Two Sussex police officers dismissed after failing to investigate assault allegations and for interfering

TWO Sussex Police officers have been dismissed without notice after a disciplinary panel heard one officer failed to investigate allegations of domestic assault while another officer attempted to interfere with the investigation.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 5:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 11:08 am
File photo of police

The outcome follows an eight-month Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation.

An independently chaired disciplinary panel found gross misconduct proven against PC X, who cannot be identified, and PC Russell Felgate at a hearing organised by the force on Friday, July 16, and they were dismissed without notice.

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They were both found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour , a spokesman for the IOPC said.

Additionally, PC X was found to have breached the standards of equality and diversity. PC Felgate also breached confidentiality standards.

The complaint related to an incident on August 13 2019, when a woman called Sussex Police reporting she had been assaulted by her employer at an address in Chichester.

PC Felgate and another officer attended the incident and saw PC X was already at the address, the spokesman said.

PC X was off duty at the time but had been allegedly notified of the incident by the suspect, who was her personal friend.

PC Felgate and the other officer spoke with the alleged suspect and complainant but made no arrests and did not take any further action.

Nine days later, the woman contacted Sussex Police again, stating she had been under duress from PC X not to provide a statement and not to pursue the allegation of assault, according to the spokesman.

IOPC Regional Director Graham Beesley said: ‘PC X was a personal friend of the alleged suspect and was also known to the alleged victim.

‘As such she was in a position of trust and abused that to exert improper influence over the complainant and attempted to interfere with the investigation being carried out by her colleagues.

‘Without doubt this kind of police corruption erodes trust and confidence in the police and anyone who behaves in such a way can have no place in policing.’

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