Police dismiss Botton bullying allegations

Police have ruled out criminal behaviour after investigating claims that residents at Botton village were being bullied and harassed by management.

Allegations came from co-workers and residents who said there had been an “endemic culture of threats” while one resident said “Please help me or find someone that can help me to stop the bullying”.

The claims were made over the course of the last two months and in light of the Camphill Village Trust, which manages the complex, proposing to change its pay structures and methods of operation for tax reason.

Last week North Yorkshire Police confirmed it was investigating a number of complaints but on Monday of this week issued the following statement.

It said: “North Yorkshire Police can now confirm that enquiries have been completed following a number of complaints made in October and November about the management of changes at Botton Village. As a result of these enquiries, we have found no evidence of any criminal offences and no further police investigation will take place relating to these complaints.

“We will continue to liaise with social services to ensure the well-being of the residents while the current situation is resolved.”

The Camphill Village Trust said it was always confident there would be no police case to answer but added it was saddened by the “public barrage of allegations” which have come about, it believes, because some people oppose the changes the charity is making in order to be legally compliant and financially viable for the future.

Chief Executive Huw Edwards said: “The clear underlying purpose of their campaign is to seek Botton’s independence from the charity, rather than accept the need to be employed.

“We are disappointed that this fight has been played out so publicly and that all attempts at meaningful dialogue have been refused.

“I urge co-workers engaged in negative campaigning to redirect their energy and enter into discussions around their future with the charity.”

Action for Botton has asked police for an explanation as to why it had thrown the case out.

A spokesperson added: “The residents who tried to make statements all have the capacity to do so (as defined by the mental capacity act) and are confident that making these statements would be beneficial for them and not distressing as they want to report what they feel is harassment.