We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

Three high ranking officers barred following inappropriate behaviour

Gwent Chief Superintendent Marc Budden and Chief Inspector Paul Staniforth have now been dismissed without notice, while along with retired Chief Superintendent Mark Warrender – all three will be placed on the barred list.

All three Gwent officers faced allegations of gross misconduct – all of which were found proven by a panel. The misconduct hearing had been held at Avon and Somerset headquarters as the force had been drafted in to conduct the investigation which was managed by the IOPC.

All three officers were found to have had “inappropriate conversation” with a more junior member of police staff at a party arranged for retiring Gwent Chief Julian Williams in June 2019.

All three were also found to have failed to challenge the behaviour of each other while an allegation of inappropriate touching was also found proven for Chief Supt Warrender. He had retired from the police last Friday, on September 2. 

Meanwhile Marc Budden, who at the time of the incident held the role of T/Assistant Chief Constable, also faced other allegations which were subsequently found proven.

He had failed to disclose a conflict of interest, inappropriately disclosed information relating to both the criminal and misconduct investigation to the victim, provided a dishonest account about his behaviour and further engaged in inappropriate behaviour while on duty.

All three officers were suspended at the time of the incident.

In March 2021, the CPS decided there was “insufficient evidence” to bring any criminal charges, according to the IOPC. 

Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said: “This outcome sends a clear message that these kinds of behaviours will not be tolerated within Gwent Police. 

“Over the past three years we’ve reflected on behaviours and changed our culture. 

“We’ve made great strides in reinforcing the standards we expect from everyone in our service, regardless of rank. 

“This event was a stark reminder to us that the highest standards of behaviour must be upheld by all, on or off duty.

“Every day the vast majority of our officers behave with professionalism and honesty when serving their local community and behaviour such as this lets us all down. 

“Our focus has remained on the needs of the victim and ensuring that anyone, within the force or within our community, feels confident to come forward and report unacceptable behaviour to us and that they will be believed and supported. 

“The chair’s decision to hold the hearing in private meant that individuals in this case felt able to participate in the process.

“Taking action against senior officers is a huge step for colleagues and we can only applaud the courage of the individuals who came forward and participated in this complex investigation.”

Leave a Comment
View Comments 12
In Other News
Cambridgeshire officer sentenced for coercive and controlling behaviour
Former Dorset officer to pay back £100k for 'unfit to work' fraud
Special guilty of possession of handgun and ammunition
PC given final written warning for ‘unwanted touching’ of police staff
PC dismissed for abusing his position for sexual purpose
Panel accepts sergeant’s claim sex with woman was not consensual
More News