In a decisive move underscoring zero tolerance for misconduct, Sussex Police formally dismissed two officers who had already resigned after accelerated misconduct hearings.
The hearings took place on Tuesday, 3rd October, at Sussex Police HQ in Lewes and were presided over by Chief Constable Jo Shiner.
Accelerated misconduct hearings are generally convened when there is incontrovertible evidence against the officer, and swift action is deemed to be in the public interest.
For former officers, this results in being placed on the College of Policing’s barred list, effectively preventing a return to law enforcement.
The first officer, Inspector Wes Wilkie, who was previously based at Brighton, faced allegations stemming from an incident during a night out with colleagues.
The 38-year-old Wilkie inappropriately touched a female officer, which was witnessed by colleagues and promptly reported.
While a subsequent criminal investigation did not lead to prosecution, an internal misconduct investigation was conducted.
Wilkie was accused of breaching professional behaviour standards, specifically regarding Discreditable Conduct, Equality and Diversity, and Authority, Respect, and Diversity.
Chief Constable Shiner found these allegations to be proven, stating that Wilkie would have been dismissed immediately had he not previously resigned. He has now been added to the College of Policing barred list.
The second case involved PC Mohammed Rezgui, a 30-year-old former officer who was based at the police headquarters.
Rezgui was identified as a participant in a WhatsApp group where he not only identified himself as a Sussex Police officer but also posted several offensive, racist, misogynistic, and homophobic messages.
Rezgui had resigned just days before this conduct was discovered.
Chief Constable Shiner found that Rezgui also breached standards of professional behaviour concerning Discreditable Conduct and Equality and Diversity.
Like Wilkie, Rezgui would have been dismissed with immediate effect had he not already left the force and been placed on the College of Policing barred list.
In a public statement, Chief Constable Shiner said, “The actions of these two officers have tarnished the name of Sussex Police, have discredited thousands of hard-working and supremely conscientious colleagues and above all else, have failed the people of Sussex who put their trust in us.”
She affirmed that such conduct has no place in the force, a sentiment clearly reflected in the outcomes of these expedited hearings.
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