An officer has been dismissed without notice after a misconduct hearing heard how she failed to arrest a suspect when attending a domestic abuse incident, putting a vulnerable victim at risk.
The hearing, held in front of a panel led by an independent Legally Qualified Chair, concluded PC Tamsin Devlin’s actions amounted to gross misconduct and the sanction should be dismissal without notice.
In February 2023, the victim had made a 999 call after her ex-partner broke into her house.
PC Devlin, along with a second officer, attended but did not take positive action and arrest the suspect, despite being told by the victim how she had been harassed since their separation.
The suspect then re-attended the victim’s house the following day, where he was arrested.
The hearing panel ruled the officer had breached standards of professional behaviour, including honesty and integrity, duties and responsibilities and discreditable conduct.
Supt Mark Edgington, head of the Professional Standards Department, said: “This was a clear and concerning offence of stalking and the interaction between PC Devlin, the perpetrator and the victim in this case was captured on Body Worn Video.
“This evidence showed PC Devlin should have taken positive action to arrest the perpetrator in order to protect the victim and prevent any further harm or distress being caused. The failure to do so was unacceptable and a blatant disregard of professional duties which put a vulnerable victim at risk. It was also in breach of Avon and Somerset Police and national College of Policing policies.
“The hearing also found this officer made a false statement to a colleague in which she said no offences had been committed at this incident and then allowed a formal report to be submitted with incorrect information in it. She also made a false report during a radio transmission following the incident.
“We know this case has the potential to cause a loss of trust and confidence in our policing response, but we’d like to reassure the public that we take domestic abuse extremely seriously and will investigate all domestic abuse reports that are made to us. We’d urge anyone who is in abusive relationship, or anyone who suspects someone they know to be in an abusive relationship, to reach out and speak to us. You are not alone, we are here, and we can help.
“We’re committed to creating long term, sustainable improvements to the way in which officers and staff respond to victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse. In line with this commitment, we launched DA Matters, a cultural change programme, designed by domestic abuse charity SafeLives. DA Matters aims to give officers and staff the knowledge to spot the early signs of domestic abuse and better understand the tactics used by perpetrators.”