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Former PC barred from policing after gross misconduct

A misconduct hearing has ruled a former police constable would have been dismissed had he not resigned.

It was held at the police headquarters in Portishead on Monday 1 June.

The hearing was in relation to allegations around a road traffic accident involving Stuart Box when he was off duty in April 2019. Mr Box remonstrated with the driver before a physical confrontation ensued – events he failed to report.

The panel ruled that Mr Box’s actions amounted to a breach of professional standards in terms of both discreditable conduct and honesty and integrity. The panel concluded his actions amounted to gross misconduct and that he would have been dismissed had he not have resigned ahead of the hearing.

He will now be barred from serving as a police officer again.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) was kept informed of the matter when Mr Box’s involvement became apparent and ruled the incident was best fully investigated by Avon and Somerset Police. The evidence of our investigation was presented to the CPS which decided no criminal charges should be brought.

Superintendent Simon Wilstead, head of Professional Standards, said: “Firstly, on behalf of Avon and Somerset Constabulary I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologise to Mrs Burgum and her family for the incident which involved an off-duty officer.

“Mr Box was not on duty at the time of the incident, but nevertheless we expect a high standard of behaviour by officers, whether they are in or out of uniform, and he failed to meet those ethical standards.

“As a police force we believe in absolute transparency and Mr Box’s failure to report what happened at the earliest opportunity is at odds with what we stand for.

“The IOPC was informed of the incident at the outset and it decided it was happy with Avon and Somerset Police investigating what happened. A thorough and proportionate criminal investigation was carried out before the CPS was presented with the evidence.

“The misconduct investigation has subsequently followed leading to today’s outcome. Despite the officer resigning, it was important to hold a hearing into the very serious allegations against Mr Box to ensure that, if proven, he would be placed on the barred list.”

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