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Birmingham cop dismissed after 2 convictions

Scarcity broke the footage of the assault last year and received visits from Newtown police following this.

I also received a official Osman letter.

A West Midlands Police officer who assaulted two members of the public while on duty was today dismissed by the Chief Constable.

PC Declan Jones’ “criminal behaviour is against everything this force stands for”, said Sir David Thompson.

The Chief Constable added: “I apologise to his victims.”

On 20 April last year, the officer assaulted a man in Aston, and the following day he assaulted a boy aged 15 he was trying to search.

Both victims were Black, and the assaults were captured on CCTV and subject to an investigation by the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC).

The IOPC did not find a case to answer for gross misconduct for PC Jones over the discrimination allegations made by the victims.

The officer, who was based in Handsworth, was suspended in May last year and dismissed without notice today for gross misconduct.

At today’s hearing, which could only be held after the verdicts in the criminal case, PC Jones was dismissed without notice. He had been suspended since May last year and joined the force in 2015.

David Thompson said I have reviewed this case following the College of Policing’s (CoP) Guidance on Outcomes in Police Misconduct Hearings.

The Police Conduct Regime exists to maintain the confidence in and the reputation of the police service, uphold high standards in policing and deter misconduct and protect the public.

In assessing sanction the guidance asks panels:

To assess the seriousness of the misconduct, keep in mind the purpose of imposing sanctions, choose the sanction which fulfils that purpose for the seriousness of the conduct in question.

In assessing seriousness I have looked first at the officer’s culpability. The guidance, quite rightly, identifies that it is entirely unacceptable for police officers to break the law themselves. This case concerns two convictions of S39 assault by the officer whilst on duty. The offences relate to young men. The CoP guidance also identifies misconduct involving violence undermines public trust in the profession and is always serious.  

The case has caused harm by the officer’s actions. The victims in these cases suffered physical hurt from the assaults upon them. Harm has unquestionably been caused to the reputation of the police service. Both assaults were captured on CCTV and widely seen. The conduct will not have given the public any confidence in our force. A right-thinking member of the public would feel the force applied to be excessive and gratuitous. 

The case has additional aggravating factors. The case shows a clear abuse of the officer’s powers whilst on duty, a significant deviation from instructions concerning the method of using force, the fact the case concerns a significant national concern – namely excessive force by the police on black men – and the case involves more than one breach and one victim vulnerable by age.

There are no mitigating factors.

The officer’s conduct has fallen far below what ought to be expected of any police officer. His conduct is criminal and has caused a serious impact upon the public view of West Midlands Police. His criminal behaviour is against everything this force stands for. I apologise to his victims.

The officer will be dismissed without notice.

I also want to make a more general point to the force and the public as this case will inevitably be seen in the context of deep concerns by the Black community about the use of force by police.

Police officers join the public to serve. They run towards danger and place themselves in harm’s way. They have extraordinary powers whose wise and considered use sit at the heart of the bond between the police and the public. Every day I see examples that make me proud of officers in this force who wear the badge of the Crown and do great things for the community.

PC Declan Jones has today made the work of good officers harder by his criminal acts. We are right to see his behaviour has no place in policing and undermines our efforts.

However this case will reinforce the view of some that his bad behaviour has only been acted upon because of clear CCTV. That other incivilities towards Black people do not receive the attention that is unavoidable in this case. Whilst I do not believe this to be true, as a force and a group of professionals we fail if we do not confront the realities of this view and the fact that force is used by us disproportionately on Black men. 

There is more that needs to be done by the force and each of us to address this. We do police an unequal society and there will be disparities. Where they exist we must account for them and take action to demonstrate we are acting fairly and in the public interest.

Today in our force we expect leaders to monitor how officers deal with confrontations and use force. We routinely review these cases so officers’ performance can be reviewed and improved. We expect Body Worn Video to be used when force is used. We will continue to bring the public in to scrutinise our work. 

Getting this right and ensuring our Black communities know this is an imperative. It requires each of us to strive to be ever better at how we carry out our policing so we can remove the stain that this officer’s actions has placed on our force.


 

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