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Disciplinary hearing concludes for two officers

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Disciplinary hearing concludes for two officers

Two officers have been found to have committed misconduct following the conclusion of a disciplinary hearing on Monday, 13 September.

PC Lee Smith, attached to the South East Command Unit, and former PC Robert Powell, who at the time of the incident was also attached to the same unit, were found to have breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in relation to an incident they attended on 1 November 2019 outside Barnehurst railway station.

At around 01:15hrs both officers attended a call to a man breaking into a vehicle outside the station. Both officers claimed they used force to detain the man after he attacked them. Former PC Powell also discharged Taser during the arrest. However, body worn video did not support the claim that the man attacked them. The incident was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which carried out an independent investigation.

Having carefully considered all the evidence put forward, the panel – led by a legally qualified chair – found that PC Smith had breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in respect of Authority, Respect and Courtesy at the level of Misconduct. For this he received management advice.

Former PC Powell was found to have breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in respect of Honesty and Integrity and Use of Force at the level of Gross Misconduct.

The panel deemed that had former PC Powell been a serving police officer he would have been dismissed without notice.

Chief Inspector Matt Cox, of the Directorate Professional Standards, said: "This case has been formally brought to a conclusion via the findings of an independent panel. PC Powell – who used excessive force and then attempted to justify it by changing the facts of the incident - fell far below these expectations and has rightfully received the highest sanction available to the panel.

PC Powell remains on the Police Barred list, being a former officer previously dismissed from the Metropolitan Police Service.

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