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PC who urinated in shop given final written warning

Gross misconduct had been found proven by the panel, but due to her age and her performance to date, she has not been dismissed.

Cleveland probationer Amelia Shearer has been found guilty of gross misconduct after a panel found she urinated in clothing store Urban Outfitters while drunk off-duty and lied about it. 

The incident happened in York last September after PC Shearer, in less than four hours, had a bottomless brunch at a bar, downing half a bottle of prosecco and three cocktails, then a Jack Daniels and Coke at another venue. 

During the three day hearing, the officer strenuously denied the allegations that she had both urinated in the store and then lied to her supervisor about it. She did however say that she and a friend were “loud and giggly”. 

She said she had used the changing rooms to adjust her bra - although she had not given the same account to her supervisor Inspector Christian Duree the day after the incident. She explained she had only given him an “abridged version” of events. 

However, a store member gave evidence during this week’s hearing to say that PC Shearer had asked if the store had toilets, was told “no” and then walked into a changing cubicle despite not having any clothes to try on. 

The employee consequently radioed for his manager and, when the officer left the cubicle, they both saw a pool of liquid that smelt like urine. 

The retailer paid £492 to have the cubicle professionally cleaned. 

The panel’s legally qualified chair, Ogheneruona Iguyovwe, said the allegations of discreditable conduct and breaches of honesty and integrity against the officer were proven.

However, although accepting her culpability had been high and that her actions had harmed the public’s confidence in policing, the panel did not say she should be fired immediately. 

Ms Iguyovwe said: “She is 24 years old. There is scope for her to be rehabilitated, there is scope for her to set the record straight and to begin on a new path.”

The officer, who had joined the force in 2019 and had been praised for her performance since then, had numerous opportunities in interviews to come clean about what happened, the panel said.

And while she was under investigation for criminal damage – a charge the Crown Prosecution Service chose not to take to court – she lied under caution, the panel found.

Nevertheless, she will keep her job but the outcome of a final written warning, lasting for five years, was a serious sanction, Ms Iguyovwe said.

Before the decision was made, Olivia Checa-Dover, representing the force, told the panel its findings that the probationer had been dishonest meant she was now “undeployable” as an officer.

As she lied while being questioned on oath about what happened at the store, that would have to be disclosed to defence lawyers in any future investigations she carried out, the barrister said.

Giving evidence about the events, her supervisor Inspector Duree praised her performance as a probationer.

He told the hearing: “From my experience as a police officer she has been absolutely spot-on, an excellent officer.”

In response to the hearing’s findings, Cleveland Acting Superintendent John Bonner, said: “We expect the highest standards of behaviour from our officers whether on or off duty. 

“Today’s finding demonstrates that any behaviour which does not meet these standards will be investigated and appropriate action taken.”

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