PC 13841 Saunders Outcome

Outcome published Fri 23rd Sep 2022

Officer(s)


Allegations Proven

  • Authority, respect and courtesy
  • Equality and diversity
  • Conduct

Sanction: Final Written Warning

Summary

On 14 September 2022 PC 13841 Saunders appeared at a misconduct hearing, which was conducted by:

Legally Qualified Chair: Harry Ireland
Independent Panel Member: Clare Hooper
Panel Member: Detective Superintendent Rachel Cumberland

The case related to an incident occurring on 9 April 2021. It was alleged that whilst the officer was on-duty and speaking to a colleague he used an apparently racist term in reference to a public figure.

Police Constable Saunder’s conduct was alleged to have breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour relating to Equality & Diversity, Discreditable Conduct and Authority, respect and courtesy.

The finding of the person or persons conducting the misconduct proceedings, reasons for the finding and disciplinary action imposed:

Evidence
PC Saunders has accepted from the outset the allegation made against him and repeated this at the hearing. He was not represented but had a Federation Representative present to advise and assist him.

The admissions were repeated and confirmed by both the Federation Representative and the officer who read a personal statement to the Panel.

Accordingly, we find that the former officer breached the following professional standards:

Authority, respect, and courtesy
Equality and Diversity
Discreditable Conduct
And such breaches are so serious as to amount to gross misconduct which the officer has accepted from the outset.

Conclusion
The purpose of the misconduct hearing is threefold:

Firstly, to protect the public confidence in and the reputation of policing.

Secondly, to maintain the high professional standards by demonstrating to other officers that misconduct will not be tolerated.

Thirdly, to protect the public and/or officers and staff by preventing the officers from committing similar misconduct again.

In determining the appropriate sanction, we took into account the following matters:

Culpability

deliberate act as admitted by the officer, albeit we accepted that any harm caused was unintentional
discrimination based on race and a conscious act
Harm

reputational damage to the police
Aggravating factors

act based on discrimination
significant deviation from Force and national policy
public confidence re racism in the police service
Mitigating factors

act of very brief duration
immediate recognition of wrongdoing
early admissions
evidence of genuine remorse, insight and accepting responsibility for his actions
evidence regarding the officer’s health
We acknowledge the risk of ‘double counting’ in assessing the above factors and have taken this into account.

As a result of this misconduct hearing the following was found and imposed with effect from today:

A final written warning for 3 years.

Kent Police
  • Stats since 1st January 2022
  • 5 Misconduct Hearings
    80% held in public


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