Beds, Herts & Bucks

Thames Valley Police accused of 'bullying' Katie Bowman

Dominic Grieve MP
Image caption Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, has got involved in the case

The Attorney General has urged police to resolve the case of a woman who says she was bullied by officers after ending a relationship with one of them.

Katie Bowman, 24, alleges that she was repeatedly harassed in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

Dominic Grieve, MP for Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, said the case was odd and he had raised it with the chief constable of Thames Valley Police.

The force said it had investigated and rejected the allegations of harassment.

Ms Bowman went to High Wycombe police station in 2007 after her car was vandalised when she was 18-years-old.

She said the officer took her statement and later texted her having seen her phone number on the statement.

Car seized

"We started texting and it went from there really - we became together," she said.

She said she ended the relationship after discovering he already had a girlfriend and then made a formal complaint to the force's Professional Standards department about how he had obtained her number from her original statement.

She said: "He pulled me over one day and said 'I can make your life hell for doing this'."

Documents seen by the BBC show she was stopped in her car several times and her car was seized on more than six occasions over two years.

Ms Bowman said she got fixed penalty notices for not wearing a seatbelt and for wasting police time, which she challenged and won.

She was also taken to court twice for careless driving, but not convicted.

'Gang mentality'

Image caption Chief Constable Sara Thornton said Thames Valley Police had investigated the allegations

Brian Bowman, Katie's father, said: "They [the police] have a gang mentality and part of Katie's problem is that she complained and then the gang bandied round to support itself."

Ms Bowman said that although some of the police intelligence reports on her had been removed from files, she claimed she lost her job as a student paramedic because some of the records still remain on file.

She wants these records to be deleted.

Mr Grieve, acting in his capacity as MP for Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, wrote to Sara Thornton, chief constable of Thames Valley Police and said he found the intelligence reports "very odd" and that "most of them come across as entirely lacking in substance and to border on the utterly trivial".

He said: "While I have not had an opportunity of hearing a police explanation or justification for their actions, I am very concerned that a person of apparent good character with no previous convictions should be treated in this way.

"I have raised my concerns with the chief constable, particularly as Katie Bowman has raised serious allegations that the intelligence reports may arise from police misconduct towards her."

Intelligence reports

In a newspaper interview, the police officer in question denied he was ever in a relationship with Ms Bowman.

Thames Valley Police said it had investigated and rejected a complaint of harassment and Ms Bowman's appeal to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was not upheld.

The chief constable, in correspondence with the Attorney General, said she was taking the matter seriously and that 18 intelligence reports had been removed after a review, but no further reports had been removed.

Ms Bowman said she was told there was a legitimate police reason for keeping the reports, but she was not told what the reason was.

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