Our thanks to Alexander for this. He writes:
Another man in uniform throws away his career… for what?
The piece on the website of the Independent Office for Police Conduct:
On 26 May 2018, a woman was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) for domestic assault against her ex-partner. The investigating officer dealt with both the woman and her ex-partner. While in custody, the woman admitted the domestic assault, and her ex-partner said he was unwilling to support a prosecution against her. The matter was resolved by way of no further action. [J4MB: In what sense was the matter “resolved”? Why did the police not seek a prosecution decision from the CPS, regardless, as they would have (by default) if the sexes were reversed?]
The woman was subsequently released from custody and the investigating officer, who had finished his shift, took her home in his personal car. When they arrived at her home, the woman went inside and returned to the car with wine. The investigating officer then drove around with her for a period of time. It was alleged that during this time, the investigating officer drank wine and had sexual intercourse with the woman.
On 19 July 2018 the woman’s ex-partner complained to us that the investigating officer’s conduct with her was an abuse of his position and suggested the officer had improperly influenced the outcome of the domestic assault investigation.
We interviewed the investigating officer under gross misconduct caution. We also took an account from the complainant (the woman’s ex-partner).
Our investigators also examined other evidence, including CCTV from the woman’s time in custody, her interview with the investigating officer in custody and her custody record.
When we interviewed him, the officer denied having sex with the woman and drinking wine with her. He stated that he had given the woman a lift because he didn’t want her to be stranded, and that he had hoped she may open up and say something she hadn’t said during interview, such as making a counter allegation. [J4MB emphasis: Would he have sought a counter allegation, if the genders were reversed? Of course not.] During an initial account to his supervising officer, the officer had admitted that he had had a few sips of wine.
The officer resigned from the force in October 2018.
We were of the view that for the officer to be alone with a potentially vulnerable woman, who may have been under the influence of alcohol, in order to elicit information did not appear to be in line with the Code of Ethics.
Therefore in our opinion there was sufficient evidence upon which a reasonable tribunal, properly directed, could find gross misconduct for the officer, for failing to maintain a professional boundary with the woman and also having used his position and authority as a police officer to establish an inappropriate emotional and/or sexual relationship with her. [J4MB emphasis: The ellegation of sex was unproven, see below.]
We were also of the opinion that there was insufficient evidence to indicate that the decision to take no further action against the woman was unlawful. We did not uphold the complaint. [J4MB emphasis. We urge you to translate these two sentences into plain English, and email the translation to [email protected] Thank you.]
We completed our investigation in December 2018.
After reviewing our report the MPS agreed that the (by then former) officer had a case to answer for gross misconduct.
A gross misconduct hearing was held in autumn 2019, which the former investigating officer did not attend. The panel found a number of allegations proven, including that the officer had driven the woman in his private car to her home, allowed her to collect wine and glasses and to join him; had driven around with the woman for some time; had allowed the woman to drink some of the wine and joined her in drinking; and had then driven her home. [J4MB: He should clearly have not shown any human compassion towards a woman who had assaulted her partner. But men aren’t wired like that.]
The panel found the allegation that the officer had engaged in sexual intercourse with the woman in his car not proven. [J4MB emphasis.]
The panel determined that these allegations amounted to gross misconduct [J4MB: No, they amounted to a man being kind towards a woman. That’s gross misconduct? Then men must stop being kind to women, or kiss their careers goodbye.] and that the officer, had he still been serving, would have been dismissed. The officer’s name was placed on the Barred List, preventing him from serving as a police officer in future.
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