Two Dorset Police officers found to have committed gross misconduct

Two Dorset Police officers found to have committed gross misconduct

Published by Maria Greenwood at 11:40am 17th January 2020.

Two Dorset Police officers have been found to have committed gross misconduct following a public hearing.

Police Constable Hannah White and Police Constable Jamie Woodfine were subject to a misconduct hearing following an investigation into allegations that their conduct on duty had fallen below the standards of professional behaviour in respect of Honesty and Integrity and Duties and Responsibilities.

A panel led by an independent legally qualified chair determined on Tuesday 14 January, that both officers had breached the professional standards as alleged and that the breaches amounted to gross misconduct.

'Findings'

  • PC White has since resigned from the Force and did not attend the hearing.
  • The panel ruled that had she not left of her own accord, she would have been dismissed without notice.
  • PC Woodfine was dismissed without notice.
Police Car

'Welfare check'

On Monday 25 June 2018 the two officers attended an address in Poole to carry out a welfare check on a woman following a call from a member of the public who reported an alleged breach of a court order.

When the officers arrived they discovered the woman was at the address with a man who was prevented from contacting her and from being at the address by the conditions of a non-molestation order.

The man was liable to be arrested if found in breach of the order.

The officers spoke with the woman and the man at the address and made the decision not to arrest forming the view that there was no risk to the woman.

Dorset Police Car At Night

'False and inaccurate information put into police log'

The police log report following the officer's attendance at the address was updated by PC White with false and inaccurate information. It recorded that the man was not present at the address.

The officers attended a number of other incidents that evening and towards the end of their shift PC White finalised the log entry, again stating that officers had attended the address and the man was not present.

David Lewis

Following the misconduct hearing, Deputy Chief Constable David Lewis (pictured above) said:

"Our officers have to adhere to the highest standards of professional behaviour, in particular their honesty and integrity must be beyond reproach.

"As a force we are committed to the protection and safeguarding of vulnerable people and in this case the officers failed to comply with the Force's domestic abuse investigation policy and procedure and knowingly caused an inaccurate log entry of the incident to be recorded.

"I agree with the panel's view that the officers' actions amounted to gross misconduct and were sufficient to warrant dismissal.

"I hope this case demonstrates that we will take action against officers who fail to maintain the high standards that we set and what is expected of them when carrying out their duties in serving and protecting the public."