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Dorset Police are slammed for 'heavy handed' response after officer was sent to constituents homes

Retired teacher Fran Swan, 70, said to herself

Fury as Dorset MP reports 70-year-old retired teacher and POLICE yoga instructor who questioned them about their ‘intentions’ after the women said they wanted to question him about the oil spills waste

  • Fran Swan, 70, and Beverley Glock asked about sewage spills
  • A retired teacher and yoga instructor wanted to interview West Dorset MP Chris Loder
  • Activists have accused Mr Loder of trying to intimidate his constituents

A police force has been criticized for its ‘heavy duty’ approach after an officer showed up at the home of two women who wanted to question their MP about sewage spills.

Retired teacher Fran Swan and yoga instructor Beverley Glock both tried to sign up for a meeting in a nearby village, hosted by West Dorset MP Chris Loder.

But after submitting questions about sewage in the online registration form, Mr Loder wrote to say the meeting was specifically for Chideok villagers – but said he would ‘see what he can TO DO”.

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And at 7.30pm last Thursday, the day before the meeting, a police officer arrived at Ms Swan’s home to question the septuagenarian about her intentions.

Retired teacher Fran Swan, 70, said to herself

Ms Glock, who was not home when the officer visited her property, said it was

Retired teacher Fran Swan, 70, and Beverley Glock were questioned by a police officer about their ‘intentions’ as the women registered to speak with their MP for West Dorset, Chris Loder, about the oil spills ‘waste.

The women both tried to register for a meeting in a nearby village, organized by West Dorset MP Chris Loder (pictured) who has been accused of trying to intimidate his constituents

The women both tried to register for a meeting in a nearby village, organized by West Dorset MP Chris Loder (pictured) who has been accused of trying to intimidate his constituents

Ms Swan said: ‘I was flabbergasted and outraged. We live in the middle of nowhere and suddenly a WPC in full uniform arrives.

She added: ‘I would have liked this rare opportunity to speak to my MP about people’s concerns and the ongoing sewer issues.’

Ms Glock, who was not at home when the officer visited her property, said: ‘It was intimidating and I felt disturbed knowing the police were looking for me.

The west coast of Dorset is one of many parts of the country that has been inundated by a series of sewage spills.

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And activists have accused Mr Loder of trying to intimidate his constituents.

Charles Watson, founder of environmental charity River Action UK, said: ‘Ms Swan and Ms Glock are examples of the hundreds of thousands of British citizens desperately concerned about the deluge of untreated sewage being pumped into our rivers and on our beaches.

“By visiting these women after dark in their homes, these officers took an utterly heavy-handed approach and it suggests that this MP was using intimidation tactics to suppress free speech.”

Mr Loder told the Mail it was necessary for him to inform the police of ‘anything out of the ordinary’ as he and his family have received threats in the past.

The Tory MP added that it was ‘unusual to receive interest from two people who have not been asked to attend localized surgery’, and cited the murder of Sir David Amess who was stabbed to death during of riding surgery in 2021.

Mr Loder said the sewage spills were discussed at the “full and frank” meeting.

It is understood that the deputy did not ask the officers to visit the women’s homes.

But Anthea Simmons, editor of local news site West Country Voices, said: “Although what happened to Sir David Amess is a tragedy, it should not be used as a fig leaf to keep voters from to talk to their deputies.”

Ms Swan lives five miles from Chideok in Fishpond, while Ms Glock is seven miles from Lyme Regis village.

The two women frequently visit Chideok, which is in an Area of ​​Outstanding National Beauty.

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said officers from its Neighborhood Policing Team “wish to understand the intentions” of the women “to ensure public safety is upheld and any lawful protest can be facilitated”.

He added: ‘Dorset Police would like to apologize if the presence of a police officer at the home address of those traveling to the meeting has caused alarm.

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