A misconduct hearing has found the case not proven against two Greater Manchester Police officers investigated in relation to a series of complaints relating to police use of force.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) carried out seven investigations into complaints linked to eight incidents involving one of the officers, dog handler PC Paul Jackson.
The complaints, which were referred by GMP between May 2015 and December 2016, all related to the use of force against male suspects. Some of the men suffered significant dog bite injuries.
One of the complainants alleged a second officer, PC Paul Lockett, failed to challenge his colleague during one of the incidents or report it afterwards.
We made an initial referral to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in July 2017, which authorised charges of wounding against PC Jackson and misconduct in public office and aiding and abetting wounding against PC Lockett.
There were no charges for two other officers we investigated in relation to their use of force in one of incidents complained about.
PC Jackson and PC Lockett were acquitted of all charges at Preston Crown Court in June 2019.
Having originally agreed with our findings that all four officers under investigation had a case to answer for gross misconduct, GMP informed us in April 2020 that, following the outcome of the criminal hearing, it no longer believed they should face disciplinary proceedings.
We carefully considered our decision in light of the force’s position and in December 2020 informed the force we believed misconduct hearings should take place for both PC Jackson and PC Lockett. Following further representations, in May 2021, we directed the force to hold the hearings.
During the misconduct hearing, which started on 10 May, the independent panel heard submissions from the officers’ representatives and on 30 May agreed to discontinue proceedings for one of the cases after a witness indicated they no longer wished to engage with proceedings.
The panel has today (10 June) found the cases not proven against either officer.
IOPC Director of Operations Amanda Rowe said: “This has been a complex case involving some very serious allegations and some of the men involved suffered significant dog bite injuries. As such, it was important for the matters to be independently and thoroughly investigated.
“Our work has ensured these officers actions have been scrutinised at public hearings, which provides the transparency that is vital for public confidence in policing and in the complaints system.
“We are grateful to the panel for their consideration of the matters brought before them.”2
Greater Manchester Police
- Stats since 1st January 2022
33 Misconduct Hearings
94% held in public