Gloucestershire police and crime commissioner Martin Surl should have apologised over media comments
GLOUCESTERSHIRE Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl should have apologised to a former senior officer he upset on national radio, a watchdog has ruled.
A behind-closed-doors meeting of the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Panel Complaints Subcommittee told him to be more careful when he takes to the airwaves.
He said comments he made about a former chief constable on Radio 4's Today programme were not intended to upset.
But one person complained and was not happy with the response from Mr Surl's office.
So the matter was referred to the panel on October 3.
Chairman Brian Calway said the meeting was held in private on legal advice.
"We listened to both sides and took actions within the powers the committee has," he said.
Mr Surl said the meeting followed a complaint about comments he made during a live discussion on Today on the topic of the fledgling relationship between some PCCs and some chief constables and the difficulties that have followed in some areas of the country as a result.
"It was, in the main, a general conversation with no specific reference or relevance to Gloucestershir," he said.
"The complainant took exception to some of my views which I maintain were delivered with honesty and without malice.
"Everyone is entitled to their view and, while I am disappointed it came to this, I respect the process and have nothing further to add."
The meeting is not a disciplinary process and does not involve any sanction.
The panel ruled that it appreciated the sensitivity around careers past and present but believes that the radio interview was given in good faith.
"The panel recommends that the commissioner is mindful of the consequences and the need for precision when speaking publicly about named individuals," it concluded.
"The panel recommends that in circumstances such as this, that the commissioner personally approves the content and tone of replies to complainants.
"The panel is of the opinion that an apology to the complainant would have been a way of resolving the complaint."