PC “A” and PC “B” – Final Outcome
I have considered all the facts of this case and the representations made during this Hearing. I have also considered the College of Policing Guidance on outcomes in police misconduct proceedings. I have paid particular note to the aggravating and mitigating factors presented. I can assure the panel that I have considered very carefully the circumstances which have been outlined this morning. In addition, the testaments of good character from colleagues and associates and indeed PC A’s and PC B’s acceptance in this investigation that their conduct amounted to Gross Misconduct. In addition, the honesty expressed here today. I will remind everyone that gross misconduct means a breach of the standards of professional behaviour which is so serious that dismissal would be justified. In referring the College of Policing Guidelines, I am cognisant that any sanction must have due regard to maintaining public confidence and upholding the reputation of the police service. Additionally, the Guidance sets out two other factors which I must take note of; upholding high standards in policing and to deter misconduct and secondly to protect the public.
This case centres on the allegation of two police officers engaged in sexual conduct with each other whilst on duty.
Turning first to the area of culpability. As the case has outlined this has not been ‘one- off’ activity; by your own admissions, the conduct occurred on a number of occasions and at differing locations. It cannot also be lost on anyone within the policing environment of the extent to which damage has been caused to the reputation of the police service by acts such as have been outlined today. Nationally and unfortunately closer to home, the actions of officers have let the service down and our reputation is one that requires re-building; this does nothing to enhance it.
Whilst this could have been seen as a lapse of judgement. I am not convinced, you both had the opportunity to stop such behaviour on numerous occasions and in particular PC A’s was, with reference to his length of service, in a position of seniority over PC B. However, both of you, as described in your statements are to blame for this situation. You must have known what you were doing was wrong and therefore the culpability in this case is high.
With regards to the seriousness of this case, I have already stated that the public’s trust and confidence in policing has been dented over recent months. Those within policing and outside of our environment expect the highest standards of professional behaviour. They rightly expect when an officers comes on duty that they are there to protect and serve the community. Not to be engaged in sexual activity which brings discredit to the service. The Constabulary’s Corporate Plan outlines the values by which we must all adhere to – those of integrity, impartiality, diligence and fairness.
I take particular note that once this situation had come to light you both admitted your part. Admissions were made to your sergeants albeit I am doubtful that this would have occurred had the information not come to light from a third party. I accept that the third party discovered the activities through one of you, however you should have proactively declared your relationship before this came to a formal misconduct procedure. I also note that it appears, albeit no formal checks have been presented to me, that no damage was done by you not responding to calls for service and that no member of the public discovered your activity which would have cast a completely different light on the harm caused to our Constabulary. Nonetheless harm has been caused but you both are fully aware of that fact through your respective responses to the Reg 51 Notices.
I have taken note PC B’s openness with her new employer and that fact that she has resigned from the police service. In addition, the character reference regarding PC B’s commendable actions off duty on 15th June 2022. This cannot have been an easy decision to take ahead of any panel; I have also taken note of both your personal circumstances since these allegations has surfaced.
Any outcome should be sufficient to demonstrate individual accountability for any abuse or misuse of police powers or standards of professional behaviour, if the confidence in the police service is to be maintained. I have outlined the purpose of the misconduct procedure earlier. In addition to the College of Policing Guidelines I have also considered the Code of Ethics.
I have fully considered the sanctions available to me and what would be proportionate with regards to this specific case.
Having considered the case presented to me, my determination is that the least severe outcome that deals adequately with the issues identified whilst protecting the public interest is that both PC B and PC A should be dismissed without notice, this outcome has the additional consequence of being on the barred list.
- Stats since 1st January 2022
5 Misconduct Hearings
80% held in public
Cambridgeshire Constabulary is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement within Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in the United Kingdom.