Beer resident lodges police complaint

A BEER man is making a formal complaint against two police officers over the way he claims they dealt with a criminal damage case.

Daron Barnes, of Park Road, had cars belonging to him and his daughter’s boyfriend vandalised while parked outside his house on two occasions in the summer. It included offensive words scratched into the paintwork of one of them.

Because the perpetrator was known to Mr Barnes and admitted the offence to the police, even describing how he did it, it was decided to go down the restorative justice (RJ) route rather than prosecute. This involves the victim setting what they see as a reasonable level of compensation.

But the offender, who lives in the village, told police he didn’t have the money and his mother wouldn’t pay either.

Following this, a prosecution was sought, but because RJ was advised in the first instance, the Crown Prosecution Service returned the file to neighbourhood beat manager PC Steve Speariett, saying it couldn’t proceed.

Mr Barnes said: “I can’t understand why this individual is still walking around without a criminal record, while I’m having to foot the bill for the repairs, which could run to thousands of pounds.”

A “scribbled” letter of apology from the offender is all Mr Barnes has received so far. He says PC Speariett and Sergeant Richard Stonecliffe wrongly advised him over RJ, and has lodged a complaint against them.

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“It’s a complete and utter joke. Why is this young man allowed to get away with criminal damage because they are advising people wrongly?” he said. “Neither of them has been over and apologised to my face.”

Sgt Stonecliffe told the Herald: “As both the investigation into the offence and the complaint are ongoing we are not in a position to comment further at this time.”