Detective wants apology from force
A LONG-serving detective who won a claim of unfair dismissal against Suffolk police has said she is still awaiting an apology from the constabulary.In a statement released yesterday Vivienne Yarham, of Nacton, near Ipswich, criticised the force and expressed her regret at having to take legal action at the end of a career she “truly loved”.
A LONG-serving detective who won a claim of unfair dismissal against Suffolk police has said she is still awaiting an apology from the constabulary.
In a statement released yesterday Vivienne Yarham, of Nacton, near Ipswich, criticised the force and expressed her regret at having to take legal action at the end of a career she “truly loved”.
The EADT had reported how she told tribunal officials in July that she was left with no other option than to resign after 25 years' service because of the treatment she endured after “blowing the whistle” on the actions of another officer.
In recording the verdict, panel chairman Jeremy Cole said he was “appalled” with Suffolk Constabulary's treatment of Ms Yarham and that they could and should have been dealt with her concerns a lot better.
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The 44-year-old's statement said: “Suffolk Constabulary made a pre-tribunal comment stating they were disappointed that they had not been able to amicably resolve this issue without going to a tribunal but they did everything they could in order not to resolve this matter.
“I have loyally served the Constabulary and the Suffolk public for twenty five years in a career I truly loved and I did not expect it to end this way.
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“The Suffolk Police Federation and their solicitors Russell, Jones and Walker stated that I did not have a case.
“In view of the way I was treated by the Constabulary I took this matter myself to the employment tribunal in the hope that what I have had to endure will never ever happen again.
“At no stage has any senior manager apologised for what has happened to me.”
Ms Yarham, who left Suffolk Police in 2004, had told the tribunal how problems developed after she voiced concerns about Detective Constable Steve Rowland, whom she suspected of falsifying evidence to pay sources for information.
Her supervisor, Detective Sergeant Stan Nicholls, had questioned her mental stability and suggested that she may have been suffering from paranoia, the tribunal heard.
Suffolk police had strongly denied any wrongdoing against Ms Yarham, who had worked in a specialist role based in Ipswich gathering vital information from informants in the fight against drug-related crime.
The force now faces another hearing to decide the amount of compensation Ms Yarham will receive.
Her statement continued: “I would like to thank most sincerely my family, friends, former colleagues and members of the public who have all supported me at this difficult time, including my solicitor Richard Porter of Thompson, Smith & Puxon of Colchester and my counsel Peter Edwards of Devereaux Chambers both of whom I am extremely indebted to.”
Last night Colin Langham-Fitt, deputy chief constable of Suffolk, said the constabulary regretted losing such an experienced officer and would learn from its mistakes.
He continued: “We accept the findings of the tribunal, which make it clear that the organisation failed Ms Yarham, for which we apologise.”
A spokesperson for solicitors Russell, Jones and Walker said: “Though the public interest disclosure act 1998 entitled employees for protection from whistle blowing prior to April 1 2004 police officers were excluded from the legislation.
“We could not therefore advise that any claim would succeed prior to this.
“Following the extension of the public interest disclosure provisions to the police service we advised as to the circumstances in which a potential claim might arise. We are unable to comment on any facts which may have arisen subsequent to any advice we provided.
“Russell, Jones and Walker has successfully conducted a number of high profile whistle blowing actions and recognizes the considerable difficulty faced by claimants who blow the whistle on their employers. “We congratulate Ms Yarham on her successful result.”
A spokesman for the Suffolk Police Federation declined to comment last night.