Gwent Police statement following resolution with Centre for Women’s Justice
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Gwent Police and the Centre for Women’s Justice have agreed a resolution to a complaint about the force’s handling of allegations of domestic abuse against a male colleague made by two individuals, Sarah and Jodie*, while they were serving officers with the force.
The allegations relate to incidents that took place in 2011 and 2012.
The individual was dismissed for gross misconduct in his absence having resigned from the force before the hearing took place.
The cases were highlighted as part of a national super-complaint, brought by the Centre for Women’s Justice, on behalf of a number of women from across the country.
The super-complaint, which was raised in 2019, centres on the way forces respond to police-perpetrated domestic abuse.
Gwent Police has apologised to the two women who bravely came forward to raise their concerns for their experience.
Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said:
“I met with the two women involved in this case to hear their experiences first-hand and to apologise to them on behalf of Gwent Police. I am extremely sorry that at a time when they felt most in need of our support that we let them down.
“Since I took up my role with the force nearly two years ago, I have worked hard with the chief constable and other senior leaders to make a difference to the culture of Gwent Police, not only on this issue but on all discriminatory practices. This work will continue to ensure Gwent Police is a safe and professional workplace for everyone.
“We have listened, reflected and taken the actions needed to get this right in future. This is to make sure that if anyone within the force, or a member of the public, raises any concerns about the conduct of officers or staff that they can be confident of being heard and having the issues they raise investigated thoroughly. In the current climate this is critical to maintaining confidence in our services.
“We take any allegations of this nature very seriously and they will be thoroughly investigated, and action taken. We will also work with individuals raising concerns to make sure they have the support they want and need.
“Public expectations around our standards of behaviour are quite rightly very high. There is no place in our force for inappropriate workplace behaviour or the abuse of an individual’s position to exploit others. We expect everyone within Gwent Police to maintain high standards of professional behaviour – the vast majority of our employees work tirelessly to serve our communities with professionalism, honesty and integrity.
“We are committed to identifying and taking action against those individuals who breach these standards. The public must have the utmost confidence in the integrity of our officers, and we are very clear that anyone who undermines the public’s trust will have no future in this force.”
All cases involving officers where there is an abuse of a position of trust are reported to the Independent Office of Police Conduct for consideration of whether an independent investigation is required.
We are also promoting external channels of support to encourage anyone who experiences unacceptable behaviour, or witnesses it, can discuss their concerns with someone outside of the force who can then support them in whatever course of action they choose.