigation.
Then there was the recent IPCC decision to investigate the “Chief Constable of Hampshire” which was nicely side-stepped thanks to a legal loop-hole exploited by Hayes in order to protect Andy Marsh – Hayes facilitated Marsh’s timely, and convenient, move to Avon & Somerset Constabulary which meant Marsh was no longer the “Chief Constable of Hampshire” when the IPCC Report was to be actioned – neat eh?
Over the last 4 years those who have tried to stand up to Simon Hayes and his colleagues and expose his failings as PCC have been subjected to monitoring, personal attacks and political arrests in order to silence and discredit them. Others have been assaulted and threatened by Hayes’s “colleagues” and targeted on social media by his supporters.
Thankfully there are those with a steal resolve, who, while glad to see that back of Simon Hayes, will not forget and will not let what went on under his watch conveniently fade into history; they will continue to fight for justice and to ensure Hayes and those responsible are held to account. If it takes a life time, then so be it because for many their normal lives have already ended, or have been put on hold as a result of what happened to them, so time is something they have plenty of.
I know I am not alone in my feelings about his departure. A Mr Baker had this to say about Simon Hayes’s “legacy” – “The Ombudsman’s report in my case referred to the systematic failure of Hampshire Police Management to properly understand their responsibilities under the Victims Code but, unsurprisingly, no mention of this key aspect in their letter of apology. I tried to raise the matter with PCC Simon Hayes in the public interest but he totally ignored me. Thank goodness this man has been voted out. He was about as useful as a chocolate fire-guard.”
For Simon Hayes’s colleagues, friends and supporters who continue to target victims as I type, they should all remember Hillsborough because the truth always outs in the end and you can only ever “stick a dead cat on the table” once, and when you play that card you should be confident the people you are trying to discredit have revealed all their cards – people should remember justice comes in many forms.