Name of officer: Inspector A (name anonymised on the request of the Legally Qualified Chair after due consideration of representations received from the officer)
Date, time and venue of the hearing: 30-31 March 2017, County Room, Kent Police Headquarters, Sutton Road, Maidstone at 10am
Background and allegations against Inspector A:
1. On 18 December 2008, you received formal written advice from Superintendent Brightman in the following terms, ‘“between the 1st January and the 30th November 2008 … [you] accessed the internet using Kent Police computers and searched and viewed sites, which contained material of a sexual nature.” Accordingly, you were aware that you were not to use Kent Police computers to conduct such searches and activity.
2. In addition, at the relevant times the Kent Police Force Policy, W 1001 – Information Communication Technology (‘ICT’) Acceptable Use (‘the Policy’) outlined what was expected of computer users. At paragraph 3.2.1 it stated that “access to the forces’ ICT will be made available to individual users who have a requirement to access information for a legitimate and authorised policing purpose only”.
The policy defined ICT as, “all computing devices (including computers, telephones, tablets, printers, copiers/scanners, storage media, and radios) and information systems (including all hardware, software, networks and databases), that are used to process information for, or on behalf of, Essex Police and Kent Police (the forces).
3. The Kent standard operating procedure (SOP) at the relevant time further provided, at paragraph 3.3.1, that limited use of the internet and email is permitted from the forces ICT;
‘… as long as it is in the user’s own time, is not frequent or excessive, does not interfere with police operations, does not further personal financial gain and does not violate any of the forces’ policies and procedures.’
4. Between 23 October 2015 and 12 July 2016, you misused the Kent ICT and breached the policy and the standard operating procedure.
5. You conducted numerous internet searches for e.g. “huge boobs”, “diora baird nude” and “michaela tabb hot” and accessed pornographic websites including “fabswingers.com” and “xvideos.com”. There was no policing purpose for either these searches or the web access (these are examples only and should be regarded as specimens and not the entirety of the misconduct alleged). Whilst conducting these searches and viewing these pages you were neither complying with policy nor procedure nor performing your duties diligently.
6. In October 2015, you accessed 179 non-work related internet pornographic or adult or sexually explicit pages (‘pornography’).
7. In November 2015, you accessed 639 non-work related internet pages. 625 of these pages related to pornography. 12 of the pages related to sports, news and social media. You sent 11 non-work related emails.
8. In December 2015, you accessed 18 non-work related internet pages. 17 of these pages related to pornography. You sent 26 non-work related emails.
9. In January 2016, you accessed 2078 non-work related internet pages. These pages related to pornography. You also sent personal emails and printed material for your personal use.
10. In February 2016, you accessed 258 non-work related internet pages. 255 of these pages related to pornography. 3 of the pages related to sports, news and social media. You also sent personal emails and printed material for your personal use.
11. In March 2016, you accessed 321 non-work related internet pages. 16 of these pages related to pornography. 196 of the pages related to sports, news and social media. You accessed 110 pages for personal use. You also sent personal emails and printed material for your personal use.
12. In April 2016, you accessed 1,963 non-work related internet pages. 228 of these pages related to pornography. 804 of the pages related to sports, news and social media. You accessed 931 pages for personal use.
13. In May 2016, you accessed 1287 non-work related internet pages. 523 of these pages related to pornography. 418 of the pages related to sports, news and social media. You accessed 346 pages for personal use.
14. In June 2016, you accessed 2360 non-work related internet pages. 322 of these pages related to pornography. 852 of the pages related to sports, news and social media. You accessed 1186 pages for personal use.
15. On 11 July 2016 Ch. Insp. B emailed Kent Police Professional Standards Department. In this email, he said, ‘Similarly, staff have observed ‘A’ viewing football games and other matters of the police system.’
16. Prior to your suspension on 12 July 2016, in July 2016 you had accessed 349 non-work related internet pages. 67 of these pages related to pornography. 230 of the pages related to sports, news and social media.
17. Between 2 November 2015 and 31 March 2016, you had used your Kent email account to send 99 personal emails.
18. Your accessing and searching of the pages set out above took a significant period of time both whilst on duty and, on some occasions, off it and would have distracted you from your duties.
19. Between 23 October 2015 and 12 July 2016, you were in receipt of basic salary, housing allowance and competency threshold (until March 2016) in this period you received a gross salary of £41,077.01.
The alleged conduct amounts to gross misconduct for the following reasons:
It is alleged that these matters individually and/or collectively amount to gross misconduct, namely a breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour that, if proved, is so serious that your dismissal would be justified, and that you have breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour and in particular the standards relating to:
(1) Authority, Respect and Courtesy
You failed to treat your colleagues with respect and courtesy in that you accessed pornographic websites from a work computer whilst on police premises and in a shared office space.
(2) Orders and Instructions
You failed to abide by force policies and lawful orders in that you accessed webpages for non-legitimate, non-policing, personal reasons. You did so on a frequent basis and to excess. You should not have accessed any pornographic page at all for personal reasons.
(3) Duties and Responsibilities
You were not diligent in the exercise of their duties and responsibilities. You spent significant periods of time searching for and viewing web pages that were not connected with your duties. Whilst doing so you were neglecting your role and responsibilities.
(4) Discreditable Conduct
Your actions in viewing pornography at work during duty hours brings discredit upon the police service and undermined public confidence, whether on or off duty.
This matter is considered to be of such seriousness that the full range of sanctions, including dismissal, should be available to the Panel.
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