They are highly regarded figures in the community. But this year alone 15 Humberside police officers and staff have either been sacked or received formal warnings for misconduct. Crime Reporter Lucy Leeson looks back at some of the cases.
Testing positive for Class A drugs, using an automatic number plate recognition camera to photograph a woman’s cleavage, and posting offensive comments about the chief constable on social media are just some examples of misconduct hearings held by Humberside Police.
While the vast majority of officers undoubtedly do an excellent job, Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter said last week that he was concerned about the number of officers being sacked by the force.
“Firstly I don’t like to see anyone’s career brought to an end,” he said. “Secondly I don’t like to see the public being on the receiving end of police officers who are not acting with integrity and within the powers they possess.
“I am also concerned because it might indicate that for many years there was police officers getting away with that behaviour and it not being highlighted. It is difficult to know where the line is to be drawn.”
The force is now publishing details of misconduct cases in a bid to be more transparent. Here are ten recent cases:
Sacked for punching a man in the face
A police officer who punched a man in the face during a scuffle and a fellow officer, who was present at the time and failed to intervene, were sacked from the force last week.
Officer A, who punched the man in the face, was involved in the arrest of a man at his home, which was captured on a body-worn camera. However, when the officer brought the man into custody, it was claimed the arrest had been made outside the address.
On another occasion, Officer A left work without informing or getting the permission from supervisors. On a separate occasion, Officer B was on cell watch duty for a vulnerable prisoner in custody but he fell asleep twice.
Humberside Police say they will not release the identity of the officers over concerns for the welfare and safety of one of them.
Sacked for kicking and bouncing on a man
Roads policing officer Lee Curtis was sacked for gross misconduct on June 9 after he was found guilty of repeatedly bouncing on a man as he tried to restrain him.
CCTV footage was shown of an incident in Gertrude Street, Grimsby, at around 3am on October 17, 2014 when PC Curtis was shown to be bouncing on suspect Robert Peterson. The officer was told he had overstepped the mark when making an arrest and such action would not be tolerated in the modern police force.
The panel accepted the pulling of the detainee’s legs and kicking was reasonable and appropriate force but the bouncing was not. Sergeant Christopher Wright had also been accused of misconduct but the case against him was not proven.
Sacked for taking ecstasy and cocaine
Traces of cocaine and ecstasy were found at the Hull home of PC Rebecca Jones and in her car. The Class A drugs were also found in a sample of her hair.
PC Jones, who served with Humberside Police for 12 years, denied ever knowingly taking the drugs. The 44-year-old officer was accused of one allegation of misconduct and a panel concluded the allegation had been proven following a hearing at Priory Road police station in Hull on July 4. Jones was sacked from the force without notice.
Warning for posting derogatory comments on social media
A police constable was given a written warning back in April for posting offensive comments on social media about chief constable Justine Curran.
The same officer also failed to provide a witness statement for a misconduct hearing for which he was a witness at the earliest opportunity. The evidence he did provide was also “unconvincing” and contained inaccuracies.
Warning for three officers after man died in police custody
Sergeant Nicholas Mortimer and PC Emily Turner were found guilty of gross misconduct following the death of Grimsby man David Hill while he was being held in police custody. PC Mark Gowan was found guilty of misconduct.
Mr Hill, 57, of Peaks Lane, New Waltham, had been arrested on suspicion of affray by threatening a neighbour. He had been drinking and suffered from diabetes.
Read the full story at http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/ten-misconduct-cases-against-humberside-police-officers/story-29590126-detail/story.html