A misconduct hearing has today concluded that a South Wales Police officer has no case to answer for gross misconduct.
During the course of the hearing, witness evidence did not support the allegation that the officer, PC Andrew Nealon, had pushed the complainant, causing him to suffer a serious leg injury.
Assistant Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said:
“The allegation made against PC Nealon was subject to an independent investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct which found the officer had a case to answer for gross misconduct.
“However, a misconduct panel, comprising of a legally qualified chair, a Police Superintendent and an independent member, has concluded that the officer has no case to answer.
“PC Nealon was faced with an intoxicated person, and he used his legal powers in order to gain control of the situation and protect himself, the individual concerned and the wider public from harm during the course of making an arrest.
“The officer has been subject to intense scrutiny over the two years since this allegation was made and during the time he has continued to serve the communities of South Wales in a professional and positive manner.”
The IOPC has faced calls to ensure that investigations into the conduct of police officers are concluded promptly, following a recent spate of high-profile cases where officers have had to endure investigations lasting several years.
Andrew Birks, a former Met Police Officer who was cleared of any wrongdoing after an IPCC/IOPC investigation that lasted nearly 11-years, told emergency services news;
“This case from South Wales Police demonstrates why there is huge concern around directed hearings.
“Most of the directed hearings forced upon police by the IOPC fall at the first hurdle, or at perhaps at the end.
“There are no winners in a process that is seen as a witchhunt of officers.
“They demonstrate a lack of welfare for the officers involved, who suffer unnecessary long periods, kept in the dark, simply waiting for those in charge to concoct a case again them.
“The only way to prevent officers suffering, is to impose time limits on all investigations whether they be in house with the police service or externally with the IOPC.
“The current process is nothing short of shameful.”