Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Detectives in Wales made lewd and sexual remarks about two women sex assault victims after they complained about attacks by one of their colleagues

Two policemen have been sacked for mocking women who made sexual complaints against another officer.

The detectives failed to investigate complaints against their colleague Detective Constable Jeffrey Davies, 42, and instead used ‘repulsive language and poked fun’ at his victims.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission was called in after South Wales Police family liaison officer Davies was later jailed for three years for taking advantage of the women, who were victims of domestic abuse.

Both women complained about Davies, but the IPCC found his senior officers ignored this. Instead they made ‘lewd’ and ‘sexual’ remarks about them in official emails - and even made up an office quiz based on their complaints. One officer ‘poked fun’ at a woman allegedly flashed at by Davies.

Detective Inspector Phillip Camm and Detective Sergeant Richard Jones were both found guilty of gross misconduct after five-day disciplinary hearing. The force has sacked both of them.

IPCC commissioner Jan Williams said: ‘The women were not treated as victims of a sexual offence and their allegations were not investigated effectively.

‘The investigation also revealed a CID unit pervaded with what could be described as a canteen culture where inappropriate comments and behaviour were viewed as harmless banter.

‘The language demonstrated in emails and documents was, in fact, grossly unprofessional, offensive and demonstrated a lack of respect for the women complaining.

‘I read with a sense of repulsion the sexual content of comments made by Detective Sergeant Jones, both in his emails and in the two documents found on his computer.’

She added: ‘The allegations made against Jeffrey Davies were extremely serious and should have been treated that way.

‘They were vulnerable women who had turned to the police for help and had found themselves subjected to an appalling abuse of trust.

‘Their dreadful experience was then further compounded by the inactions of Jeffrey Davies’s supervisors who failed to deal properly with the criminal allegations against him.’

Jones deleted offensive emails when he discovered the IPCC were investigating. And Camm lied to the IPCC when he was being interviewed about the handling of the allegations made by two complainants, known only as Woman A and Woman B.

Det Sgt Jones was Davies’s line manager and Det Insp Camm his supervisor at Merthyr Tydfil police station in South Wales.

The IPCC investigation discovered a ‘canteen culture’ in the CID unit where officers joked about victims of the sexual assaults in 2011.

Chief Constable of South Wales Police Peter Vaughan said: ‘From myself to our front-line officers of South Wales Police are shocked and feel deeply let down by the behaviour of these officers.

‘Let us be in no doubt, we owe the women affected a sincere apology as the conduct of these officers fell well short of the standards I expect from South Wales Police.

‘As part of the investigation into their conduct a number of offensive and inappropriate emails and documents came to light which were prepared by Sergeant Jones and seen by Inspector Camm, who failed to challenge them.

‘I have to make it clear that this is behaviour I simply don’t recognise within South Wales Police. We have examined thousands of emails to see if such behaviour was more common.

‘Quite simply it is not and evidently, the vast majority of our 5,000 officers and staff know that there is absolutely no place for lewd and offensive communication and it will not be tolerated.

‘Everyone throughout South Wales Police knows the values and standards which are expected from them, we train them in these standards and on promotion.

‘I tell every manager that they have an absolute duty to challenge inappropriate behaviour and conduct.

The IPCC met with Woman A and Woman B last week to share the findings of the report with them and explained the officers had been sacked.

Commissioner Williams said: ‘It is vitally important that other officers are confident that they will be supported if they challenge inappropriate behaviour.

‘Victims of crime must also feel that they can have confidence to speak to an officer, and be treated with dignity and respect.’

Davies was jailed for three years at Swansea Crown Court in August 2013 after being convicted of two counts of sexual assault against two women he was meant to be looking after.

Original report here




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