Allegations that a police constable breached the standards of professional behaviour in relation to use of force and duties and responsibilities have not been proven.
The IOPC directed gross misconduct hearing of Police Constable Edwin Sutton currently based in the Roads and Transport Policing Team concluded earlier today, Wednesday, 8 May, at Empress State Building. This hearing was chaired by legally qualified chair Catherine Elliot.
It was alleged that PC Sutton breached the standards of professional behaviour in relation to use of force and duties and responsibilities following an incident on 21 May, 2017. It was alleged that whilst driving a marked police car, PC Sutton manoeuvred his vehicle into the path of a moped being driven by a 17 year old male in order to stop it, causing a collision.
Use of Force
The panel considered that the manoeuvre carried out by PC Sutton was for a legitimate policing purpose. It was one taken in a dynamic and fast moving situation where he had few, if any, other practical options. The panel concluded that, in the circumstanced in which he found himself, PC Sutton’s action was necessary for the apprehension of a suspected criminal; that it was proportionate, in that it was a slow and measured movement in clear sighting of the suspect; and that it was reasonable in all the circumstances.
Duties and Responsibilities
The panel found that PC Sutton was diligent in seeking to apprehend a suspect. There is also an overarching duty on all officers to protect members of the public, and certainly not to place them in danger. The panel accepted that PC Sutton, in assessing the situation and deciding what pre-emptive action to take, had regard to all the circumstances surrounding it, which will have included the risks. He is a very experienced traffic officer, used to making dynamic risk assessment. The panel concluded that PC Sutton was not neglecting his duty in this respect.