Leeds police sergeant sacked for drink-driving

A Leeds police officer has been sacked after being caught drink-driving while off-duty.

Simon Harrison of West Yorkshire Police has been sacked for drink-driving
Simon Harrison of West Yorkshire Police has been sacked for drink-driving

Sergeant Simon Harrison, of West Yorkshire Police, appeared before a misconduct hearing this week for “breaching the standards of professional behaviour in relation to Discreditable Conduct”.

According to the force’s website, the Leeds district police officer was arrested while off duty “on suspicion of driving a motor vehicle whilst unfit through drink”.

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The website added: “He appeared at York Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to driving whilst over the prescribed limit.”

The charge was proved and the officer was dismissed without notice, West Yorkshire Police said yesterday.

But the misconduct hearing was held in private because “there is sensitive information that will need to be discussed during the proceedings”.

Police misconduct hearings are normally held in public as part of changes introduced in 2016 to make the service more accountable and transparent.

West Yorkshire Police initially declined to release Harrison’s name and where he was based, instead providing only his surname on the force’s website.

These details were later released to the YEP to avoid defaming other Sergeant Harrisons who work for Yorkshire’s biggest police force.

Possible reasons for barring the public from misconduct hearings include the welfare of the officers concerned, national security or avoiding jeopardising criminal proceedings.

According to government guidance: “The presumption should be of transparency where possible.” It adds: “A hearing should not be held privately or notice withheld for administrative reasons; or because of concerns to the reputation of the force or police arising from the hearing being public.”