Police Officer Who Harassed Abuse Victim Gained Anonymity | Police

A police chief admitted that a decision by a misconduct panel to grant lifelong anonymity to a male officer who harassed a female victim of domestic violence opened the service to charges of lack of transparency.

The specially trained domestic worker bombarded the young woman with messages as he continued an “inappropriate emotional relationship” with her after being assigned to her case, the panel heard.

He has been accused of sending her emojis with kisses, asking her on a date with a cocktail, inviting her over to his house and giving her a hug and a kiss.

The panel ruled on Wednesday that the Hampshire officer’s actions constituted serious misconduct, but he was granted lifelong anonymity to protect his well-being.

Speaking to the Guardian, Deputy Police Chief Ben Snuggs said it was the decision of the independent committee chairman to decide whether the officer could be appointed.

He said the force was for the hearings to be heard in public, but the appointment of officers should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

“I fully understand how spectators seem to lack transparency. From the Hampshire Police perspective, we are very much aware of this, ”he said.

There have been a series of high-profile disciplinary hearings involving Hampshire agents in recent months.

In December, six members of the force’s organized crime unit were convicted of serious misconduct after a secret bug recorded them regularly making offensive remarks, including wishing strangers death. An investigation revealed that part of the office where a black officer worked was called “Africa corner”.

Officers were named in the case, but in June a former police sergeant who used racist and homophobic language in messages to a colleague he was having an affair with was not named.

Snuggs said he did not believe there was a growing problem in Hampshire, but argued there was a backlog of disciplinary cases because of Covid now going through the system. He said the force was proactive in encouraging people to report breaches of discipline.

He said: “We have to constantly keep in mind that every interaction counts, every interaction with a colleague, with a member of the public really matters. We want to do it right.

When asked if the misconduct has affected morale, Snuggs replied, “Absolutely. They hit morale, they provoke a lot of introspection. It hurts. “

Jamie Klingler, co-founder of Reclaim These Streets, criticized the decision to ban the identification of the officer in the latter case. She said: “We need all police officers to be held accountable for their actions. Why are they hiding it?

Lawyer Sarah Gaunt, chair of the misconduct committee, limited what the media could say about why the officer was granted anonymity. It can only be pointed out that “the decision was made on the basis of a review of the medical evidence which supports the requirement for the officer to remain anonymous in order to protect his well-being”.

Giving the reasons why the panel concluded that the officer’s actions constituted serious misconduct, Gaunt said the woman was “vulnerable, if not very vulnerable” and that as an affected officer he was in a position of duty. ‘authority.

She said: “He did not respect Woman A’s vulnerability and disproportionately abused her status as a police officer to maintain and maintain contact, and for the purpose of having an emotional, sexual or inappropriate relationship with her. . “

Woman A said in an interview with the police: “It made me paranoid, especially with the male police officers. I’m also worried about calling the police now… What he did was wrong and I felt other police could be like that.

The officer will be sanctioned at a later date.

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