TWO women police officers, dismissed for gross misconduct after producing deliberately inaccurate witness statements, won’t be facing criminal charges.
At the conclusion of an internal hearing, the Hereford officers were dismissed without notice for behaviour amounting to gross misconduct.
In a statement released after the March 27 hearing, West Mercia Police said: “An internal investigation had found that both officers were involved in the production of witness statements, one of which was then signed, and were not a true account and designed to undermine an investigation into an assault which had taken place in Hereford in October 2012.”
The investigation also uncovered that both officers had also committed “serious”
data protection breaches by accessing force systems without a policing purpose.
The officers were suspended for a number of months during the investigation and all matters were referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to consider criminal charges.
However, the CPS decided to refer the matter back to West Mercia Police on the basis that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with a criminal prosecution.
Superintendent Steve Eccleston, of the professional standards department, said: “It should be recognised that this investigation was brought to the attention of the organisation by other officers in Herefordshire, not as a result of a complaint from a member of the public.
“These officers were absolutely clear that they were not prepared to tolerate such behaviour within their force.
The statement added: “This supports the position of the overwhelming proportion of our officers and staff who are against such behaviour and will take action to stop it. The Police Code of Ethics is the norm for the vast majority of our colleagues when going about their work.
“The investigation and hearing demonstrates the robust position we take towards wilful wrongdoing by police officers.”
West Mercia Police said it does not currently name officers or staff dismissed.