Accelerated Misconduct Hearing – FORMER CONSTABLE 2771 Christopher HOWARTH

Accelerated Misconduct Hearing – FORMER CONSTABLE 2771 Christopher HOWARTH

Accelerated Misconduct Hearing – FORMER CONSTABLE 2771 Christopher HOWARTH

Why if Christopher Howarth has committed a criminal offence was he not charged with a criminal offence? 

Accelerated Misconduct Hearing – FORMER CONSTABLE 2771 Christopher HOWARTH

The decision of the Chief Constable John Campbell

A former officer accelerated misconduct hearing took place on 3 September, 2021 at Thames Valley Police Headquarters, Kidlington, Oxford before the Chief Constable John Campbell.

The former officer admitted that his behaviour breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in relation to Discreditable Conduct and Fitness for Work in that:

On Thursday 22 July, 2021, he was unfit to carry out his responsibilities after he tested positive for Cannabis, whilst on duty, which is an illegal substance and a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. His behaviour has brought discredit on the police service and could undermine public confidence in it.

The Chief Constable found:

“In coming to my decision I have considered the papers already submitted to me prior to these matters. I have also heard the case for the AA and also submissions and representations made by his Police Federation representative, following his resignation from TVP.

The ex-officer chose not to attend this hearing but did submit a written response to the allegation admitting the use of cannabis and that his conduct amounted to Gross Misconduct.

From the papers submitted and evidence presented today, I am content that the alleged misconduct is, on the balance of probabilities proven. This is achieved not only by the admission of the ex-officer but corroborated by the laboratory test, indicating the use of cannabis, up to 3 - 4 days before the urine sample was obtained.

Clearly the officer, in knowingly using that cannabis, has breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of Discreditable Conduct and Fitness for Work.

Given the serious nature of that breach, I find that his behaviour on that day amounts to Gross Misconduct.”

The Chief Constable imposed the following disciplinary action:

“I have considered the officer’s antecedents and also representations made by the AA and also his federation representative.

I conclude that the admitted and proven use of a Class B drug by Mr Howarth, whilst off duty but serving as a TVP Policer Officer, is clearly a serious breach of the Misconduct Regulations. Such unlawful behaviour by a Police Officer, is clearly incompatible with him continuing to serve in that role and a serious breach of trust and confidence to the public we serve and the colleagues he worked alongside.

As such I have no hesitation in finding that if er PC Howarth had still been serving then I would have dismissed him without notice.

In accordance with Police Regulations the ex-officer’s name will be placed on the College of Policing Barred List.”