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Surrey DCC quits after IOPC finds evidence of misconduct


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Jeremy Burton, whose behaviour is said to have "tarnished the reputation" of Surrey Police, retired from his position of Deputy Chief Constable after the IOPC found he had a case to answer for misconduct.


Former Deputy Chief Constable Jeremy Burton

Date - 17th February 2020
By - Chloe Livadeas

Surrey Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Jeremy Burton has stood down following a decision by the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) that he had a case to answer for misconduct, ahead of a hearing that could have resulted in his dismissal.

Mr Burton’s decision to retire after 31 years' service ahead of the misconduct hearing means the findings of a misconduct inquiry will not be made public.

The highest sanction that can be given to officers facing misconduct is a final written warning. However, due to Mr Burton’s rank as a Chief Officer, the Chief Constable would have had the power to force him to resign or retire.

The force made a voluntary referral to the IOPC in June in relation to Mr Burton and another officer.

Surrey Police said the allegations related to behaviour in the workplace and were an internal matter.

An IOPC spokesperson said: “Following a five-month investigation, the IOPC concluded our enquires in November 2019 into allegations two Surrey Police officers conducted an inappropriate relationship which allegedly breached standards of professional behaviour including duties and responsibilities, and conduct.

“Surrey Police made a referral to us in June 2019. Evidence gathered during our investigation indicated the officers had a case to answer having breached the standards of professional behaviour. In November 2019 we shared our report and findings with Surrey Police. Surrey Police arranged for misconduct proceedings to take place. We will not be providing the identities of the officers’ subject to this investigation.”

Mr Burton's policing career began with the Metropolitan Police in 1988. In 2016 he became Assistant CC, Specialist Crime Command for Surrey and Sussex. Mr Burton was appointed to DCC in May last year. He had been acting as the Temporary DCC since January 2019.

Chief Constable Gavin Stephens said: “In my view, Mr Burton’s behaviour fell short of the standards that are expected of a police officer and as a Chief Officer.  I am disappointed that he let himself, his colleagues and our communities down.

“This has been a difficult case, and I am satisfied that this is a proportionate outcome, recognising the severity level, and that Mr Burton will no longer be serving as a police officer, which brings an end to what has otherwise been a distinguished 31 year career.

“In taking our policing oath we commit to uphold a code of ethics and high standards of professional behaviour, in order to maintain public confidence in policing.  The excellent work of our professional standards team and the IOPC, has ensured that those that fail to behave appropriately in the workplace, regardless of rank, will be held to account in a fair way, against those high standards.

He went on to say: “I do not want this case to detract in any way from the excellent work done by officers, staff and volunteers across our county every single day, and although this was an internal matter and did not impact on the Surrey public, it is no way representative of those working for the Force. Surrey Police is an organisation with high standards, which offers rewarding careers for those committed to public service.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, David Munro, said: “I have been kept updated on developments by the Chief Constable over recent months and I share his disappointment that Mr Burton’s behaviour has unfortunately tarnished the reputation of the many hard-working officers and staff within Surrey Police.

“The Force’s Professional Standards team acted swiftly in initiating the investigation into this matter which has been independently led by the IOPC to ensure complete transparency. Ultimately we have the right outcome and I fully support his view that had Mr Burton not stepped down, his resignation or retirement would have rightly been required.

PCC Munro added: “The public of Surrey deserve better and I’m confident the Chief Constable can re-establish his top team to build on the good work happening across the Force to keep Surrey safe.”

The second officer involved received a final written warning after admitting to two conduct matters at a private meeting held Friday 14th February.

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