Police bid to stop harassment campaign

Police are taking civil action against a trio of men who they say have cost the taxpayer over £400,000 with a “campaign of personal harassment” against senior officers.

At a hearing in Leeds last week it was claimed by North Yorkshire Police that Nigel Ward of Whitby and Peter Hofschroer andTimothy Hicks carried out the campaign, involving numerous emails and complaints against nine people, including three serving police officers and at least one former officer - over several years.

A spokeswoman said the force investigates complaints made against officers as a matter of course, but added “years of unwarranted, harmful personal abuse” had already cost upwards of £400,000.

She said: “Police officers are used to dealing with difficult situations, they have broad shoulders, and they are certainly not above criticism.

“However we are talking about years of unwarranted, harmful personal abuse.

“In the interests of the public purse, we hope the campaign of harassment can be brought to an end, so we can concentrate on policing, which is what we – and the public – want to happen.”

Tim Hicks and Nigel Ward who write for a number of websites, gave certain undertakings to the court. A further hearing will take place next month where police will apply for an injunction.

The court decided it was not necessary to make an interim injunction against Mr Hofschroer, 58, formerly of Acomb in York as he is currently in custody on remand for unconnected criminal matters, relating to indecent images of children.

Tim Hicks and Nigel Ward say they are not associated with Peter Hofschroer and banned him from websites.

In a statement since police action they said: “The actions of North Yorkshire Police are, in legal terms, ultra vires and are an absolutely flagrant misuse of Police time and resources.”

Mr Ward has since written to police commissioner Julia Mulligan asking that she “immediately withdraw all further police funds unlawfully transferred to finance this personal legal expenditure on behalf of the nine claimants.”