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PC given final written warning for ‘unwanted touching’ of police staff

Officer invaded woman’s personal space and put his hands on her shoulders panel finds

A Thames Valley PC who invaded a member of police staff’s personal space and put his hands on her shoulders without her permission has been given a final written warning which will lay on file for an extended period of five years.

The misconduct panel which found PC Hafeez Javeed guilty of gross misconduct told the officer he had come “extremely close to dismissal without notice” for the inappropriate touching of Miss A at a police station on 11 August 2020 “who was in an inferior position as a member of police staff”.

But it accepted he was “a hard working dedicated officer” with no previous history of inappropriate behaviour.

It added: “We have accepted that his intentions were friendly and light-hearted but his actions went too far and fell below the standard of appropriate behaviour that is expected of him. We also accept that the standards by which he should be judged and public expectations have rightly shifted in the intervening period between the date of the incident and today’s hearing.”

The hearing which took place last month two years after the incident, were shown CCTV evidence from the office Miss A worked in which showed that PC Javeed “went over to her desk, leaned over her in an overbearing and intimidating way, which clearly invaded her personal space."

The Panel said that he put his hands on her shoulders and may have inadvertently touched her hair.

The Panel also found that he did put his left hand under her arm towards her rib cage but it was not possible to see from the CCTV a deliberate squeezing of the breast.

It added: “Having considered all of the oral evidence, the Panel cannot be satisfied to the relevant standard of proof that he deliberately squeezed her breast but does accept that in putting his left hand around her left side the officer deliberately touched Miss A in the area very close to the side of her left breast, which may have been perceived by her as “groping”.

“The Panel also finds that he squeezed her shoulders repeatedly which may have been perceived as a kind of massage type movement and this was also inappropriate.”

The Panel accepted that there were no sexual motivations on the part of the officer. He was intending to be friendly and was in a particularly good mood owing to his performance having been praised that same morning.

It added: “However, he went too far in tactile behaviour within a professional setting with someone that he did not have a close friendship with.”

The panel heard that PC Javeed has now recognised the upset and offence caused to Miss A and has apologised for his behaviour.

The Panel considered the updated College of Policing Guidance when assessing the seriousness of the conduct. It said: “In the current climate of public and national concern about any police officer who appears to behave disrespectfully or abusively towards women, this matter takes on a heightened and aggravated seriousness. The culpability of the officer and risk of wider harm to the reputation of the police and public confidence is, in our view, considerably high.”

But it also accepted as mitigation “that the misconduct was confined to a single episode of extremely brief duration, a matter of seconds, and that the officer was not motivated by a desire to pursue a sexual or inappropriate emotional relationship with a colleague. This is not a case of outright abuse of authority for the purpose of sexual gain.”

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