The Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police has chaired a fast track gross misconduct hearing this week.
The disciplinary hearing was held at Northamptonshire Police Force Headquarters yesterday (Thursday, 4 August).
Detective Constable 1358 Anna Chanel Morris was the subject of the hearing following a misconduct investigation for the following alleged breaches:
a) Honesty and Integrity
b) Orders and Instructions
c) Discreditable Conduct
DC Morris declined to attend but was represented by the Police Federation.
It was alleged that DC Morris had a relationship with a man she knew had been convicted of a criminal offence and had served time in prison. It was also alleged that she knew of the requirement to notify her supervisor of this association but failed to do so in a timely manner and furthermore, when she did, she failed to be honest about her relationship.
Chief Constable Simon Edens held the hearing in the officer s absence and considered all the available evidence. He concluded that the officer had breached the standards of professional behaviour expected of a police officer ?and that the breach was so serious it amounted to gross misconduct.
Taking all the facts into consideration, CC Edens summed up by stating that the most appropriate outcome was dismissal without notice.
I am satisfied there is sufficient to prove the allegations and that DC Morris s behaviour amounted to gross misconduct.
We are here to protect people from harm. We police by consent and are reliant on the trust and confidence of the public and our communities and all police officers have a duty to safeguard this.
We are expected to maintain standards of honesty and integrity and to accept certain limitations on our freedoms as an essential part of holding the office of constable.
DC Morris breached those standards and showed her willingness to engage in a relationship with a man who had been convicted of criminal offences. Her failure to disclose her association with this man and her dishonesty once she did is a gross breach in our standards.
The notifiable association policy is in place to protect officers, the force and the public and DC Morris s failure to follow it meant such protection could not be afforded in this case.
Attempts to deceive her supervisor and the force has irreversibly damaged the trust she needed as a police constable from her colleagues and the force.
The public should be able to unequivocally accept the honesty and integrity of a police officer. If we no longer have faith in DC Morris s honesty and integrity we cannot expect the public to either.
For the reasons outlined above I am satisfied that the right outcome is dismissal without notice.