West Yorkshire Police officer handed written warning for 'inadequate, inappropriate' treatment of child sex abuse victim

A police officer has been given a written warning
A police officer has been given a written warning

A West Yorkshire Police officer has been handed a written warning following an investigation into how the force looked into an allegation of child sexual abuse.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission directed West Yorkshire Police to hold a series of misconduct hearings after the investigation found significant evidence that the force’s investigation was inadequate, that officers failed to treat the survivor appropriately, and didn’t engage with the survivor and their family in an appropriate manner.

West Yorkshire Police had already acknowledged that organisational failings led to the errors in their investigation and has put new measures in place to try and ensure the issues raised are not repeated.

A West Yorkshire Police disciplinary panel found that Detective Constable Ian Dawson had failed to diligently progress these serious allegations; neglected to seek appropriate guidance from his supervisors and made inappropriate comments to the survivor. As a result DC Dawson was given a written warning.

The IPCC report presented evidence that Detective Inspector Ryan Bragg and Detective Sergeant Tim Lofthouse had failed to adequately supervise DC Dawson; did not provide enough resources; and between them had failed to treat the survivor and their family appropriately.

However, the panel found that misconduct was unproven and as a result no further action will be taken against these officers.

Two officers, who were found to have a case to answer for gross misconduct could not be subject to misconduct proceedings, as they had retired before the conclusion of the IPCC investigation. A further two officers were subject to management action as a result of their roles in the police investigation.

IPCC Commissioner Derrick Campbell said: “I would like to express my sympathies for the survivor and their family for what is a very sad and disturbing case.

"I sincerely hope that West Yorkshire Police has truly learned lessons from this and will put measures in place to make sure these mistakes are not repeated in the future.”

The IPCC’s investigation report was provided to West Yorkshire Police in April 2016 and the misconduct hearing took place in May 2017.

A spokesman for the IPCC said that it would not be publishing its investigation report in full 'due to the highly sensitive nature' of the investigation.

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