A misconduct hearing into a senior Cleveland Police officer is due to begin this week.
Superintendent Bev Gill stands accused of gross misconduct, some details have been released ahead of the hearing.It is alleged that while Supt Gill was deployed in supervisory role within the Professional Standards Department in 2015, she failed to professionally assess information or challenge the behaviour of a colleague towards female staff members
It’s claimed she then failed to protect the individual who provided the information, while also failing to safeguard the women identified and, in doing so, breached standards of professional behaviour.
In May 2015 whilst performing the role of the Appropriate Authority, it is alleged that Supt Gill failed to divest herself from the involvement in a Gross Misconduct investigation despite personal associations with the accused.
They claim she used her status as the Appropriate Authority to undermine the investigation due to a personal friendship with one of the material witnesses and in doing so breached standards of professional behaviour.
This gross misconduct case stems from back in 2014 when a Detective had 21 female officers make sexual allegation claims against him.
D.I Simon Hurwood was found to have used his position as a senior officer in the force to take advantage of women between 2004 and 2018.
He was found guilty of coercing them into sex and persuading them to send him explicit photos and videos of themselves.
A investigation was then led by Cleveland Police to determine if top-ranking officer Supt Gill took appropriate measures against Hurwood once his inappropriate sexual behaviour was brought to light.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) later took over the investigation.
During her time with the force, Supt Gill has been head of the force’s integrity unit and dog unit.
Simon Hurwood, who was described as “sleazy” and “creepy” at a misconduct hearing, coerced as many as 17 women into sex and persuaded them to send him sexually explicit pictures and videos of themselves.
Head of Communications Charged
This is a long list of failings at the force and most recently the “head of communications” at Cleveland Police has been charged with making indecent images of children in May 2021
John William Green, more commonly known as Will Green, 42, was previously the Head of the Corporate Communications Unit.
The force said the charges relate to “alleged off-duty conduct”.
He was suspended from his role upon arrest and then resigned from his position.
Assistant Chief Constable Lisa Orchard, of Cleveland Police, said:
“As soon as we were made aware of the allegations, we began a thorough investigation and the staff member was suspended from their role.
“As they have now been charged and criminal proceedings are active it would be inappropriate for me to comment any further in relation to the case at this stage.
An IOPC spokesperson said: “We can confirm we received a referral from Cleveland Police regarding the alleged actions of a senior member of staff – the alleged actions did not relate to their policing role.
At the point of referral a criminal investigation by the force was already advanced and we were content they were treating this matter with due seriousness.
“We therefore decided that Cleveland Police should continue with its investigation.”
The force has had 6 chiefs in 6 years and has been described as failing in 2019.
The Chief Constable of Cleveland Police has resigned after just 10 turbulent months in charge amid an investigation into alleged misconduct.
Mike Veale is standing down from the £155,000-a-year role after it was confirmed he is facing a probe by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
The senior officer joined Cleveland from Wiltshire Police in March last year.
The IPOC also issued a statement following the resignation.
Its infamous chief in the late nineties, Ray Mallon, invented that much overused expression ‘zero tolerance’.
There was almost £500,000 pay to an Asian police firearms officer who was subjected years of racist abuse by fellow officers.
There was unauthorised phone tapping of Police Federation officials and journalists.
Now the body which oversees police force performance is imposing zero tolerance on the force itself.
Cleveland Police has been declared a ‘failing force’ by the independent inspectorate.
HMIC says Cleveland, which has had six chief constables in the past six years, is the first force in England and Wales to be placed under special measures.
Inspectors found it was failing in its duties to protect people from crime .
Last year the force witnessed a 17.6% rise in crime, the third highest increase per 1,000 population among the 43 forces. It also saw 12 murders – a 400% rise on the annual average.
The inspectors found the force inadequate in protecting vulnerable people, including children at risk;
“inadequate at behaving ethically; inadequate at treating both its workforce and the public fairly; inadequate at managing demand and inadequate at planning’.
They also found that officers were downgrading incidents involving young people in order to meet response times and no one taking responsibility for catching criminals.
They comment that the behaviour of senior officers from superintendent upwards is having a ‘profoundly negative impact’ and express concern the current chief constable is being given ‘untrustworthy information’
They also claimed not enough is being done to tackle corruption within the force.
Many senior leaders, inspectors found, aren’t acting as ethical role models.
The chief constable Richard Lewis said
“Our performance is fundamentally inadequate and this means we’re letting people down, putting people at risk and failing those who need our help the most.
It is divisive to rank the inadequacies of the organisation but amongst the most worrying failings highlighted by HMIC relate to the response we provide to the most vulnerable in our communities including children.
They went onto say significant remedial work is already underway.
This will continue over the coming months until our safeguarding measures are not simply acceptable, but the envy of every other force in the country.
We owe this to our communities.”
The Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said
“I am deeply concerned at the worrying contents of this report, in particular the failure of Cleveland Police to consistently protect the most vulnerable… the Force’s recent performance is simply not good enough.
I have received assurance from Richard Lewis that he took swift action as soon as he became aware of the failings.”
This year also a Cleveland police officer has lost his career before it really got started following his conviction for drink driving when his partner called the force after he drove away after a row.
Jack Birch was a serving Cleveland Police officer when he was found to be almost twice the drink drive limit after he drove to a garage following the argument with his partner.A disciplinary hearing was told how the officer had resigned from the force as a result of his conviction in April this year.
So this is brief summary of the cases go to our YouTube for in-depth discussion.