A FORMER Huddersfield police officer is at the centre of a row over a clock with a Nazi motif.
Adam Briggs, now deputy chief constable in North Yorkshire, spent many years in Huddersfield and Dewsbury.
He has come under fire from an MP over the Nazi-period clock on display in his office.
Mr Briggs inherited the captured Second World War U-boat timepiece from his war veteran father.
The clock was branded “highly inappropriate” by one of the region’s leading MPs.
But Mr Briggs insisted that if it was felt by the force or police authority to be causing offence he would remove it immediately. He also said no one had ever complained about the clock.
The brass and mahogany clock, featuring a German eagle above a swastika on the face, stands in his office at the force HQ near Northallerton. The eagle atop the swastika is the formal symbol of Hitler’s Third Reich and is still popular with neo-Nazi groups.
The Nazis began using the eagle as a symbol in the 1930s to represent the power and strength of the party.
Mr Briggs said: “My father served through the Second World War with the Royal Navy and was awarded several campaign medals. He received the clock following the sinking of a German U-boat and it was subsequently bequeathed to me.
“For the past 10 years, the clock has been kept in my various offices within three different police forces.
“In that time, it has been seen by visitors of all races and faiths. I have always been happy to explain the history to anyone who asks about it and there has never been a single complaint or adverse reaction.”
Harrogate and Knaresborough Liberal Democrat MP Phil Willis said: “I think it is a rather foolish thing to put in an office. It’s highly inappropriate to put a piece of Nazi memorabilia in the office of a high-ranking policeman – but having said that I am sure it has been done in innocence rather than in any kind of anti-Semitic or malicious way.”
Mr Briggs, who is married with four children and lives near Ripon, joined North Yorkshire as the new deputy chief constable last June.
He added: “To suggest that this is in some way supportive of the evils of Nazism or disrespectful to those who died in the massacre of Jews in York in 1190 is ridiculous and offensive.
“The clock stands in my office as a daily reminder of my father and of the debt we owe his generation and of the evils of war. If it was felt by the force or police authority it was causing offence I would remove it immediately.”