Thames Valley Police accused of ‘bullying’ Katie Bowman

Following a detailed Private Eye story about Thames Valley Police, the BBC reports that the Attorney General has urged police to resolve the case.

THAMES Valley Police holds a substantial file on forensic science graduate Katie Bowman, including a wealth of damaging “intelligence” reports used to blight her career three times. Yet Katie Bowman has never been convicted of any crime. Now 24, engaged and pregnant with her first child, she always was and remains a woman of good character.

Over a period of two and a half years, she was the subject of intense “interest” which she alleges was harassment by a group of rogue officers based in the High Wycombe area – where her police officer ex-boyfriend, Alex Ash, who was disciplined for making inappropriate contact with her, just happened to be based. During that time she was:

  •  Breathalysed around 70 times – she says 54 times in one year from September 2007 – every time with a negative result;
  • Reported to the Crown Prosecution Service for a series of alleged motoring offences.
  • Served with fixed penalty notices for alleged motoring offences.
  • Served disorder penalty notices for “offences” such as wasting police time.
  • Cautioned for an alleged assault.
  • Subjected to drug and other searches.

Katie also had her car seized eight times, for which she had to pay a total of about £1,000 to have it returned.

Katie has challenged the most serious allegations, which would have resulted in a criminal record – and won every time. On the two occasions matters got as far as court, she was acquitted. The caution for assault, which stemmed from a police claim that a “long whip” (in fact a furry toy swinging on a stick from a passenger window) had brushed a cyclist, was rescinded following a police professional standards investigation.

The BBC quotes Chief Constable Sara Thornton as saying Thames Valley Police had investigated and rejected a complaint of harassment and Ms Bowman’s appeal to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was not upheld.  Well really, who does sound more credible – Private Eye or Ms Thornton and the IPCC?