A Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officer has been dismissed without notice for purchasing, offering to supply and taking controlled drugs following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Detective Inspector Warren Arter, who was attached to the South East Command, was dismissed yesterday at the end of a three-day misconduct hearing, after a panel found his conduct amounted to gross misconduct. He has been placed on the police barred list.
In December 2016, DI Arter was arrested by the MPS for alleged misconduct in public office, relating to allegations he had abused his position for a sexual purpose (APSP), and his mobile phone and iPad were seized. In April 2017, the MPS referred this matter to the IOPC and we began an independent investigation into the APSP allegations.
In 2018 we opened a further investigation after analysis of DI Arter’s mobile phone and iPad downloads provided evidence, in the form of text message exchanges and photographs, of him possessing and offering to supply drugs to third parties. Both devices were also forensically tested and found to bear traces of cocaine.
In October 2018, DI Arter was arrested by the IOPC and we conducted a search of his home, where drugs paraphernalia including metal straws and mini scales were seized and found to bear traces of cocaine along with a grip seal bag that had traces of MDMA. DI Arter was taken into custody, where he tested positive for cocaine, and was interviewed under caution on suspicion of offering to supply controlled drugs to others, and corrupt or improper use of police powers for failing to utilise these powers when he became aware of other people possessing drugs. He declined to answer any questions.
In June 2020, we completed our investigation into this matter and determined that DI Arter had a case to answer for gross misconduct for breaches of the police standards of professional behaviour. We also sent a referral to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), who decided not to authorise charges.
During the misconduct hearing, the panel heard evidence that between 2016 and 2018, DI Arter purchased and consumed controlled drugs on various occasions, including cocaine and MDMA. They heard evidence of him arranging to buy drugs, discussing having taken them, and offering them to others via text messages. They heard he tested positive for cocaine use and that he attended gatherings at which controlled drugs were openly being consumed but did not report this or take any other action. They also heard he did not take action when he was aware a man he knew was providing drugs to a woman in exchange for sex.
The panel determined that gross misconduct was proven against DI Arter, who was found to have breached the police standards of professional behaviour for discreditable conduct; authority, respect and courtesy; duties and responsibilities; honesty and integrity.
IOPC Regional Director Mel Palmer said: “These are very serious findings against a high-ranking officer, who a misconduct panel has found purchased and consumed illegal drugs and offered them to third parties. There can be no doubt that conduct such as this, though it relates to the actions of one officer, risks undermining public confidence in policing. There can be no place in policing for officers who do not respect and adhere to the laws they are expected to uphold. It is right this officer has been placed on the College of Policing barred list, meaning he cannot work in policing.”
Our investigation into the APSP allegations was concluded in 2020, when we determined DI Arter had a disciplinary case to answer for gross misconduct. Following the conclusion of this hearing, decisions will be made in due course regarding the outstanding disciplinary matters.