Some residents criticised him strongly at last week’s public debate on crime in the town, and on his own Facebook page, for failing to attend the meeting, and for a perceived lack of interest in the issues.
He denied their claims that he ignored invitations to attend, and condemned the social media campaign conducted by resident Jaz Lynch-Bolton in which she mocked police and disparaged their efforts to deal with criminals following a series of burglaries, thefts and vandalism.
Mrs Lynch-Bolton, who organised Thursday’s public meeting after lobbying Melton police commander, Insp Siobhan Gorman,says she stands by her comments and said she needed to ‘ruffle a few feathers’ because she felt ignored by police and the MP.
Melton swimming baths to get deep clean after complaint
Green light for controversial Vale of Belvoir solar farm plan
New funding bid to boost Melton's food heritage, theatre and buses
Melton bus passengers reel from new service cuts
Opening hours reduced at Melton's Royal Mail collection depot
One of her comments related to a Tweet posted by a police officer about going on patrol on one of their new electric bikes.
It read: “Shame you missed all the areas where crime’s been committed tonight. I know, why don’t you waste more money on electric bikes to take out on a Sun morn ride when no crimes happen.... #fatarses.”
Sir Alan this week wrote a strongly-worded letter to the Melton Times criticising the way Mrs Lynch-Bolton had gone about galvanising support for the public meeting and her choice of language on social media.
He was also unhappy about abusive comments, made about him and those said to police officers, at the meeting.
His letter reads: “I find the way in which the event was advertised as ‘Melton Mum vs. Police’ to be incredibly unhelpful.
“Furthermore, the vulgar and abusive aggression expressed through tweets and on Facebook - including referring to the police as ‘fat arses’ and comments such as ‘where the **** were you’, ‘no ******* feet on the street’, along with the conduct of some at last week’s public meeting– to be utterly unacceptable and a disgrace to the reputation of Melton.
“It is in itself the sort of anti-social behaviour that many complain about.”
He said he backed the efforts of the police and praised them for making a number of recent key arrests of prolific criminals.
Referring to the online trolls and those who voiced abuse at the public meeting, he wrote: “The contemptible behaviour of a small group brings shame on our town.”
Sir Alan demanded an apology from Mrs Lynch-Bolton but she says she was justified in making her comments.
She said she had marketed the meeting in a way which helped garner support.
“I had to ruffle a few feathers to get something done,” she told the Melton Times.
“I was a bit cheeky with what I posted.
“When I started mocking the police it was because I felt I was being ignored and the police weren’t doing anything.”
She made the ‘fat arses’ comments about the police, she said, because it was posted after a particularly bad night of crime in Melton.
Mrs Lynch-Bolton said she had contacted Sir Alan many times by email, letter and social media but had not had a reply.
**** Read the full letter from Sir Alan Duncan in tomorrow’s Melton Times.
**** What do you think of his comments? Email [email protected] with your thoughts.