Friday, December 30, 2011

#MET Gross Misconduct : Two Officers Dismissed

Two MPS officers dismissed and two given final written warnings following an investigation into excessive force

Following an investigation by MPS Directorate Professional Standards, managed by the IPCC, into the actions of six police officers in July 2009, two officers have been dismissed and two officers have received final written warnings after a misconduct hearing.
"The MPS expects the highest level of professionalism from officers and staff."
In the early hours of Friday, 17 July, 2009, a Citroen Saxo failed to stop for police officers and was pursued into the Grange Estate, East Finchley. Four men remained inside the vehicle while the driver decamped and was not traced.

Later that morning, an initial complaint was received alleging assault and excessive force on three of the men, now aged 21, 33 and 35 (aged 18, 31 and 33 at the time). A formal complaint was received in September 2009 allowing officers to progress the investigation.

The investigation found that two of the occupants of the Citroen Saxo were forcibly removed from the vehicle by the officers, despite them being compliant. None of the occupants were arrested and all were detained without being told their rights or entitlements. During the course of their detention all three complainants sustained injuries of varying degrees, including a serious nose injury in the case of one of the men.

The officers were unable to reasonably account for their actions and their use of force.

The IPCC submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution Service in January 2010 in connection with two of the complainants who had suffered minor injuries for which there was a statutory time limit on proceedings, but the CPS advised no further action. When the investigation was completed in May 2010 the case was again referred to the CPS in relation to the complainant who sustained a serious nose injury and in November 2010 the CPS advised no further action.

Consideration was then given as to whether the actions of individual officers met the threshold for misconduct under the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008. The investigation found there were individual failings by six officers, four amounting to gross misconduct, for which the MPS proposed that the four officers should face a misconduct hearing. The hearing concluded on Tuesday, 20 December.

Misconduct proceedings are pending for two further officers involved in the incident.
The panel found that the standards of behaviour for 'Use of Force' and 'Discreditable Conduct' were breached in respect of all four officers, and the breaches were so serious as to amount to gross misconduct.

The panel decided breaches by two officers, aged 40 and 37 based at Barnet police station, were so serious they were dismissed. Whereas breaches by two other officers were less serious therefore they received final written warnings.

Commander Peter Spindler said: "The MPS expects the highest level of professionalism from officers and staff. When an individual falls below this expectation we will hold their actions to account through our misconduct proceedings. Regardless of the CPS not bringing criminal proceedings against these four officers, we felt their behaviour was completely unacceptable and amounted to Gross Misconduct resulting in two dismissals and two final written warnings being issued."