St Helena Online

Police whistle-blower ‘deserves apology’ after being forced out

St Helena Government acted to “remove” a police officer after he blew the whistle on  “potential wrongdoing” – before his claims had even been investigated.

The Wass report says he acted honourably and should receive a written apology, “preferably from Governor Capes”.

Some of them proved to be valid. One resulted in a new law to ban children from bars on Ascension Island.

PC Michael Anderson raised concerns with his former Member of Parliament in Hampshire. They were later investigated – twice – by two UK police forces.

“The inquiry panel is of the view that Mr Anderson was treated neither fairly nor judiciously by the St Helena Government,” says the Wass report.

“Email traffic between the St Helena Government and the FCO… makes it plain that a decision had been made to remove Mr Anderson from his post before any formal investigation was conducted by Sussex Police.

“The immediate response of the St Helena Government and the FCO was to ‘take action’
(as Governor Capes put it) against Mr Anderson rather than address the issues he raised, some of which were entirely valid.

“The inquiry panel is of the view that Mr Anderson acted with honourable intentions and, although several of his allegations were without foundation, he deserved to be taken seriously.

“Instead, a pretext was devised for him to leave his employment.”

Northumbria Police said the matter should be resolved “in fairness and justice to Mr Anderson.”

The Wass Inquiry panel agreed. Its report says: “Mr Anderson should receive a written apology (preferably from Governor Capes) for the unfair treatment he received from the St Helena Government and the FCO.”

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