Readers back Bristol Chief Constable Colin Port in job storm
READERS of The Post have come out in support of Chief Constable Colin Port, who is stepping down as the leader of Avon and Somerset Police.
The newspaper has received emails and online comments expressing gratitude at the work he has done in the past eight years and regret that, from January 26, he will no longer be in charge of the constabulary.
As exclusively revealed in The Post last week, Mr Port said he would not be seeking to renew his contract.
In a meeting with the new Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens, she told him she wanted a "competitive process" to find the right chief constable for her three-and-a-half-year tenure and that he would have to reapply for his job, along with others. As Mr Port has been with the force so long, he would have only been able to extend his contract on a year-by-year basis.
Since the announcement, The Post has received a number of opinions on his departure.
Norman Routledge, the managing director of Cannon Fire & Security in Filton, said: "I have lived in St Andrews for 24 years.
"Before Colin took the job, we used to get regular burglaries in our area and a car broken into virtually every week.
"The police response at the time was to send somebody round a few days later to write down what had happened, just to show something was being done. There was never any confidence that these reports were even filed away, certainly no positive action was ever taken.
"Since Colin took over the crime rate plummeted."
He said when his car was broken into a year ago, police put two covert capture cars in the area and caught the thief after he broke into both of them.
Mr Routledge added: "I hope the new PCC does well, but fear that we may end up with an inferior police force after Colin's departure."
A poster on the thisisbristol website calling himself "The_old_goat" said: "I once wrote to Colin Port after my daughter was bullied and the local police did not deal with it appropriately. He telephoned me the next day, tasked a superintendent to look into the matter and the bullies were arrested the next day."
A letter from Jane Lock read: "I find the news of the Chief Constable's resignation quite extraordinary. I am not aware of the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mounstevens' campaign being about the removal of the chief.
"If it was her intention, surely she should have been honest."
However, not everyone was enamoured by Mr Port.
Another poster, "spyinthecamp", said: "I am personally glad to see the back of Mr Port and did not find him a great chief officer."
Mr Port is on annual leave at the moment, but a police spokesman said: "Mr Port continues to be moved by the supportive messages, comments and personal communication which he has seen. They now number into the thousands and are still growing.
"These come from colleagues, members of the public, victims of crime and their families – locally, nationally and indeed internationally.
"It is his intention to reply to them but in the interim he wanted to say how enormously grateful he is for your kind and generous thoughts."
Ms Mountstevens said last week: "Everyone is aware that the Chief Constable's contract expires on January 26. Because of that I would like to run a competitive process to appoint a chief constable for my whole term of office. It was his choice not to apply, but I know that he will continue to do great things and I wish him the very best for the future."