PC Zhak Burrows

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Standards of professional behavior that have allegedly been breached

  • Use of force

Circumstances of Alleged Breaches


1. You were and are a police constable and qualified police dog handler serving under the direction and control of the Chief Constable of Essex Police.

2. On 28th February 2021, you attended with your police dog a reported incident of assault between a male and a female.

3. On or around 18.25, you arrived at the Southend sea-front and walked onto the sand. It is contended that on your arrival:

(i) You saw a male, THE MAN, sat on the sand with his hands behind him, being restrained by a female officer PC Bremmer, in company with a male officer PC Smith;

(ii) The male was calm and compliant;

(iii) You stopped with your police dog in front of THE MAN, facing him, a few meters from where he was sat;

(iv) Your police dog started and/or was barking.

4. On your police dog barking, it is contended that THE MAN:

(i) Turned to your police dog and shouted, “Shut the f**k up you p***y”;

(ii) Shouted at your police dog, “Shut up”;

(iii) Spat in the direction of your police dog.

5. It consequence of THE MAN spitting at your police dog, his saliva landed a few centimeters from your police dog’s front right paw.

6. On your seeing THE MAN spit at the police dog and his saliva land near your police dog’s paw, and notwithstanding that THE MAN remained restrained and/or otherwise under control, you:

(i) Shouted, “Do not spit at my dog”;

(ii) Moved towards THE MAN with your police dog;

(iii) Held your police dog so as to cause him to lift his front legs off the ground as it approached THE MAN;

(iv) Put your foot on THE MAN’s chest;

(v) Pinned THE MAN to the ground.

7. Whilst you were pinning THE MAN to the ground, you:

(i) Shouted “Do not spit at my dog”;

(ii) Released and/or deployed your police dog;

(iii) In response to his stating that the dog was biting him, replied that it was not going to bite him and that it was nowhere near him.

(iv) After around half a minute, said “Enough” and moved with your police dog off and away from him.

8. For the avoidance of doubt, it is contended that you used such force in the premises where:

(i) THE MAN was handcuffed, restrained and/or otherwise under control by PC Bremmer and PC Smith;

(ii) Neither PC Bremmer nor PC Smith asked you to do so;

(iii) Neither PC Bremmer nor PC Smith required or appeared to require such assistance;

(iv) You had given THE MAN no warning that you would use force or deploy your dog.

9. It is contended that during this incident, the police dog bit THE MAN on the arm and/or back and that THE MAN started crying and became distressed.

10. Following this incident, whilst you had hold of the police dog and whilst THE MAN remained restrained, was crying and was distressed, you:

(i) Said that if he tried to hurt the officers then the dog would hurt him;

(ii) Arrested him for assaulting a constable;

(iii) On THE MAN being told that he was going to be searched, said that if he kicked out or hurt the officers then the dog would bite him;

(iv) In response to his asking why you put your foot on him, said it was because he spat at you;

(v) In response to his asking for the dog to be moved after having been bitten, said that she would be staying where you were;

(vi) Told him that if he used violence against you, you were going to use violence against him.


11. It is contended that your actions breached the Standard of Professional Behaviour of Use of Force in that you:

(i) Used physical force on and/or caused or permitted your police dog to bite THE MAN when this was not necessary, proportionate or reasonable for:

(i) Preventing him from making off;

(ii) Engaging and/or detaining him on the basis of his presenting a threat;

(iii) Defending other police officers from him;

(iv) Protecting members of the public from him; and/or

(v) Any other policing purpose.

(ii) Failed to de-escalate the matter by withdrawing with your dog, whether before or after using the force as stated above;

(iii) Made threats to use unlawful force against THE MAN as stated above at paragraphs 10(i), (iii) and

(vi); and/or

(iv) Used such physical force and/or caused or permitted your police dog to bite THE MAN:

(i) Deliberately to subject him to a detriment for spitting at you and/or your dog when you knew such force to be unjustified; or

(ii) As an impulsive response to his spitting at you and/or your dog when you ought to have known such force to be unjustified.

12. As a result of that stated herein, if proved, your conduct amounts to gross misconduct.


Fri 23rd Sep 2022

Allegations Proven

  • Use of force

Sanction: Final Written Warning

View full outcome details

Wed 20th Apr 2022

Allegations Proven

  • Use of force

Sanction: Final Written Warning

View full outcome details

Essex Police
  • Stats since 1st January 2022
  • 10 Misconduct Hearings
    80% held in public

Essex Police is a territorial police force responsible for policing the county of Essex in the east of England.

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