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Oct 11

Transport Police in the dock

Alun Thomas joined British TRanspotr Police from South Wales Police in January 2015 and was recently promoted from Chief Superintendent to Temporary Assistant Chief Constable, has presided over a miscarriage of justice.

Alun Thomas, who joined British Transport Police from South Wales Police in January 2015 and was recently promoted from Chief Superintendent to Temporary Assistant Chief Constable, is responsible for what is alleged to be a miscarriage of justice in a misconduct hearing he chaired.

British Transport Police have been accused of a gross miscarriage of justice in a misconduct hearing.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Alun Thomas chaired a tribunal which dismissed an officer whose children were wrongly taken into care last year after their eldest son made a false allegation of abuse against him and his wife.

The couple, from Bexley, are fighting to be reunited with their children. They recorded a video last Christmas in which they spoke of the injustice done to them by the London Borough of Bexley’s social services department.

Although their son retracted his allegation, and although the couple were acquitted in the criminal court in July 2015, the London Borough of Bexley insisted the parents had to make a specific application in the family court.  They did so this summer and hope to be reunited with their children next month.

FATHER DISMISSED

But the father, who was serving as PC4528, as we shall refer to him below, has been dismissed from the British Transport Police.

A misconduct hearing was held in July and the written decision was passed by the father to this ministry.  He was accused of bringing the British Transport Police into disrepute.

But it is the actual ruling and the unjust way in which the hearing was conducted which threatens to demean the force in the public eye.

RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL

Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights says: ‘In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.’ Natural justice and Biblical precedent agree.

Contrary to these provisions:

1 Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Alun Thomas and his tribunal decided the care order made by Judge Diane Redgrave in the family court amounted to ‘discreditable conduct’ on the part of PC4528.

2 The PC’s acquittal on abuse charges in the criminal court was not taken into account, or even referred to,

3 The tribunal decided to call no direct evidence of the alleged abuse whatsoever,

4 Mr Thomas said the care order was akin to a criminal conviction, which under police regulation 1.26 can itself amount to discreditable conduct.  The regulation specifies ‘been convicted of a criminal offence’ and says nothing about civil matters.

(Remember Judge Redgrave even advised the parents to plead guilty in the criminal court.  Imagine the consequences for the father had they taken that shocking advice.)

5 PC4528 was not allowed to call any witnesses in his defence or cross-examine those who alleged the abuse – which is now only the social workers, his children having strongly withdrawn their allegations,

6 He says he was not allowed to defend himself properly or speak for more than five minutes in his defence.

7 Alun Thomas and his Tribunal absurdly held that even though the care order was made in the family court to which members of the public are not admitted, and neither the officer nor his wife can be named in public, the officer’s alleged conduct discredited BTP in the eyes of the public because the social worker and children’s guardian who were present in the family court are members of the public.

Paul Crowther, Chief Constable of British Transport Police

Paul Crowther, Chief Constable of British Transport Police, is Alun Thomas’s boss.

APPEAL DATE AWAITED

PC4528 has appealed the decision and is awaiting a date for the appeal to be heard.

READ: Deut 19:8; Prov 31:8-9; Isa 1:17; Micah 6:8; John 7:51; Acts 16:20-29; Rev 20:4

PRAY: For justice to sweep like a river through this appalling case.  Pray for the police to uphold the same standards of honesty and fairness which they expect from the public at large. Pray for misconduct tribunals to be conducted justly and not like a kangaroo court.  Is anti-Christian prejudice at the root of it?  Or does the officer’s face just not fit?  Should there be an investigation into whether the conduct of Alun Thomas in chairing the tribunal has itself discredited the police?

Watch our video about the case in which the parents tell their harrowing story:

 

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1 comment

  1. Rox

    Most people aren’t very aware of British Transport Police anyway. Even if PC4528 didn’t conduct his family affairs very wisely, it wouldn’t make any difference to the public at all, and there would be no reason for it to affect his employment, not even if his name were reported in a corner of some local newspaper.

    Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Alun Thomas seems to have a grossly inflated idea of their and his own importance in the great scheme of things.

    You’re right. It is the handling of this affair by British Transport Police which has brought them publicity, but not good publicity, if that’s what they want.

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