Better Watch out! Police want Stevenage chairman to resign

Michael Hearn pictured with one of his dogs Ferni

Michael Hearn pictured with one of his dogs Ferni - Credit: Archant

The chairman of Stevenage Neighbourhood Watch is accusing the police of trying to bully him out of his role.

Michael Hearn and his wife Sharon have been chairman and vice-chairman of Stevenage Neighbourhood Watch for the past three months.

In September Mr Hearn, 47, was arrested for alledgedly threatening Luke Christenen, of Ashleigh, after one of his dogs was killed.

The firearms holder, who has since had his weapons removed, was offered a police caution for the matter but refused and he pleaded not guilty to making threats when he appeared in court last week.

After the appearance Mr Hearn, a first aid trainer, received an email from Insp Simon Tabert from Stevenage Safer Neighbourhood Team which stated: “If you decide not to resign on this occasion then I will be asking Sue Thompson of Hertswatch to convene an Extraordinary Meeting of Stevenage Neighbourhood Watch at which I will seek a vote on a motion to ‘suspend’ you.”

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Mr Hearn refused and said: “There appears to be a serious issue in relation to my ongoing case and Insp Tabert. Honestly my wife and I both find this treatment to be abhorrent and threatening.”

Mr Hearn called an emergency meeting of Stevenage Neighbour Watch yesterday evening to vote on two matters – a vote of confidence in his leadership and in Insp Tabert’s ability to continue in his role working with the neighbourhood watch.

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The group voted him back in at the meeting but he said that if a vote decides that he should no longer be leader then he will happily stand aside but feels that the police are trying to “bully” him into resigning.

He added: “I will stand up for anyone who is being bullied including myself.

“In this country you are innocent until proven guilty and I have not been found guilty so I should be allowed to remain in my role for my full term.”

Herts police said: “The police are investigating serious allegations around the conduct of Mr Hearn following an incident which has led to formal charges being brought.

“We have very clearly explained to Mr Hearn that once the matter has been resolved at court we would then look again at his position.

“Police officers have and always will attend a court hearing if there are issues or concern about community impact and victim care and to suggest anything else is inappropriate.”

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