Dr Rachel Frosh's appointment referred to police watchdog

Dr Rachel Frosh.

Dr Rachel Frosh.

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

The appointment of Hertfordshire’s recently departed deputy police crime commissioner has been referred to a police watchdog, the Watford Observer can reveal.

Dr Rachel Frosh, who resigned her £20,000 two-day a week role after widespread criticism of her decision to retweet a picture and quote from Adolf Hitler, had allegedly not been formally approved when she started work prompting a member of the public to alert the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

A Freedom of Information request by businessman Mark Ryan showed Dr Frosh started work as David Lloyd’s deputy on the morning of December 6 but wasn’t approved by the Police and Crime Panel until a meeting that evening.

Mr Ryan complained to the panel but a leaked email shows chairman Ray Hannam told other councillors on January 18 he had "no reason to doubt the validity of our procedures" so would not discuss the complaint in a public forum unless he was convinced otherwise.

After learning of this Mr Ryan referred the matter to both the IPCC and the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO).

During a heated confrontation at last Thursday’s (February 14) Police and Crime Panel meeting in Rickmansworth Mr Ryan attempted to address Mr Hannam about his complaint but was repeatedly interrupted and was denied an answer by the chairman.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Ryan said: "I do not know Rachel Frosh and have nothing against her but I was concerned about the procedural requirements of putting a deputy into the post.

"As far as I can see that procedure has been stonewalled.

"At the meeting I tried to take the opportunity to ask questions about my complaint but I was told I wasn’t allowed.

"He denied telling the panel members not to discuss it so I was equally disappointed none of the panel members corrected the chairman or came to my defence.

"My complaint was my complaint and until they have investigated it I don’t think they can say they haven’t done anything wrong."

Neither Mr Lloyd nor Mr Hannam could be reached for comment but in a letter to the complainant Andrew White, chief executive in the PCC’s office defended the procedure.

He said: "The Commissioner was convinced that for this appointment was correct and that there was little prospect of challenge from the panel.

"The Deputy Commissioner is the only appointment in his gift where the selected person is not politically restricted and there is no requirement to have a formal selection process to find the suitable person.

"This view was also reflected by the panel when they considered the matter on that evening.

"The Commissioner did provide the panel with a report setting out why he believed that Dr Frosh was a suitable candidate for this role.

"The panel made clear at the meeting that it had no objections to this appointment and this has subsequently been confirmed in the minutes of the meeting."

Dr Frosh, who was suspended from the Conservative Party candidate list following her resignation, stressed that the "lazy retweet" on microblogging site Twitter was not an endorsement of the message, which read "Dear Socialists embrace your inner Nazism".

A spokesman for the IPCC confirmed a letter of complaint had been received and the matter was being looked into but said the organisation was only likely to intervene if a member of the panel had acted in a criminal manner.

Comments (10)

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6:01pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Vicar*o*rage says...

Typical Tories, corrupt and devious
Typical Tories, corrupt and devious Vicar*o*rage
  • Score: 0

6:23pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Wacko Jacko says...

I hope Mr Ryan doesn't give up on this
I hope Mr Ryan doesn't give up on this Wacko Jacko
  • Score: 0

7:01pm Thu 21 Feb 13

theturpster says...

Vicar*o*rage wrote:
Typical Tories, corrupt and devious
And different to others in which way?
[quote][p][bold]Vicar*o*rage[/bold] wrote: Typical Tories, corrupt and devious[/p][/quote]And different to others in which way? theturpster
  • Score: 0

7:43pm Thu 21 Feb 13

LSC says...

This whole farce just gets sillier and sillier.
This whole farce just gets sillier and sillier. LSC
  • Score: 0

9:10pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Mohandas says...

