Former officer who was ‘violent and abusive’ towards ex-partners would have been dismissed

A former Sussex Police officer who was “violent, abusive and coercive” towards two former partners would have been dismissed had he not already resigned, following a disciplinary hearing.

Mar 16, 2023
By Paul Jacques

Superintendent Petra Lazar, deputy head of professional standards, said “police-perpetrated violence will absolutely not be tolerated”.

It comes as the first assessment of police performance published this week by the National Police Chiefs’ Council shows more than 1,000 complaints were made against police officers and staff relating to their treatment of women in a six-month period to March 2022.

The officer, who was granted anonymity by the independent legally qualified chair, was accused of domestic abuse towards two women when off-duty.

Sussex Police said the matter was criminally investigated and advice was sought from the Crown Prosecution Service, but it was considered the case did not meet the evidential threshold to prove the offences beyond all reasonable doubt.

Supt  Lazar said: “Though this case did not meet the threshold for criminal charges, it was important to persist with misconduct proceedings.

“Police-perpetrated violence will absolutely not be tolerated and we will continue to use all the resources and powers at our disposal to prevent, detect and deal with it robustly.”

The hearing, heard that officer X, while off-duty, “committed violent, abusive, coercive and/or controlling behaviour towards two former partners, female A and female B”.

As a result, he was alleged to have breached standards of professional behaviour in respect of authority, respect and courtesy, equality and diversity, and discreditable conduct. The breaches were proven by the misconduct panel and it was determined that this amounted to gross misconduct. Officer X would have been dismissed without notice, had he not already resigned from the force.

Supt Lazar added: “We expect our officers to act with the utmost integrity, and in accordance with the Code of Ethics and the standards of professional behaviour, and we have invested in a comprehensive programme of cultural change towards challenging, reporting and tackling unethical or unprofessional behaviour.

“Criminal behaviour, misconduct and misogyny have no place in Sussex Police.

“The actions of this officer in this case fell far short of the standards we expect, which is reflected in the findings by the panel.”

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