11th DECEMBER, 2018
Regrettably, there are no winners in proceedings such as these. However, the role of the Police Federation is to support members, who face an incredibly difficult and demanding job often in challenging circumstances whilst protecting and serving the public.
In this case, we supported an initial complainant and in the interests of openness and transparency referred it on to the relevant appropriate authority. An investigation took place in accordance with the conduct regulations and it was determined by the investigating force that there was a case to answer for misconduct. When reviewed by the appropriate authority the matter was elevated to gross misconduct. The whole matter has been subject of a regulatory process and the panel has reached its finding. We have to respect that process and finding.
It is, however, concerning that no fewer than 9 Police officers and staff’s account of Mr BYRNE’s alleged behaviour have been dismissed as exaggerated, lacking credibility, inconsistent, misinterpreted, misconstrued or otherwise not believed. These individuals are professional and experienced supervisors and staff working at the highest level within the organisation and our members may be justly concerned about the message which this may send out about future reporting.
Our members should always expect and have confidence that they will be treated with courtesy and respect in the workplace by their colleagues and supervisors and that a culture of support and encouragement to report perceived wrongdoing remains.
Tribute should be paid to those officers and staff who have endured this arduous and extremely lengthy process over the past two years. Their courage, bravery and fortitude to come forward and report such behaviour from within the organisation is commendable. Cheshire Police Federation will continue to provide support to any member who brings unwanted behaviour to our attention.
We should not forget that this hearing has been a distraction from the outstanding work which officers of the Cheshire Constabulary do on a daily basis to deliver a service to the communities of Cheshire in what are extremely challenging times for policing."
Cheshire Police Federation