Landmark victory for police candidate

A senior police officer has won a landmark victory in his quest to find out why he didn’t get the job of Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police.

Howard Roberts, formerly Deputy Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire, is convinced that something went awry with the selection process for the Dyfed-Powys job in 2008.

Now a tribunal has upheld his claim under the Freedom of Information Act and ordered Dyfed-Powys Police Authority to give him more information.

That includes personal data on an HM Inspectorate of Constabulary official who sat in on the selection com- Landmark victory for police candidate mittee meeting and who Mr Roberts believes stymied his chances of appointment to the post.

Judge David Farrar QC told the First Tier Tribunal that HMIC representative, Kate Flannery, had left members of the committee “shocked and deeply disturbed”

after delivering a “very critical appraisal” of Mr Roberts which stood in sharp contrast to her earlier written assessment.

He added: “They (the committee members) may have felt that they were left with no choice as to their selection.

They duly appointed Ian Arundale. It is accepted on all sides that he was an excellent candidate but that, however, does not dispel grave concerns as to what took place”.

Dyfed-Powys Police Authority has disclosed to Mr Roberts some documents relating to what happened, although some of them only in redacted form.

Upholding Mr Roberts challenge, Judge Farrar said: “There can be no question as to the substantial public interest in the integrity of the selection procedure for any public office, but most particularly an office as responsible and politically sensitive as that of Chief Constable.

“In our view, he is entitled, as is the public, to see just what part Ms Flannery played and how she performed it in the eyes of those who were present.”

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