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Conduct and Code of Ethics Complaints against Jane Susan Wintermeyer 3840 T/Force

Solicitor engaged with North Yorkshire Police and based at their Newby Wiske HQ.
Made by: Neil Wilby of 4 Whinmoor Drive, Clayton West HD8 9QA and submitted to Head of
North Yorkshire Police (NYP) Professional Standards Department and the Independent Police
Complaints Commission (IPCC) on 17th December 2015.

1. Events giving rise to the complaint and short chronology


a. I am a justice campaigner and accredited investigative journalist.
b. I am presently involved in litigation with NYP as applicant (claimant) in a public
law challenge to a Decision Notice made by the North Yorkshire Police and
Crime Commissioner (PCC).
c. Ms Wintermeyer is the officer appointed to deal with matters on behalf of both
the Defendant and the Interested Party, who are the PCC and the Chief
Constable of NYP, respectively.
d. In accordance with pre-action protocol under Court Procedure Rules (CPR), a
letter before claim was issued on 9th November, 2015.
e. Two replies dated 23rd November were received in response from Ms
Wintermeyer.
f. I replied to Ms Wintermeyer on 25th November.
g. Ms Wintermeyer did not reply to that letter.
h. A further letter was sent to Ms Wintermeyer on 15th December. The email
carrying it was marked URGENT
i. It was specifically requested that Ms Wintermeyer acknowledge receipt by
return email and reply substantively no later than 4pm on 17th December.
j. Ms Wintermeyer did not acknowledge or reply to that letter.
k. The issues raised in the 17th December letter are uncomplicated, largely
repeated from the letter of 25th November, 2015 and the materials requested by
way of disclosure readily accessible in a well-run public authority.
l. For the purposes of this complaint I make the presumption that NYP would fit
into that category, presently. Although there is significant past evidence that
they have fallen short of those standards.
m. Ms Wintermeyer is aware that it is contemplated that the claim form will be filed
at Leeds Administrative Court on 21st December.
n. Ms Wintermeyer is further aware that without the requested responses and
disclosure set out in the 15th December letter my claim would be adversely
prejudiced. A pre-action disclosure Order would have to be sought, along with a
stay of the judicial review proceedings.
o. The Courts deadline for filing the judicial review application is 29th December.
The Court is closed from 24th to 28th December.
p. There has been no contact on the telephone or face-to-face between Ms
Wintermeyer and I. Although I was informed after the hearing that we were in
the same courtroom in Leeds on 27th November at a multi-handed pre trial
review.

q. This complaint is not personalised. It addresses the unprofessional and


unethical behaviour of an officer acting in a very senior role in both the offices
of the Chief Constable and the PCC.

2. Grounds for complaint


a. All police officers and staff are required to comply in all respects with the
College Of Policing Code of Ethics. Section 5 deals in detail with the
responsibilities of individual officers and police forces and the consequences of
breaches of the Code.
b. In this complaint, matters are aggravated by the fact that the officer complained
about is of senior managerial rank engaged and, furthermore, an Officer of the
Court.
c. This complaint alleges the following breaches of the Code of Ethics
Authority Respect and Courtesy It is self evident that Ms Wintermeyer has
not treated me with either respect or courtesy. She has failed to acknowledge
or respond to two letters in the course of pre-action action protocol. I am a
journalist trying to do my job and I am entitled to be treated with the ordinary
courtesies a member of the public might expect from a member of the police
service. Ms Wintermeyer is indulging herself in oppressive behaviour that could
be construed as a form of harassment and will, most certainly, bring damage to
her own reputation and that of the police force that engages her as a result.
Equality and Diversity Ms Wintermeyer exhibits partiality and prejudice
towards me in her letter dated 23rd November, 2015. Grounded, I submit, in my
role as a journalist and the fact that I am challenging a Decision that,
potentially, may cause her (and her client) significant professional discomfort in
the future. The attempt by Ms Wintermeyer to smear me, and denigrate my
standing as applicant (claimant), is disproportionate, gratuitous, almost
completely absent of merit and, furthermore, wholly unethical. My letter to her
dated 15th December disposes of those smears but she has not sought to
correct the position in her formal response to the letter before claim.
Duties and Responsibilities I accept that Ms Wintermeyer has higher duties
to her client, and the Court, than she does to me as a journalist. She may also
be lacking in instructions from her client (in this case the PCCs Chief
Executive) but she also has a duty to keep me properly informed and act in a
diligent and professional manner in keeping with her role in the police force. I
am entitled to an explanation and justification of her decisions, or those of her
client.
Openness Judicial review requires a cards on the table process that should
enable the parties to narrow or resolve issues. Ms Wintermeyers letter dated
23rd November, 2015 failed to address a number of key points in a manner that
was, ion the face of the facts, totally unsatisfactory. These failings have been
pointed out, twice, since, and I have further assisted her by providing a
disclosure request in my third letter. The Decision under challenge recites the
PCCs commitment to openness and transparency no less than four times, yet
that ethical principle falls at the first hurdle. In all my dealings with North
Yorkshire Police there is this troubling and unethical lack of candour (and
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indeed a willingness to relentlessly flout the law in the case of information


requests): Ms Wintermeyers conduct towards me epitomises that very well.

3. Requested Outcome
a. Ms Wintermeyer to receive words of advice as to her future conduct.
b. A written, sincere apology to be given to me.