Sat, 21 Dec 2019
THE Constable of the Town & Manor of Hungerford has apologised for threatening to throw a bucket of water over a homeless man.
Nicholas Lumley reportedly made the threat to the man, named Simon, after he confronted him about sleeping on the Town Hall premises.
The incident, which happened around midnight on Saturday, was witnessed by a member of the public who posted about it on social media – prompting a firestorm of criticism against Mr Lumley.
However, the resulting backlash prompted some to condemn ‘trial by social media’ and even threatened to engulf town mayor Helen Simpson after some posters confused the town council with the Town & Manor.
Mr Lumley has now posted the following: “I am not one to shy away from my responsibility and may I apologise to all that have taken offence at the altercation that occurred late on Saturday night.
“This happened after a very long and stressful day involved in dealing with Hungerford matters.
“To find another homeless person sleeping on the steps was very disconcerting as there have been a number of such incidents in the recent past.
“When I was told that someone had informed Simon that the Town Hall was the place to sleep, I was determined this should not continue.
“Having asked the gentleman to remove himself, I was told in very strong terms that he had no intention of doing so.”
Mr Lumley added: “Please note no water was ever thrown.
“I regret escalating the matter that far and I was most grateful to the person who intervened and offered this person a warm and comfortable place to sleep.
“If anyone would like to discuss this further... I will happily discuss this matter and can show anyone who cares to see it the CCTV of this incident.”
The witness who originally posted about the matter, Jack Chatters, replied: “I’ve spoken with Simon and he’s accepted the apology.
“We both believe it would be a shame for the Town & Manor to lose a member that has put so much time and energy into the town on a voluntary basis.”
Meanwhile, the mayor has been canvassing opinion on “how we, as a community, can help and support those who may need community support; maybe designate a safe space to spend the night”.
She said: “By sharing experience and ideas perhaps we could work together to create a positive solution.
“Let’s turn the negativity into a positive solution for our town.
“Please let me know your thoughts and ideas.”
Mrs Simpson can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org