Friday, 5 October 2012

In reply to Inspector Brennan

Dear Inspector Brennan

I am seriously concerned at your failure to communicate with me before making the decision that the Recordable Verbal Warning issued under The Protection From Harassment Act 1997, following complaints from Everton Football Club, that I had 'harassed' the Principal of the Everton Free School Adrian Packer, should not be reviewed and withdrawn.

In your letter you present new allegations and evidence, some of which is completely factually incorrect. It seems that the Professional Standards Department of Merseyside Police exists in an 'Alice in Wonderland' environment – First the sentence, then the verdict and ignore any evidence from the accused.
  1. In your letter you quote Mr Packer alleging that there were 'a number of meetings'. The meetings you mention on June 16th and June 21st were the public consultations for the Everton Free School. You failed to state that in your letter. At the first event I met Mr Packer for ten seconds and shook his hand. During that time was he 'intimidated', did he feel that his 'personal safety' was threatened? I did not meet him on June 21st. At both events I spent some time talking with Denise Barratt-Baxendale the CEO of Everton in the Community. That is the only occasion I have met Mr Packer. Just to repeat I have met Mr Packer once for ten seconds. Please could you outline the time, date and place of the other meetings that Mr Packer alleges took place.
  1. You mention 'remarks and comments' about Mr Packer on social media, I presume that you are referring to 'Evertonians Against Free Schools'. I have asked on numerous occasions for Mr Packer to reveal his salary, this is after all taxpayers' money, a perfectly legitimate question. Please could you provide details of any comments made by me on social media that could any way be construed as a threat to Mr Packer's personal safety? Is is now illegal to use social media to question public officials?
  1. You make the allegation that I visited the Everton Football Club Shop. My last visit there was about ten years ago. Please could you inform me of the time and date of the alleged visit.
  1. It is true that I did visit the Goodison Park Stadium shortly after the June 21st consultation meeting, this was to see Denise Barratt-Baxendale to warn her that the Harmonize Academy, which she had mentioned as a good example of a proposed free school did in fact subscribe to creationist views and that an organisation allied to the free school was being charged with corporate manslaughter and therefore it would not be advisable for the club to be involved with them. I left a message asking her to contact me urgently. Is visiting a football club to leave a message for someone now classed as 'intimidation'? Please could you provide any records of this visit to Goodison.
  1. You make the allegation that I 'by-passed security' to visit the Everton Free School. As Mr Packer acknowledged in his letter it was a student open day so no security was in place.
  1. You make a completely unsupported allegation that I 'confronted' Mr Packer's PA. The purpose of my visit was to enquire when I would receive a reply to my letter which asked for details on a) the number of pupils in the Everton Free School b) details of Mr Packer's salary. My conduct was at all times courteous and polite.
  1. You allege that Mr Packer 'and others' are fearful of their personal safety. Who are the other people mentioned? Please give exact details how any of my actions listed above could make Mr Packer 'fear for his personal safety'? When, where and how have I caused him to feel this way? For the record, I have met Mr Packer once, for ten seconds.
  1. You mention that in conversation with Mr Miller I stated that I would visit the Everton Free School again. Please check with him, I gave a clear undertaking that I would not visit again, unless invited. Again, if you had taken the trouble to ask me this matter could have been cleared up before you made your ruling.
  1. Why were Everton Football Club involved in making the complaint? You provide no details as to why they were involved. The Everton Free School is an autonomous organisation.
  1. You state that make actions have gone beyond 'lawful and peaceful protest'. Please could you expand on that and provide details of which laws have been broken.
The allegations contained in your letter are a grave slur on my standing and character. This is clearly an attempt to criminalise protest using the flimsiest of pretexts. Where is there any semblance of fairness, balance, or the attempt to listen to my point of view, or to check facts in your letter?

I have made a formal complaint to the IPCC.

Yours sincerely

Richard Knights

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