For those of you who prefer to rely on primary sources, below is the documentation that led the Western Morning News to splash this morning on the behaviour of Mike Bull, Chairman of Devon and Cornwall Police Authority and of one of the candidates for next week’s Police and Crime Commissioner elections, Brian Greenslade.
You will see the e mail Mr Bull sent Devon and Cornwall police officers appealing them to vote for his friend Brian Greenslade. Mr Bull makes much of Mr Greenslade’s “independence” but omits to mention Mr Greenslade is a life-long Liberal Democrat, has spent years with Mr Bull on the current police authority thanks to his party affiliation and is still the leader of the Liberal Democrats on North Devon District Council. Mr Bull’s e mail also says he has been promised the job of deputy commissioner for Devon by Mr Greenslade if Mr Greenslade wins.
You will also see the e mail sent by Devon and Cornwall Deputy Chief Constable, David Zinzan, to his staff in reaction to Mr Bull’s e mail.
I am also attaching full copies of the letters I have sent the Information Commissioner, Mr Bull and Deputy Chief Constable Zinzan.
Mr Greenslade is quoted in today’s Western Morning News claiming Mr Bull is “not in any way part of his campaign.” Yet at the bottom of Mr Bull’s e mail you will see the clear imprint: “Promoted and published by Brian Greenslade, 2 Longpiece, Marwood, Barnstaple, Devon EX31 4DT.
Both Mr Bull and Mr Greenslade have some serious explaining to do.
I should like to draw your attention to and make a formal complaint about material that I have received in connection with the current election campaign for Police and Crime Commissioner in Devon and Cornwall.
It has been sent out to serving police officers and staff in the last few days by the out-going Chairman of the Devon and Cornwall Police Authority, Mike Bull, urging them to vote for one of the candidates, Brian Greenslade. Mr Greenslade is also an out-going member of the Police Authority, its former Chairman and is the Liberal Democrat leader of North Devon District Council – although he is describing himself as an “Independent” for the purposes of this election. Mr Bull also says in his e mail that if Mr Greenslade wins the election, he (Mr Bull) has been promised the job of his deputy commissioner for Devon.
I was passed the e mail in question by police staff, furious that they had been contacted in this way.
I also enclose a copy of a communication sent out in response to the circulation of Mr Bull’s e mail by the Deputy Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall, David Zinzan, in which he says many of his staff had received Mr Bull’s e mail and advising them on how to deal with it.
I believe Mr Bull’s e mail raises serious questions about a possible misuse of police data for the purpose of electioneering and about the security of that data in the first place. Given the elections are little over a week away and postal votes have already been issued, I request you investigate this as a matter of urgency.
The Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw, MP
Letter to David Zinzan:
I have been passed copies of an e mail from the out-going Chairman of Devon and Cornwall Police Authority, Mike Bull, to serving police staff urging them to vote for one of the candidates in next week’s PCC election and of a communication from you to your staff advising them how to deal with Mr Bull’s e mail.
In your e mail you say “many” of your staff will have received Mr Bull’s e mail. I would be grateful if you could tell me how many serving Devon and Cornwall Police Staff received Mr Bull’s e mail and how he obtained their e mail addresses.
Because of the concerns this raises about the security and possible misuse of police data I have today also written to the Information Commissioner to make a formal complaint and ask him to investigate.
With very best wishes,
Letter to Mike Bull:
I have received from a constituent a copy of an e mail you appear to have sent serving Devon and Cornwall Police staff urging them to vote for one of the candidates in next week’s PCC election.
You also request the recipients to cascade your e mail to people in their e mail address book.
I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions:
1. To whom have you sent this e mail?
2. How did you obtain their e mail addresses?
I have also today written to the Information Commissioner raising concerns about the possible misuse of police data for electioneering purposes and to the Deputy Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall about the security of the police data base.