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Police officer dismissed following misconduct hearing

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A police officer has been dismissed following a misconduct hearing after the panel heard how he investigated a road-rage offence he was personally involved in.

Allegations of gross misconduct were proven against PC Keith James for breaches of professional behaviour relating to honesty and integrity, duties and responsibilities and discreditable conduct.

The panel, led by an independent Legally Qualified Chair, heard how PC James was involved in a road-rage incident with a member of the public on the A367 near Peasedown St John on 15 February 2018, while off-duty.

Following this incident, he told the member of the public, a driving instructor, he would be reporting him for driving offences and went onto investigate the incident himself. He issued the man with a verbal notice of intended prosecution after visiting him at home the following day and then failed to secure evidence, namely Dash Camera footage of the incident. He went onto give evidence in court about the member of the public’s dangerous driving, which he knew not to be true.

Supt Simon Wilstead, head of Professional Standards, said: “The officer should not have been investigating an offence he was personally involved in and he acted wholly unprofessionally in his subsequent conduct with a member of the public.

“We expect all police investigations to be carried out with professionalism and integrity and this clearly didn’t happen on this occasion. His actions have the potential to impact on community confidence in policing, which is another aggravating factor in this case.”

The full outcome will be published on the misconduct section of our website when it’s available