Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner to send written apology over Facebook messages about travellers

Cambridgeshire's Police and Crime Commissioner has said he will write a written apology over comments he made about travellers.

Monday, 17th October 2016, 4:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 7:16 pm
Jason Ablewhite

Jason Ablewhite was reported over private Facebook messages made seven years ago which made reference to “pikeys.”

And although the Independent Police Complaints Commission decided it did not need to investigate the comments, a county police and crime panel has called on him to apologise.

The panel recommended that Mr Ablewhite send the complainant a written apology, invite the complainant to a meeting and engage with representatives of the traveller community.

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The Conservative commissioner’s comments, which also included remarks about “Spanish asylum seekers” found in an “inflatable grotto lorry,” first came to light shortly before he was elected in May.

At the time Mr Ablewhite, then executive leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, said the remarks to friends were just “banter” and that he had no hate for any groups of people.

But he has now agreed to follow up on all three of the panel’s recommendations.

He said: “I am pleased that the review of this complaint has now been concluded and I accept the recommendations the panel have made.

“My position remains the same regarding the comments I made. I do accept that comments between myself and fellow councillors on Facebook in 2009 can be interpreted as offensive and I have apologised.

“I have now been in the job nearly six months and I have been hugely impressed by the dedication and passion of those I have met across the Constabulary. There are also many challenges ahead.

“Moving forward, it is important we focus on building on these strengths and responding to the challenges.”