‘Processes in place’ to deal with police misconduct

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Louise Clayson, head of professional standards and counter corruption, made the comments after it emerged that a States of Jersey police constable had to resign from the force this year following two sexual misconduct claims.

Two members of staff made allegations against the same officer, a recent freedom of information request revealed. The officer was required to resign following the allegations.

Another police officer has been suspended from duty and remains on bail after being arrested on suspicion of a sexual assault in St Aubin in October.

Det Insp Clayson said the States police force was striving to challenge any conduct that could undermine its reputation and the trust of its staff and the wider community.

She said there were ‘effective processes and systems in place to monitor and deal swiftly with any individual who abuses their position of trust for sexual purposes’, adding: ‘Any abuse of this position where this can impact on the trust and confidence in policing within the community or internally where staff may not feel that they work in a safe and secure environment, is deemed as police corruption.’

Det Insp Clayson added: ‘There is no place in policing for those who abuse their position for a sexual purpose. The recent introduction of training on the code of ethics and the delivery of ethical dilemma workshops, demonstrates that the States of Jersey Police are striving to change and challenge any culture of misogyny in the workplace or any conduct of a sexual nature that could undermine our reputation and the trust and confidence of our staff and the wider community.’

Three police officers have been suspended from duty in 2021, with two suspensions relating to alleged sexual offences and one regarding an alleged breach of data protection. It is the first time in at least four years that these kind of claims have been made by staff, with no sexual misconduct claims against colleagues in 2018, 2019 or 2020.

In the FoI response, the States police stated that they could not provide further details of the complaints, in order to protect the privacy of those involved.

‘The very small numbers involved mean that full disclosure would likely permit wider colleagues to learn of the exact nature of the allegations. Colleagues are either aware of the identities of the officers or the nature of the complaint, but not both,’ it said.

Another allegation of sexual assault against a police officer was an ongoing case, according to the response.

In October, a serving States police officer was arrested on suspicion of a sexual assault in St Aubin. The 48-year-old, who was not on duty at the time of the alleged offence, was detained after what the police called a ‘serious incident’ on 9 October, with the alleged victim receiving support from specialist officers. He remains on bail.

The FoI response also detailed that in 2020, an allegation of sexual assault was made against a male officer following the arrest of a juvenile male. The complaint was reviewed for criminal offences but ‘not substantiated or recorded’.

In 2018, one police officer was suspended over an honesty and integrity issue, while in 2019 one was suspended over ‘general conduct’.

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