Po­lice of­fi­cer keeps his job fol­low­ing ‘crass’ be­hav­iour

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS - Es­tel Farell-Roig es­tel.farell­[email protected]­line.co.uk

A PO­LICE of­fi­cer who ad­mit­ted telling col­leagues he was plan­ning a “****athon” has re­ceived a fi­nal writ­ten warn­ing.

PC Si­mon Eng­land, of Dyfed-Powys Po­lice, was also al­leged to have re­peat­edly touched a fe­male col­league and made in­ap­pro­pri­ate sex­ual com­ments – but he de­nied ever touch­ing the woman sex­u­ally.

The panel at a mis­con­duct hear­ing con­cluded on the fi­nal day of pro­ceed­ings that, on the bal­ance of prob­a­bil­ity, all the fac­tual al­le­ga­tions were proved that he breached cer­tain pro­fes­sional stan­dards, and that he had to be dealt with on the ba­sis of gross mis­con­duct.

El­liot Gold, rep­re­sent­ing the force, had ar­gued for an out­come of dis­missal with­out no­tice and, read­ing out a sub­mis­sion from the deputy chief con­sta­ble, said again that PC Eng­land would be “un­de­ploy­able” as it wouldn’t be ap­pro­pri­ate for the of­fi­cer to have any fur­ther con­tact with fe­male vic­tims of crime.

How­ever, panel chair Peter Grif­fiths QC told the hear­ing the panel had unan­i­mously de­ter­mined the pro­por­tion­ate out­come was a fi­nal writ­ten warn­ing.

He added: “The panel noted the views of the deputy chief con­sta­ble but do not ac­cept that it will be im­pos­si­ble to de­ploy the of­fi­cer op­er­a­tionally in the fu­ture.

“The panel has de­ter­mined that there were ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances ex­ist­ing at the time of the of­fi­cer’s of­fend­ing re­lat­ing to his de­te­ri­o­rat­ing men­tal health which would ren­der dis­missal with­out no­tice a dis­pro­por­tion­ate out­come.”

In re­spect of his al­leged con­duct to­wards a fe­male col­league on two separate oc­ca­sions in 2017, the panel found that the ac­tions of 37-year-old PC Eng­land – who is now car­ry­ing out an of­fice-based role at head­quar­ters, but was pre­vi­ously based in Llanelli – were not sex­ual or in­tended to be.

How­ever, the panel con­sid­ered his ac­tions to be “a part of a wholly in­ap­pro­pri­ate, mis­guided, crass and ob­jec­tion­able se­ries of at­tempts” by PC Eng­land to make friends with the of­fi­cer.

Cather­ine Richards, rep­re­sent­ing PC Eng­land, said dis­miss­ing the of­fi­cer – who joined Dyfed-Powys Po­lice in July, 2017 – wouldn’t be nec­es­sary or ap­pro­pri­ate.

“The mit­i­gat­ing fac­tors are significan­t,” she added. “There was a de­te­ri­o­ra­tion to his men­tal health and the signs were there.

“Rather than check­ing or speak­ing with him, there is a clear impression they sat back and waited for him to fail.

“Back on Novem­ber 1, there was a clear con­cern from a col­league on his wel­fare.”

Ms Richards said the three in­ci­dents hap­pened against the back­ground of clin­i­cal de­pres­sion, adding that he had been found to be an hon­est wit­ness and that there were no records of com­plaints from mem­bers of the pub­lic. She added that, with ap­pro­pri­ate sup­port, PC Eng­land would be de­ploy­able.

Dyfed-Powys Po­lice deputy chief con­sta­ble Claire Par­menter said the force ex­pected the high­est stan­dards of pro­fes­sional be­hav­iour from its of­fi­cers and staff, both on and off duty.

She said: “PC Eng­land’s be­hav­iour as set out in this case has fallen far be­low the stan­dards re­quired of a po­lice of­fi­cer at DyfedPowys Po­lice and this has been recog­nised by the in­ves­ti­ga­tion un­der­taken by the Pro­fes­sional Stan­dards Depart­ment at the mis­con­duct hear­ing panel who have found parts of the case to be proven as amount­ing to mis­con­duct and gross mis­con­duct.

“Fol­low­ing care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion it has been the de­ci­sion of the mis­con­duct hear­ing panel, which is chaired by an in­de­pen­dent legally qual­i­fied chair, to is­sue PC Eng­land with a fi­nal writ­ten warn­ing which will re­main in force for a pe­riod of 18 months.”

Dyfed-Powys Po­lice head­quar­ters in Car­marthen.

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