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Two GMP officers finally cleared of misconduct following marathon case

Seven year IOPC investigation started with complaints about use of force through police dog bites

After a court case and several attempts to force Greater Manchester Police to hold misconduct hearings against two of their officers, a seven-year investigation has ended with them being cleared of gross misconduct.

After the officers were cleared at court the force told the IOPC that the officers no longer had a case to answer but the IOPC still directed the force to hold the hearings.

The five complainants who gave evidence at the officers' trial had previous convictions for a range of offences including burglary and murder .

The IOPC carried out seven investigations into complaints linked to eight incidents involving one of the officers, dog handler PC Paul Jackson.

The complaints, which were referred by GMP between May 2015 and December 2016, all related to the use of force against male suspects. Some of the men suffered significant dog bite injuries.

One of the complainants alleged a second officer, PC Paul Lockett, failed to challenge his colleague during one of the incidents or report it afterwards.

The IOPC made an initial referral to the Crown Prosecution Service in July 2017, which authorised charges of wounding against PC Jackson and misconduct in public office and aiding and abetting wounding against PC Lockett.

There were no charges for two other officers investigated in relation to their use of force in one of incidents complained about.

PC Jackson and PC Lockett were acquitted of all charges at Preston Crown Court in June 2019.

GMP informed the IOPC in April 2020 that, following the outcome of the criminal hearing, it no longer believed they should face disciplinary proceedings.

The IOPC informed the force it believed misconduct hearings should take place for both PC Jackson and PC Lockett and following further representations, in May 2021, it directed the force to hold the hearings.

During the misconduct hearing, which started on 10 May, the independent panel heard submissions from the officers’ representatives and on 30 May agreed to discontinue proceedings for one of the cases after a witness indicated they no longer wished to engage with proceedings.

The panel has today (10 June) found the cases not proven against either officer.

IOPC Director of Operations Amanda Rowe said: “This has been a complex case involving some very serious allegations and some of the men involved suffered significant dog bite injuries. As such, it was important for the matters to be independently and thoroughly investigated.

“Our work has ensured these officers actions have been scrutinised at public hearings, which provides the transparency that is vital for public confidence in policing and in the complaints system.

“We are grateful to the panel for their consideration of the matters brought before them.”

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