Staff faced 170 al­le­ga­tions of mis­con­duct over a year

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Police In The Spotlight - By Josie Han­nett

Staff at Kent Po­lice faced a to­tal of 170 al­le­ga­tions of mis­con­duct over a one-year pe­riod, it’s been re­vealed.

Be­tween April 2014 and March this year, there were claims of dis­cred­itable con­duct and breaches in du­ties, re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, hon­esty, in­tegrity, au­thor­ity, re­spect and cour­tesy.

Po­lice staff in­clud­ing sergeants, con­sta­bles, in­spec­tors and com­mu­nity sup­port of­fi­cers (PCSOs) were among em­ploy­ees who faced pro­ceed­ings, with many an­swer­ing to more than one al­le­ga­tion.

In to­tal, there were 30 al­le­ga­tions made against of­fi­cers for breach­ing hon­esty and in­tegrity.

Four of these were con­sta­bles who were dis­missed as a re­sult of the hear­ing and one was at in­spec­tor level or above.

Two other con­sta­bles were ac­cused of fail­ing to act with hon­esty and in­tegrity, with one re­sign­ing be­fore the mis­con­duct charge came about and the other re­signed dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Since then, the Home Of­fice has brought in reg­u­la­tions which say those in­volved in dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings should be held ac­count­able and are no longer able to re­sign dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Gov­ern­ment guide­lines also say of­fi­cers should act with self­con­trol and tol­er­ance, treat­ing mem­bers of the public and col- leagues with re­spect and cour­tesy.

But of­fi­cers in Kent were al­leged to have breached this re­spon­si­bil­ity on 14 oc­ca­sions. Four of­fi­cers were dis­missed as a re­sult, with one other be­ing given a fi­nal warn­ing.

Out of the 40 al­leged cases of dis­cred­itable con­duct – brought against any of­fi­cer who “un­der­mines public con­fi­dence” and harms the Force’s rep­u­ta­tion – four of­fi­cers re­signed dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, three re­signed be­fore the mis­con­duct charge and one re­tired dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

There were also 22 re­ported cases of of­fi­cers ne­glect­ing their du­ties and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Two of the of­fi­cers were dis­missed, and four were given writ­ten warn­ings.

As well as dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings, the public can now ac­cess doc­u­ments of crim­i­nal cases against of­fi­cers.

In the last year two of­fi­cers were ac­cused of com­mon as­sault, but no ac­tion was taken.

Two of­fi­cers were also caught speed­ing and as a re­sult, fined and given penalty points – but they still serve with the po­lice.

A spe­cial con­sta­ble had a case to an­swer for griev­ous bod­ily harm and com­mon as­sault, but re­signed be­fore the hear­ing.

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