Exclusive: Police hall of shame exposed as officers sacked

A POLICE officer dismissed after trying to recruit members of the public as models for their photography business while on duty is among the latest cases of misconduct revealed by a Yorkshire force.

South Yorkshire chief constable David Crompton
South Yorkshire chief constable David Crompton

The constable with South Yorkshire Police left in May for what officials described as “discreditable conduct” after continuing with an unauthorised photography business interest.

The case is one of several new incidents of misconduct revealed by the force on a section of its website created to increase transparency and show that bosses do not “shy away from taking decisive and robust action” over wrongdoing.

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Another case not previously made public is that of an officer dismissed after “assaulting a female colleague by sexual touching on more than one occasion”.

The same constable also showed inappropriate photographs to colleagues, “engaged in sexual discussions about them and the models” and made “inappropriate sexual comments” to a female colleague. No criminal proceedings were taken against either officer.

Other cases include an officer who left the force while facing disciplinary charges but before a hearing after being accused of “incivility, impoliteness and intolerance”.

Describing the allegation, the force’s website said: “The officer unjustifiably threatened a complainant, stating: ‘You’re in trouble now, we’re going to have your job, you’re gonna lose your badge’.”

South Yorkshire’s Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, has criticised the list of misconduct cases for being inaccurate and for including “minor discipline matters” that would not have resulted in the officer being dismissed.

None of the officers whose misconduct has been described on the website have been named, though one is Jon Webb, a former Pc from Sheffield who was jailed earlier this year.

Among his offences was stealing £23,000 from an elderly woman he befriended and changing her will to make himself the beneficiary.

South Yorkshire Police has been publishing details of officer dismissals on its website since April and says it will also divulge instances when officers resign in “disciplinary circumstances”.

Another is Lee Wilcox, who pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office and was sentenced to nine months in jail after abusing his position to have sex with a vulnerable woman.

The officer, who received a number of commendations during his 23-year career, was off duty when he went to the woman’s house in Doncaster after earlier being called out to a domestic incident at her home.

The page describing the allegations against him on the force’s website says: “The officer attended the home address of a vulnerable woman whilst he was on duty, and sexually assaulted her.

“On retiring from duty and whilst acting in the role of a police officer, the officer re-attended the complainant’s home address, where he had non-consensual sexual intercourse with her.”

Another Pc left the force in March while facing six allegations, including harassing a female between August 2001 and 2012, lying about his whereabouts and failing to carry out police enquiries but telling supervisors they had been completed.

South Yorkshire is the only force in the region to regularly publish details of officer misconduct. Bosses have previously said the vast majority of officers do a “fantastic job” but are let down by a small minority.

Chief Constable David Crompton said: “Since April this year, South Yorkshire Police has published information on misconduct hearings to make it easier for the public to see details about officers who are dismissed when serious misconduct is proven.

“The force is continuing to be open and transparent and I have always said we take integrity matters seriously.”

Neil Bowles of South Yorkshire’s Police Federation said: “We have supported the publication of dismissals from the police as a result of gross misconduct, some of which have led onto or included criminal convictions.

“There is no place amongst our ranks for criminals in uniform. In this country we police by consent, we need the public to support and trust us to do the job. If showing that wrong doers are actively sought out and dealt with will assist with securing that trust then so be it.

“That said however, I have viewed the latest list and I have some concerns. I have shared those concerns with our Professional Standards Department and with the Chief Constable.

“The list is not accurate and shows some very minor discipline matters that if proven would have had minor sanctions imposed that have then coincided with the natural retirement of the officer.

“This is not right and shows the force in a worse light than necessary. We have agreed to review this list to ensure its relevance and accuracy.

“Ultimately we have an overwhelming majority of hardworking, honest and reliable police officers that work tirelessly to protect the public in South Yorkshire. All of whom share the public’s dismay when a so called colleague lets everyone down.”