Details revealed of misbehaviour of Northamptonshire Police officers and staff who quit before misconduct hearings
Details of misconduct hearings that are not publicised by Northamptonshire Police show 13 officers or staff quit the force while under internal investigation.
They include three cases so far in 2018, two of which where the officer would have been sacked on the spot.
In one case, an officer took inappropriate photos in uniform while on duty.
Another case saw an officer have a sexual relationship with a colleague that constituted a breach of trust. Both officers resigned before they could be dismissed.
The final case this year saw a member of staff consistently use inappropriate language and behaviour towards colleagues. They resigned before a misconduct meeting.
Since 2014, a total of 15 officers or staff have resigned before the misconduct process was complete. None have been named as their cases did not get as far as a public hearing.
Details of all the force’s misconduct cases in the last four years can be found at the following links:
A Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said it was beyond the force’s control to prevent officers or staff from quitting.
She said: “As a force, we are governed by police regulations which dictate what actions we can and cannot take. Police Regulations 2017, allow officers who are under investigation to resign or retire, no longer requiring permission from the organisation to do so.
“However, the regulations do permit us to proceed with investigations and hearings notwithstanding than an accused officer has left the force. This is often the course of action that the force will take in the officer’s absence.”
Although a handful of misconduct hearings are held in public at Wootton Hall each year, most are not.
The force publishes some details of the private hearings, as well as summaries of lesser transgressions that did not warrant a hearing.
It has to do so under ‘transparency’ rules but rarely actively publicises them.
In police officer misconduct hearings the default position is that both the proceedings and outcome will take place in public.
In each case however the chair of the panel may hear legal submissions from both the force and the officers defence team around this issue before coming to an independent decision as to whether the hearing and outcome should be held in public, in private or in public but with restrictions.
In addition, outcomes of hearings where the officer in question has been dismissed, even if in their absence, is reported to the College of Policing.
Details of the officer and the conduct are added to the police barred list and subject to publication for a period of up to five years.