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Force urges public to report all police employees 'misusing their position of trust'

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Campaign means no hiding place for those who abuse the uniform.

Reporting: Campaign to highlight abuse by officers and staff

Reporting: Campaign to highlight abuse by officers and staff

Date - 28th March 2019
By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle
3 Comments3 Comments}

 

Abusive officers face no hiding place in an ultimate morality test from an all-seeing public.

West Yorkshire Police has launched an awareness campaign, urging the reporting of police employees who “misuse their position of trust”.

The force is proactively encouraging members of the public to report "any incident" that concerns them.

The drive is part of the force’s commitment to providing the highest standards of service to the communities of West Yorkshire and follows an internal campaign and work with key partner agencies to raise awareness of abuse of position for a sexual purpose, and what can and should be reported.

Detective Chief Superintendent Oz Khan, head of force’s professional standards directorate, said: “Police employees occupy a position of trust and it is vital that any abuse of position by a police officer or staff member is investigated

“It does not matter whether someone has come into contact with the police as a victim, witness or suspect for an offence, they should expect any officer or staff member that they come into contact with to act professionally and in line with the code of ethics.”

The National Police Chief’s Council set out a strategy in October 2017 for addressing the issue of officers and staff who abuse their position for a sexual purpose.

Since then, the West Yorkshire force has run an internal awareness campaign – including mandatory training for all officers and staff – and also held a conference in July last year which was attended by more than 100 representatives from partner organisations.

“This is not an issue that is unique to West Yorkshire and out of the thousands of people who work for the police, we are talking about a very small number of individuals who would ever overstep professional boundaries and form inappropriate personal relationships with people they meet as a result of their work,” added DCS Khan.

“Victims of abuse of position may not always see themselves as a victim and we need anyone with concerns about a police employee’s conduct to report it to us so that we can ensure it is investigated and, if appropriate, that the police officer or staff member’s employment is terminated.

“We know people may have concerns about contacting the police to report an issue with the police but I would like to reassure them that we have specialist officers who are dedicated to conducting these kind of investigations and their report will be dealt with sensitively.”

The force said there are also options available to report incidents to independent charity Crimestoppers or the Independent Office for Police Conduct.”

Last year, two West Yorkshire Police employees faced gross misconduct hearings in relation to abuse of position for a sexual purpose.

The first was a PC who started sending inappropriate and unprofessional messages via Snapchat to a 14-year-old girl who he met while attending at a children’s home conducting missing person enquiries. The officer was dismissed without notice.

The second was a special constable who contacted a woman on social media who he had met due to her being a witness in an ongoing criminal investigation.

He went on to develop a relationship with her, culminating in sexual intercourse. He resigned from the force but a misconduct hearing was held which found he would have been dismissed without notice if he had still been a serving officer.

Both officers’ details are now held on the national College of Policing’s barred list which prevents them from gaining employment with any force in England and Wales.

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ParochialYokal

I am sure that everyone would condemn any Officer whom abuses their position. However, I do wonder how ‘helpful’ such a campaign is?

Why should an entire workforce be branded as ‘untrustworthy’ because of the actions of a few? Such a campaign sends an entirely wrong message.

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Cathedral Bobby
1 hour ago, ParochialYokal said:

I am sure that everyone would condemn any Officer whom abuses their position. However, I do wonder how ‘helpful’ such a campaign is?

Why should an entire workforce be branded as ‘untrustworthy’ because of the actions of a few? Such a campaign sends an entirely wrong message.

I am in agreement. Not sure how this builds confidence in the service. For me it says we have an untrustworthy workforce who need reporting. People will take the headline and tie everyone with the same brush. 

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Lone Wolf

PSDs and management are already overwhelmed with vexatious and fictitious complaints as it is.  This campaign has potential for unintended consequences.

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Reasonable Man
PSDs and management are already overwhelmed with vexatious and fictitious complaints as it is.  This campaign has potential for unintended consequences.

If you work in a force where officers and staff are making vexatious and fictitious complaints then this is a good idea so those people can be held to account.

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Lone Wolf
7 hours ago, Reasonable Man said:


If you work in a force where officers and staff are making vexatious and fictitious complaints then this is a good idea so those people can be held to account.

This campaign appears to be aimed at the wider public.

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Zulu 22

With friends like this you do not need any enemies. It is like interviewing a witness and suggesting the replies. Suggesting things encourages miscarriages for genuine complaints.

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stewie_griffin

I wonder if the problem is a lack of decent complaints for PSD to get their teeth into.

If the 'violent arrest' videos that come out of the UK are anything to go by, they can't have much to do all day.

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