SERIOUS allegations of workplace intimidation made against Julia Mulligan by her staff reveal an absence of procedures to deal satisfactorily with complaints about the conduct of Police and Crime Commissioners.

Reprehensibly, the Home Office has given no powers of investigation to the complaints panel that oversees her conduct.

So the panel has had to try to assess the merits of the allegations without determining the facts.

Recommendations have had to be based on perceptions of what took place - a wholly unsatisfactory state of affairs.

The Commissioner now has an opportunity to respond to the panel’s findings and proposals by November 14.

I hope she does not try to bat away criticism of her behaviour by repeating her excuse that she needs to employ a difficult and challenging attitude in order to survive in the male-dominated arena in which she works.

Leadership has nothing to do with gender: Persuasion and empowerment engage people, not direction and control. And openness will always trump defensiveness.

Allan Charlesworth,

Old Earswick, York