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Documentary captures misconduct of force's unlawful house search


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One officer handed written warning while two more cleared of any wrongdoing at special case hearing.

Misconduct hearing: Held at Kent Police HQ in Maidstone

Misconduct hearing: Held at Kent Police HQ in Maidstone

Date - 24th March 2019
By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle
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A TV film crew caught on camera an entire sequence of events involving an officer unlawfully entering a home, misleading the occupants into believing he had a warrant before making “derogatory remarks” on leaving.

Footage from the Channel 5 filmmakers documenting the work of Kent Police's gypsy liaison team was played to a force disciplinary panel – bringing allegations of gross misconduct against three officers.

The three-day hearing, held at the force’s Maidstone headquarters, was shown Kent PC Sacha Azizi leading a team of several officers as they went in search of a suspected female arsonist at a house in Walderslade, in May 2017.

PCs Daniel Baker and Jai Shoker were also present.

PC Azizi was pushing his way into the house despite not having a warrant and without a lawful reason.

One of the occupants – a heavily pregnant woman – had already told him he could not enter and twice asked if he had the authority to do so.

PCs Azizi and Baker continued to search the property despite being repeatedly asking them to leave.

When team leader, PC Azizi, did leave the property he made comments about the family dog, the occupant’s husband and taking the couple’s children into care.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct carried out an investigation, which was completed in June 2018, and concluded that three officers – PCs Azizi, Baker and Shoker – had cases to answer for gross misconduct.

PCs Azizi and Baker had to answer in respect of authority, respect and courtesy; discreditable conduct; duties and responsibilities; and honesty and integrity.

It was also alleged that PC Baker breached standards of professional behaviour for failing to challenge and report improper conduct.

PC Shoker was alleged to have given a misleading account during the investigation, and prior to the referral to the IOPC, and therefore breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of honesty and integrity.

At Monday's hearing PC Shoker was cleared before the allegations had even been outlined after the panel was told Kent Police had bungled an initial investigation.

At the opening of the hearing on Monday, Shoker was cleared before the allegations had even been outlined after the panel was told the Kent force had bungled an initial investigation.

PC Shoker's witness statement was reportedly given in informal circumstances, several weeks after the incident and without him having access to his note book.

The panel also found that PC Baker had no case to answer and no further action will be taken against him.

All three gross misconduct allegations were found not proven but PC Azizi was given a written warning for ‘misconduct’.

Superintendent Nick Gossett, Kent’s head of complaints and misconduct, told Police Oracle: “In the case of PC Azizi, the panel concluded that he had breached the standards of professional behaviour in relation to authority, respect and courtesy and his actions amounted to discreditable conduct.”

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