Call for investigation over police authority chairman's email to officers

First published in Devon

A Devon MP has called for an investigation into accusations the outgoing head of the Devon and Cornwall Police Authority broke the law by e-mailing officers about the upcoming police commissioner elections.

Exeter's Labour MP, Ben Bradshaw, said he has reported authority chairman Mike Bull to the Information Commissioner after he contacted officers about his preferred police commissioner candidate

Mr Bradshaw said a police officer from his constituency showed him the email, and that the the use of and access to the police database to electioneer is potentially a legal matter.

He said: "That's why it's very important that the Information Commissioner investigates this as a matter of urgency."

Mr Bull has since said  the emails were sent in a personal capacity, using "personal email records" not police equipment.

Mike Bull said: "I am absolutely certain that the Information Commissioner will find I have done nothing wrong.

"I made it abundantly clear I was not doing this as chairman of police authority".

A spokesman from Devon and Cornwall Police said: "Due to the content of this email, it was referred by the chief constable to the chief executive of the police authority with a recommendation that it was referred to Police Area Returning Officer.

The police authority said it believed no further action was necessary in connection with the first email.

It added: "Last week, a second email was received from Mr Bull. This has also been referred to the authority and the internal message reiterated.

"We are considering the content of the second email and will refer it to the PARO if necessary."

The police commissioner elections are on November 15.

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