Last month the IPCC upheld an appeal into a complaint against former Chief Constable for Hampshire Constabulary, Andy Marsh. Andy Marsh is now the Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset Constabulary.
I understand from a Westminster contact, linked to the police investigation, that contrary to the claim by the Avon & Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner, the complaint was not suitable for local resolution. This was because the complaint was so serious, it could constitute criminal behaviour by the Chief Constable.
The IPCC instructed the PCC to record the complaint and ensure that a local investigation be carried out into the complaint by a separate police force. Put simply, the PCC for Avon & Somerset, Sue Mountstevens, was required to appoint a police officer to investigate the complaint, who was not under the direction or control of Chief Constable Andy Marsh.
I can reveal that the investigation into Andy Marsh is to be conducted by Essex Police and is called Operation Scribe.
I have also had sight of an outline of the complaint and it includes the allegation that Chief Constable Andy Marsh set up Operation Flamborough to protect Hampshire Constabulary’s reputation along with other safeguarding agencies involved with Stanbridge Earls School and ‘the people of Romsey’. It is unclear why this highly irregular and unusual request was specified but may relate to the MP for Romsey and Southampton North, Caroline Nokes.
That Hampshire Police force allegedly used taxpayer’s money to protect its reputation rather than investigate allegations of rape is a matter of deep concern and public interest.
It has been confirmed that Hampshire Constabulary shared highly sensitive and confidential information about victims and alleged abusers, with Caroline Nokes MP, without the consent of the victims.
It also appears Operation Oregon, or the IPCC, did not have sight of the confirmed terms of reference for Operation Flamborough,
This is a staggering allegation.
That the Chief Constable for Hampshire Police deliberately misled the investigating police force by providing a false and misleading terms of reference, suggests that the findings of Operation Oregon are now legally unsafe.
If it is proven that Essex Police were misled over the Operation Flamborough terms of reference, then it follows that Andy Marsh must have been fully aware that Operation Oregon’s findings were manifestly untrue.
Post Hillsborough, when the public have lost so much faith in the police, this is a troubling revelation. For those of us who have been on the receiving end of Hampshire Constabulary’s political policing however, these revelations simply confirm long-held suspicions about endemic corrupt practices at Hants Police and their links to senior political figures in Hampshire.
Was former Hampshire PCC Simon Hayes aware that his Chief Constable was misleading both the press and public along with another police force? Representatives of Simon Hayes sat on the Operation Flamborough Gold Team and Hayes publicly attacked those who dared to question the actions of Hampshire Constabulary in relation to Stanbridge Earls School. He may have lost his job earlier this year, but he is not immune from questioning or prosecution.
Likewise, Caroline Nokes MP. She held private briefings with Andy Marsh over Stanbridge Earls School and was tipped off by Hampshire Constabulary in order to brief the press against those campaigners trying to get to the truth.
Ms Nokes, whose role is at the epicentre of this scandal must also face a full investigation. Was the MP aware that Andy Marsh was misleading the public, press and Essex Police
Her father and leader of Hampshire County Council, Cllr Roy Perry, had officers sitting on the Gold Group along with the DfE, including notorious Hampshire Chief Exec (and former head of Children’s Services at the time of the child sex abuse scandal at Stanbridge Earls) John Coughlan.
These individuals must have been complicit in misleading Essex Police in an attempt to protect the reputation of both the police and Hampshire County Council.
The revelations also support long held allegations of an establishment cover-up at Stanbridge Earls school.
After the findings of Operation Oregon were published, Andy Marsh issued a press release criticising families of sex abuse victims for making a complaint against him. If he had willfully misled Operation Oregon, then this statement attacking those parents was not only a lie, but is morally reprehensible.
Such is the seriousness of the complaints against Andy Marsh, I understand from my Westminster source that Essex Police have been instructed to identify whether Andy Marsh has committed a criminal offence, and if so, they are to inform the Crown Prosecution Service immediately.
It is astonishing given these revelations, that the Avon & Somerset PCC, Sue Mountstevens has not suspended her newly appointed Chief Constable, pending the outcome of what is now thought to become a criminal investigation. This call was made by Ian Liddell-Grainger MP in Parliament last week.
Perhaps Ms Mountstevens realises her own position is now untenable, having lost five Chief Constables during her tenure. It’s clear she appointed Andy Marsh without conducting any basic due diligence and disregarding entirely the fact his wife is the Assistant Chief Constable.
Despite the best endeavours of the ruling elite to cover up this nasty child abuse scandal, the tenacity of the victims and campaigners will ensure that those responsible will face justice, either now, or in the future.