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Gross misconduct proven against former officer following hearing led by independent chair

A former police officer who used highly sexualised and inappropriate language during an off-duty event he attended with colleagues would have been dismissed without notice if he hadn’t already resigned.

The former officer, known as PS X, was found to have committed gross misconduct following a misconduct hearing held at Police HQ, led by an independent Legally Qualified Chair.

The hearing heard details of his conduct during an event in a pub garden in Weston-super-Mare in July 2020.

During the event, at which he was the most senior officer present and became intoxicated, he touched another officer’s hair without permission, took a photo of an officer without their consent and spoke about taking drugs in his youth.

He will now be placed on the National College of Policing’s Barred List, preventing him from working within policing, as well as other law enforcement bodies.

Supt Jane Wigmore, head of Professional Standards, said after the hearing: “This officer’s conduct was wholly unacceptable and his words and behaviour made others feel extremely uncomfortable.

“Some of those present reported their concerns to line managers, who in turn made a referral to Professional Standards. It’s important to recognise the role they played in calling out this behaviour, which resulted in a full and thorough investigation being carried out.

“Even though he was off-duty at the time, we still expect all our officers and staff to uphold the highest of standards and it’s abundantly clear from the evidence heard at the hearing that PS X failed to do this.

“There’s no place in Avon and Somerset Police for this type of behaviour or language and we remain determined to root it out, so the public can have full confidence in the police service and those who are employed to serve and protect them.”