Walney councillor claimed cop ‘touched girls’
Last updated at 14:50, Tuesday, 19 June 2012
A COUNCILLOR has apologised after accusing a police officer of inappropriate behaviour.
Councillor Tony Callister, a member of Barrow Borough Council for Walney North, has issued a letter of apology after a complaint was made by Cumbria police.
Cllr Callister, who is the chairman of the council’s licensing committee and a firefighter, sent the letter of apology after an investigation was carried out by a council sub-committee.
The complaint relates to the councillor’s behaviour after police were called to the Cemetery Cottages Club in Schneider Road, Barrow, on March 17.
A report prepared for tomorrow’s(20/6) executive committee reveals Cllr Callister made the allegation after police received complaints about anti-social behaviour at a party at the club.
Cllr Callister told police the event was his son’s 18th birthday party and he believed the party was getting out of control. The club’s committee members agreed the bar should be closed and ended the event voluntarily.
However as people began to leave, Cllr Callister approached one of the officers and questioned their behaviour.
According to the report, Cllr Callister said: “I want you to appraise me as to why you are here and what you are doing, your behaviour is unacceptable. I have video evidence of you touching girls inappropriately, are you behaving in an appropriate manner?”
According to the report, the officer replied: “I’ve just got out of the vehicle and spoken to a lad up the road and come straight here.
“I haven’t spoken to any females. We are here to check this licensed premises as there are a lot of underage people who are possibly drinking. If you have any issues or complaints, then you can speak to (anonymous) who is inside.”
Another officer who was in attendance made the complaint and the council carried out an investigation. Cllr Callister was found not to have breached the council’s code of conduct but was found to have failed to have treated others with respect, to have attempted to intimidate the person involved and to have brought the authority into disrepute. In a letter of apology to the officer, Cllr Callister wrote: “On the evening of my son’s 18th party I never envisaged such a large volume of people which would lead to the attendance of yourself and the other police officers who attended the Cemetery Cottages.
“I was relieved in the action taken that evening in the closing down of the party and I am very complimentary in the way the officers dealt with the large crowd outside the building and the way the crowd was dispersed.
“May I apologise specifically to (anonymous) and (anonymous) for any misunderstanding when I approached them outside the premises. It was never any intention whatsoever to embarrass them or question their authority in any way, shape or form and I feel that my comments were taken out of context.”
Cumbria police accepted the apology. Cllr Callister told the Evening Mail: “I would just like to re-iterate there has been no breakdown in communication with the police and that myself and the licensing committee continue to have a good relationship with each other.”
First published at 13:29, Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Donât you think our Police Officers have a difficult job without being wrongly accused of âtouching girls inappropriatelyâ? I think it is disgraceful that the Chair of the councilâs licensing committee and County Councillor of Walney has acted in this manner. He is supposed to lead our Island community by example, not to condemn the organisation that protects us.
I feel the letter of apology to the Police is not satisfactory as Councillor Callister claims the incident was a misunderstanding and his comments taken out of context, this is not an apology and undermines the feelings of the Officers involved.
I also find it bizarre that the Councils investigation into this incident found him not to have breached the councilâs code of conduct but has âfailedâ to treat people with respect and has brought the Authority into disrepute. Isnât respect and disrepute in the Councils Code of conduct?? If not it should be!!