The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has been asked to look into two complaints made against the new police and crime commissioner, Jason Ablewhite.
The matter, concerning comments Mr Ablewhite is alleged to have made on Facebook in 2009, had been referred to the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Panel, which sat on July 11.
The panel barred the media from the discussion, but made a recommendation to refer the matter which it “deemed serious” to the IPCC.
In its background notes, the panel said: “Both complaints relate to alleged comments made by the commissioner on social media in November 2009. Whilst these alleged comments were made some years ago, these complaints are considered as the commissioner is a relevant office holder.”
The panel’s recommendation read: “To refer the two complaints to the IPCC as they are deemed serious complaints under Regulation 13 of the Elected Local Policing Bodies (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2012.”
In a statement, Mr Ablewhite told The Hunts Post that he accepted the comments could have been interpreted as “offensive”.
Adding: “The Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Panel has a statutory role for overseeing all complaints made against me. The panel has received two complaints relating to the comments I made on Facebook in 2009. A sub-committee of the Police and Crime Panel met on July 11 and decided to refer the issue to the Independent Police Complaints Commission who will determine whether the complaint should be investigated and, if so, how it should be investigated. It is now with them to decide the next steps.
My position remains the same regarding the comments I made. To reiterate, I accept that comments made between myself and fellow councillors on Facebook in 2009 can be interpreted as offensive and I have apologised.”