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Seven-year-old misconduct allegations thrown out due to delays


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Panel say officers could not face fair hearing.

Seven-year-old misconduct allegations thrown out due to delays

Misconduct proceedings were abandoned because it took nearly seven years from the time of an alleged incident to a hearing being scheduled.

Proceedings against PC Barry Munnelly, Sgt Olumide Olufola, and former constable Glen Chandler were thrown out because “the officers could not have a fair hearing due to an abuse of process as a result of time delay”.

The police watchdog says the outcome of the case, involving the Metropolitan Police officers, is “regrettable”.

PC Munnelly and Sgt Olufola were accused of using more force than necessary during an arrest in Wembley, north London, in December 2011, while ex-PC Chandler was accused of providing a false account of events.

It was a year before a complaint was made to the force, and borough investigators twice cleared the officers of wrongdoing.

But the complainant appealed to the then-IPCC who asked the Met to investigate again.

In June 2015 the directorate of professional standards found that the officers had no case to answer.

A subsequent appeal from the complainant to the IPCC was partially upheld, with the body directing the force to hold a gross misconduct hearing in February 2016.

But the member of the public challenged the conclusions of the IPCC at judicial review, which delayed proceedings by several more months. After this the watchdog again directed proceedings and also told the force to refer the matter to the CPS.

In September 2017 the CPS decided not to charge any officer with an offence.

Police Federation of England and Wales conduct lead Phill Matthews has called for the watchdog’s case to answer threshold to be raised, arguing lengthy processes as a result cost money, give families false hope and ruin officers’ lives.

He said: “This reinforces why we need to change the cause to answer test from the IOPC [formerly the IPCC]. Seven years for what is a relatively minor use of force allegation only resulted in the proceedings being stayed.”

A spokesman for the Independent Office for Police Conduct, the former IPCC, said: “It is regrettable that the passage of time has meant that neither the complainant nor the officers concerned were able to have their side of the story heard before a disciplinary hearing.

“This has been complex case of which our role played just a part.

“There were three investigations conducted by the Metropolitan Police and further delays caused by High Court proceedings.”

He added that the organisation welcomes forthcoming government moves to streamline the misconduct process.

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Why has this been allowed to reach this point. Four seperate investigations and seven years in wasted time.

If someone's found not guilty at court, the police cant just keep appealing until we get the result we want.

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Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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I honestly can’t see what’s to be gained by re-investigating? If I was an officer involved, I’d just say “I’ve provided an account, I have nothing more to add.” Investigation over x 3...

It’s just such a bizarre system. 

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