Poor police conduct

PUBLISHED: 09:11 07 July 2015 | UPDATED: 12:27 07 July 2015

Archant

Avon and Somerset Constabulary carried out more than 140 misconduct investigations in 2014, including when a police officer handcuffed a man to a lamp post 'for a laugh' and pointed a Taser at him.

One police constable got a written warning for ‘conducting inappropriate relationships with staff and a member of the public and sending inappropriate texts on his work phone’. Meanwhile a police community support officer was dismissed after approaching a defendant before a court case and saying they could have the charges dropped, in return for a car and/or money.

Superintendent Ian Wylie, of Avon and Somerset’s professional standards department, said: “We take all complaints against our staff – whether police officers or police staff – extremely seriously and we robustly investigate all allegations.

“We do not tolerate any actions which compromise our professional integrity. We expect staff to follow the College of Policing’s new guidelines on ensuring they behave in an exemplary manner – professional, courteous and with integrity, upholding the high standards and values which our police force works to. Failure to do so will result in a full and robust investigation, which may ultimately result in dismissal from their post. Clearly, it takes time to thoroughly investigate allegations and ensure we get to the truth of matter for complainants. It is by demonstrating this openness and accountability to the public, they will feel confident in reporting staff who have not performed to a high standard.”

The details came to light after a freedom of information request. The police staff were not named.

Several members of staff were disciplined for passing confidential police information to the public. One officer received a written warning for grabbing a man and pushing him into a doorway ‘for no good reason’, while a second resigned after ‘conducting inappropriate relationships with vulnerable females’ he met through policing. Meanwhile two police constables faced a hearing after failing to handcuff a detainee who then escaped from custody.

Other misconduct cases included an off-duty police constable resigning after drink driving and two officers who ‘send inappropriate messages to each other, containing sexual innuendo, despite being adviser by their supervisor to stop’.

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