LSC wrote:
This whole farce just gets sillier and sillier.
What is really disturbing is that those in power feel that they can behave like some feudal lord handing out sinecure offices without consideration for the public purse when many front line staff are being sacked and potholes expand. This strikes at the very heart and soul of the office of Crime Commissioner. I'm full of admiration for people like Mr Ryan who refused to be silenced and sought to expose the failings of those in office. We need more people like Mr Ryan. Far too many of us are cowed when faced with these power groups.Well done Mr Ryan.
[quote][p][bold]LSC[/bold] wrote: This whole farce just gets sillier and sillier.[/p][/quote]What is really disturbing is that those in power feel that they can behave like some feudal lord handing out sinecure offices without consideration for the public purse when many front line staff are being sacked and potholes expand. This strikes at the very heart and soul of the office of Crime Commissioner. I'm full of admiration for people like Mr Ryan who refused to be silenced and sought to expose the failings of those in office. We need more people like Mr Ryan. Far too many of us are cowed when faced with these power groups.Well done Mr Ryan. Mohandas
  • Score: 0

10:25pm Thu 21 Feb 13

LSC says...

Indeed. I might be mistaken of course, but I honestly do not recall the post of a Deputy (at the public expense) being mentioned the run up to the PCC elections, which were so dramatically ignored by the public.
I was even threatened with criminal action if I failed to register to vote, they were so desperate; even though I had no intention whatsoever of voting!

If there had been a box marked: 'We think this is a stupid idea, scrap it' , I think you'd have seen a much bigger turnout. And I know what would have won.

The people have spoken, as best they were allowed to. If this is anything like approaching a democracy, scrap the PCC and who knows how many other lackeys he has working for him.
Indeed. I might be mistaken of course, but I honestly do not recall the post of a Deputy (at the public expense) being mentioned the run up to the PCC elections, which were so dramatically ignored by the public. I was even threatened with criminal action if I failed to register to vote, they were so desperate; even though I had no intention whatsoever of voting! If there had been a box marked: 'We think this is a stupid idea, scrap it' , I think you'd have seen a much bigger turnout. And I know what would have won. The people have spoken, as best they were allowed to. If this is anything like approaching a democracy, scrap the PCC and who knows how many other lackeys he has working for him. LSC
  • Score: 0

10:37pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Razor Sharp says...

Inappropriate re-tweet + failure to follow proper procedure + failure to admit the same + attempted suppression of evidence of such failings = riposte to democracy.
Inappropriate re-tweet + failure to follow proper procedure + failure to admit the same + attempted suppression of evidence of such failings = riposte to democracy. Razor Sharp
  • Score: 0

8:25am Fri 22 Feb 13

Focus-Focus says...

I say I know chaps!

Perhaps Lloyd would like to offer Brian Rix the deputyship he is a past master at farce! I'm laughing already.
I say I know chaps! Perhaps Lloyd would like to offer Brian Rix the deputyship he is a past master at farce! I'm laughing already. Focus-Focus
  • Score: 0

9:49am Fri 22 Feb 13

MarsLander says...

theturpster wrote:
Vicar*o*rage wrote:
Typical Tories, corrupt and devious
And different to others in which way?
I agree. I doubt Labour or the LibDems would have been any better had they got in.

The whole bunch of candidates looked pretty weak to me.
[quote][p][bold]theturpster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Vicar*o*rage[/bold] wrote: Typical Tories, corrupt and devious[/p][/quote]And different to others in which way?[/p][/quote]I agree. I doubt Labour or the LibDems would have been any better had they got in. The whole bunch of candidates looked pretty weak to me. MarsLander
  • Score: 0

11:19am Fri 22 Feb 13

amershamhornet says...

Unfortunately it will now cost more money to investigate why this PCC deputy was appointed in the first place. Again more money that could have been spent on local Policing. Whilst I hope the next government eliminate the post of PCC I hope the current government will admit that all they have done is to create an expensive system that is of little use and do away with it sooner than later.
Unfortunately it will now cost more money to investigate why this PCC deputy was appointed in the first place. Again more money that could have been spent on local Policing. Whilst I hope the next government eliminate the post of PCC I hope the current government will admit that all they have done is to create an expensive system that is of little use and do away with it sooner than later. amershamhornet
  • Score: 0

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