It was alleged that PC Matthew Bond and PC ‘A’, attached to the West Area Command Unit, were involved in the stop and search of a vehicle back in January 2014.
During the course of the stop and search they had come into conflict with a member of the public: both verbally and physically.
This resulted in an arrest using force, further custody procedures and court proceedings for the individual stopped.
It was alleged that in doing so PC Bond and PC ‘A’ breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in respect of ‘honesty and integrity’, ‘use of force’,’ authority, respect and courtesy’, ‘challenging and reporting improper conduct’ and ‘orders and instructions’.
The panel, led by an independent legally qualified chair, found all of the allegations not proven.
This case brings attention once more to the length of time that it takes to investigate allegations which are made against police officers.
While there are strict time limits imposed concerning investigations which are made against people who are suspected of committing crimes, police officers are afforded no such time constraints.
This often means that investigations can be drawn out over many years, while the officer(s) being investigated is left in a state of limbo.
The IOPC has previously said that it will work towards reducing the length of time officers have to endure highly stressful investigations, owing to the impact of such investigations on the mental health and well-being of officers.
Although the vast majority of police accept the need to be held accountable for their actions, the duration of investigations has caused a lot of anxiety and stress for officers.
This at a time when the Government has pledged to replace the 20,000 officers which we cut under Mrs May’s tenures as Prime Minister.
At the time of the incident that led to the investigation, body-worn video cameras were not issued to police officers.