Four Metropolitan Police Officers have been cleared of misconduct after an incident that took place back in 2011.
DC Gemma Penny, Inspector David Healy, PC Mark Yarnall and PC Stephen Barton attended a misconduct hearing to answer allegations that their conduct amounted to a breach of Standards of Professional Behaviour in relation to the detention of a now 44-year-old man in Streatham High Road in June 2011.
The hearing concluded yesterday, Wednesday, 12 December; the panel, with an independent legally qualified chair, dismissed all allegations as not proven.
We have tried to find reference to the circumstances surrounding the initial allegation, but have not been able to find any online.
However, the fact that the incident took place in 2011 and the Officers have only JUST been cleared is shocking.
We should not forget, that the police have only 24 hours in order to make a decision as to whether to charge someone who is suspected of being involved in an offence.
Yet these officers have had to put their lives on hold for 7 years no-doubt causing no-end of stress to the officers and their families.
These sort of investigations MUST be concluded with more haste as 7 years is wholly unacceptable.
Society seems to deem it fit-and-proper that a suspect should know their fate within 24 hours and yet officers are expected to waiting nearly ten years!
Even when it comes to bailing a suspect, officers are not allowed to bail someone for a period exceeding four weeks.
And yet these officers have technically been ‘on bail’ for seven years.
Many people have been calling for a time limit to be imposed on cases such as this one, of a period not exceeding 12 months.
Quite why these investigations drag out for so long just makes no sense.
We are asking officers to put their own lives on the line in order to try and keep us safe and yet the manner in which we treat them when allegations are made against them is quite frankly abhorrent.
7 years of worry and 7 years of sleepless nights, all for doing the job that we asked and expected them to do.
It is time that we stopped treating officers in this way.
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