Pump Court Chambers

Colin Banham successfully represents Inspector at Disciplinary Proceedings

News 31st May 2016

Colin Banham represented an Inspector at a misconduct hearing arising from an incident where he was alleged to have confronted fellow officers in the street, who were arresting an intoxicated member of the public.

It was alleged that, in the early hours of the morning, the officer was out socially with friends. An intoxicated male approached him in an aggressive manner and squared up to him. When he made it plain that he would not fight him, the male followed him along the street. Officers eventually approached the intoxicated male and arrested him.

It was alleged that the officer approached from behind and started shouting at the now detained male, placing his hand upon him. It was further alleged that the officer behaved aggressively by shouting, waving his arms and placing his hands on the officers. This was said to be loud, aggressive and intimidating for the junior officers.

The officer was then said to have pushed one of them in the chest before placing his hand on their arm and pulling it down. Afterwards it was alleged that he attempted to speak to one other officer and, once more, get close to the detained male. He eventually had to be ushered away.

It was also alleged that, during the course of his interview, the officer gave a dishonest account by denying the allegations and alleging that the officers had fabricated their evidence.

The accused officer denied the allegations.

The panel, when giving their reasons as to why the crucial allegations had not been proved, concluded that it was impossible to say who instigated the contact. The officer had accepted that there had been some gentle touching at the time of his interview. The panel found that the witnesses’ evidence was inconsistent and thought that the degree of physical contact between the two officers was relatively minor.

When dealing with the allegation that the officer breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in relation to honesty and integrity, the panel accepted that on a number of occasions in his interview the officer made denials but they did not find that there was anything dishonest in your use of the word ‘fabricated’.

The panel concluded that the officer had breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour only in relation to Authority Respect and Courtesy and Discreditable Conduct. They did not find the breach in relation to Honesty and Integrity.

The behaviour of the officer was found to amount to misconduct only and, after mitigation, the officer received a written warning.

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