UKIP councillor Tony Hooke demands suspension of Hampshire police chief constable Andy Marsh over sex abuse probe whitewash claim



First published in News

UKIP councillors have demanded the suspension of Hampshire’s top police officer.

It comes amid a police probe into claims he ordered a whitewash over the failure of police investigations into sex abuse allegations at Stanbridge Earls School near Romsey. The Echo exclusively revealed the full extent of Operation Oregon – Essex Police’s investigation – earlier this month, with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary Chief Constable, Andy Marsh, facing nine complaints. They include leaking details of alleged victims and giving ‘instructions’ to officers that were designed to ‘mislead’ parents of alleged victims.

Now UKIP councillors are demanding his suspension, claiming he is incapable of properly running the force. In a letter to Simon Hayes, Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner, UKIP deputy leader at Hampshire County Council Tony Hooke, demanded action within 48 hours. It read: “I am deeply concerned that the Chief Constable, Andy Marsh, has not yet been suspended from duty. I consider this to be a serious error of judgement on your behalf. “Consequently, if Chief Constable Marsh is not suspended by you in the next 48 hours, I will have no alternative but to raise the issue with the Home Secretary and ask her to intervene.” Sam Gibson, head of communications at the office of the Police Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, said: “We have assured the people that delivered the letter that they will receive a response from us within 48 hours, but we do not wish to add anything further at this stage.”

Hampshire police were unavailable for comment.

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