A three-day public misconduct hearing for a police officer accused of going on patrol wearing a woolly hat with the slogan “I love weed” was due to begin today.
PC Simon Ryan will be one of the first officers in the North Yorkshire force to go through new-style hearings which are open to the public and chaired by an independent lawyer rather than a senior police officer.
According to the hearing notice, one of the allegations against PC Ryan is that “whilst on duty at Northallerton police station he wore a black woolly hat stating ‘I love weed’ or words/pictures to that effect. Despite being advised to remove the hat, he resumed wearing the hat whilst on mobile patrol.”
It says he is also alleged to have “made handwritten annotations to a document belonging to an occupant of a house that was being searched”.
The force alleges that PC Ryan’s conduct amounted to a breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour in respect of honesty and integrity, authority, respect and courtesy, equality and diversity, orders and Instructions, duties and responsibilities, and discreditable conduct, contrary to Regulation 3 and the Schedule to the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012.
An unnamed colleague told the Northern Echo newspaper last week: “It’s a great pity that it was felt necessary to hold a disciplinary hearing over allegations which appear to amount to high spirits.”
He said: “Simon is level-headed and sensible, an excellent cop who has amassed loads of experience working in the Northallerton area for many years now, and one that you want to have working alongside you.”
The hearing is being held at North Yorkshire Police headquarters near Northallerton.