No further action to be taken against ‘salutary’ DCC

The chief constable of Essex Police has decided not to apply any further formal sanction against a senior officer who was verbally and physically abusive towards junior colleagues.

Feb 20, 2018
By Joe Shine

Deputy Chief Constable Matthew Horne was found guilty of three counts of misconduct at a disciplinary hearing last month, but the panel recommended he receives management advice.

In a statement released on Tuesday (February 20), Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said that except for ten “unfortunate” minutes, Mr Horne’s record of service and behaviour during his 28 years as an officer has been “salutary” and decided against further action.

He also thanked the officers who spoke with “honesty and integrity about what they saw and heard” and upheld the high standards to which everyone at the force should meet every day.

Mr Kavanagh added: “As an officer and as a leader, Mr Horne’s conduct in those three incidents was not acceptable in a workplace that must operate – even in times of the highest levels of stress and risk – on a basis of trust, respect and comradeship.

“He made mistakes, he must acknowledge them and he must learn from them. But I have no doubt that Mr Horne and his family have found the last year to be punitive in the distress it has caused.

“The role of the sanction panel is not to punish for the sake of punishment. It is to consider a sanction that best serves policing and the public’s confidence in it, taking into account the likelihood of reoccurrence.

“People who are dishonest, predatory or criminal have no place in policing. But policing is a very human endeavour and I am concerned about any system which has no tolerance for mistakes, especially when weighed against a service record that has done so much to protect so many.”

Steve Taylor, chair of the Essex Police Federation, said he expects his members – up to the rank of chief inspector – to be treated with similar tolerance.

He said: “As the deputy chief constable is in charge of discipline in Essex Police – and sits in judgment over others whose actions and conduct are under investigation – the federation have been following this case, judgment and sanctions given with interest.

“We note the finding given to Mr Horne. Policing is a difficult job with stresses and strains and despite best intentions sadly mistakes by frontline officers do take place.

“Following this case we now look to our members being treated in a similar manner on the rare occasions they progress through the police disciplinary process.”

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