Wakefield police officer faces misconduct hearing after being arrested in pub

A West Yorkshire police constable had been sacked by the force after giving his boss an inaccurate account of how a suspect managed to escape from his custody.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 5:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 5:17 pm
Library picture
Library picture

The officer, who has not been named by the force, appeared before a public misconduct hearing after being accused of discreditable conduct. His was one of three such hearings so far this year for Yorkshire’s biggest police force.

Later this month, another West Yorkshire police constable will face a misconduct hearing after being “arrested in relation to her conduct and behaviour whilst in a public house in April 2015”.

Jacqueline Rushforth, who works in Wakefield district, will be judged by a three-person panel, including a chief officer, between April 18 and 20 for “allegedly breaching the Standards of Professional Behaviour in relation to Discreditable Conduct”.

According to West Yorkshire Police, she was dealt with for a public order offence at Huddersfield Magistrates’ Court on October 2, 2015, and was fined.

Police forces nationwide have been forced to hold misconduct hearings in public since last year as part of a Government scheme to make them more transparent.

According to guidance on West Yorkshire Police’s website, misconduct hearings “are held to present the facts of the case and allow officers to give an explanation of their conduct and the circumstances surrounding the allegation”.

The guidance says: “The purpose of a public hearing is to show that the police disciplinary system is open and honest, fair and effective and that we effectively hold corrupt officers, or those that are found guilty of misconduct, accountable for their actions.”

The outcomes of the three public hearings held so far by West Yorkshire Police have been published online, though with only scant details of the case and without the officers concerned being named.

The most recent saw a Pc face accusations relating to “honesty and integrity, discreditable conduct and duties and responsibilities”, which saw him dismissed without notice.

The previous month, an officer was dismissed without notice for ‘discreditable conduct’ after earlier appearing in court and admitting driving while over the prescribed alcohol limit.

And in January, a police constable was instantly dismissed over allegations that he “failed to disclose on his vetting form full details of his circumstances which he later continued to deny”.