Sussex Police is facing questions over its use of a law designed to tackle serious crime to investigate an inspector suspected of divulging police information to outsiders including journalists.They can’t be trusted, can they?
Graham Cox, a retired detective chief superintendent with Sussex Police, said Mr Lyons may have been able to argue some of the information disclosed, taken individually, was in the public interest.
He added he was “uncomfortable” with the force’s use of RIPA for an internal disciplinary investigation.
Mr Cox said: “I do question the proportionality of that. I don’t think that is what the act was brought in for.
“It was brought in to regulate the investigation of serious crime – whatever you might feel about Lee Lyons’ conduct, I am not sure any of it amounted to serious crime.
“If you were being investigated for misconduct in your workplace, your employers would not be able to use the resources of the police to do it. I think there has been a quite a lot of mission creep with RIPA over the years.”
He added its use made officers “scared” to talk to the press, which would ultimately be bad for police and the public.You know, I’m not sure the police’s reputation can take very many more hits, can it? Hopefully, their union will aid this officer in ….
Matt Webb, chair of the Sussex branch of the Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file-officers, said he was comfortable with the way Mr Lyons’ case had been handled.*speechless*
Deputy chief constable Ms Pinkney told The Argus that Mr Lyons’ disclosures had created “extra pain” for victims and damaged the public’s faith that they can “entrust their information to us”.
“The public have a right to trust their police – they have a right when they tell us something to know that we will hold that carefully,” she said.They’ve seen how you pull out all the stops – including potentially illegal ones – to nail a dissenter in your own ranks. Why on earth would they think they might get treated any better?