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Officer given final written warning for “unwanted touching”

PC faced gross misconduct hearing for touching two colleagues during off duty night out

A female officer has been given a final written warning after a misconduct hearing found she had subjected colleagues to “unwanted touching” during an off duty night out.

Newly appointed officer PC Hayley Pegg, who admitted she was drunk, grabbed an officer’s face, tried to kiss one officer and kissed another officer on the cheek. She also put an arm around an officer’s waist.

The misconduct panel found that the ‘touching was intentional’ and she did not obtain the officers’ consent for her behaviour.  

It judged that the conduct breached professional standards that apply both on and off duty. The panel also found that the behaviour of PC Pegg “could result in members of the public losing trust and confidence in the policing profession.”

The force alleged that the breaches amounted to gross misconduct and justified dismissal. The panel agreed but decided a final written warning was the correct sanction.

Justifying its decision it stated: “The conduct was intentional; we have of course considered that alcohol had a role to play, but that PC Pegg chose to drink the amount she did that evening. The officer should have recognised that there was a risk of harm to both individuals and the reputation of policing. We have recognised that the conduct made the two officers concerned uncomfortable.

“There was the potential for emotional harm due to the conduct of PC Pegg; however, we have taken into account the reports from the individual officers concerned of how they felt.

“There was an element of stress at the time as explained by the officer, particularly around her home and this was why she drank more than usual. This however does not mitigate the matters that are found proven.

“We do consider that a final written warning is sufficient, We also considered whether this warning should be extended beyond the standard two year period and when considering everything above, determined that there was no justification in extending this.”

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