Thursday, December 17, 2009

Corrupt British cop arranged for disabled neighbour to be pulled over and arrested after parking dispute

And he has suffered no penalty for it other than a talking-to

A senior police officer who fell out with his one armed neighbour in a dispute over parking arranged for him to be pulled over and arrested - so he would lose his driving licence, it emerged today.

Sergeant Ray Jones, 45, became locked in a bitter feud with disabled father-of-two Simon Folkes, 53, over parking access outside their homes. Sgt Jones, of Devon and Cornwall police, had previously allowed next door neighbour Simon to leave his car on his driveway. But when the officer told him he was no longer allowed to park there they began a three-year feud with a series of arguments about access.

Jones then tried to ensure his neighbour would be left without a car by instructing officers to pull him over and quiz him about his licence and insurance. He informed his colleagues where and when Simon would likely be driving and told police to flag him down, a report found. The officers accused him of not being properly insured and Simon was even ordered to take an assessment to prove his driving ability - which he passed.

But a month later officers then arrived at Simon's home to arrest him for allegedly vandalising Sgt Jones' front gate - but the charges were dropped.

Simon knew the details could only have come from his neighbour and he made an official compliant to the police body the Professional Standards Department (PSD). They found Sgt Jones had 'meddled in the private lives of his neighbours' and 'brought Devon and Cornwall Constabulary into disrepute'. He has now been disciplined by the force and builder Simon, who lost his arm in a motorcycle accident in 1974, says he 'abused his power'.

Simon said: 'Ray owns the driveway but we had a gentleman's agreement that I could park there on one side. 'Then one day he came home and just went mad. He stood nose to nose with me and was just screaming at me - really nasty stuff. 'It has been a nightmare ever since. He is like any other nuisance neighbour just with the added problem that he is a police sergeant. 'I was pulled over completely unnecessarily and I have even been arrested for something that had nothing to do with me. 'I just wanted to be left in peace. My car was my freedom and he tried to take it away from me. 'He didn't want me to park outside his house so tried to get my licence taken away to solve that problem for him.'

The pair fell out over the driveway in 2006 and Simon, of St Austell, Cornwall, was pulled over in May 2007 as he made his way to a Smart car convention. Officers asked him if he had the correct licence and insurance for his disability and then informed the DVLA that they suspected he was driving illegally.

Simon said: 'I just noticed the police car parked up and as I passed it started following me and pulled me over. 'I was very suspicious because they seemed to have a lot of information about me and my disability.' Simon then passed a DVLA course and was then arrested for allegedly damaging Sgt Jones' gate but the charges were dropped.

The report by the Professional Standards Department found Jones had 'inappropriately interfered' in his pursuit of his neighbour. The document, signed by Det Insp Selley, said: 'The officer has meddled in the private lives of his neighbours. 'I am satisfied he has inappropriately interfered in the lives of his neighbours.'

A police spokesman said: 'The seriousness of Mr Folkes' allegations, and the need to avoid any repetition of the same, has been fully impressed upon Sgt Jones. 'All the matters reported to the police have been investigated fully and an appropriate conclusion to the matters has been achieved. 'We are trying to work with both parties to achieve a long-term solution to what is a complicated situation and to comment further would not further any potential for both parties to live happily as neighbours.'

Simon and wife Carole have two sons, Jeremy, 23, and Jason, 20.

The Professional Standards Department is responsible for the investigation of all public complaints made about police officers, police staff or special constables.

Original report here

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