Statement following finding in SOCU North gross misconduct hearing
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The independent panel considering the case against six Hampshire Constabulary police officers has found that the conduct of retired Detective Inspector Tim Ireson, Detective Sergeant Oliver Lage, Detective Sergeant Gregory Willcox, former PC Craig Bannerman, Trainee Detective Constable Andrew Ferguson and PC James Oldfield amounted to Gross Misconduct.
An internal investigation was launched in 2018 following an anonymous report through the force’s confidential reporting system. In response to concerns raised, a decision was made to conduct covert monitoring within the SOCU North office at the Northern Police Investigation Centre. During the three week period, comments of a discriminatory nature were recorded.
The Panel has spent a number of weeks listening to the evidence, and the submissions from the officers to explain their behaviours, before reaching their findings, which have been delivered cumulatively. We will receive a full breakdown of the decisions in due course.
The conduct related to discriminatory comments captured during a covert recording of the SOCU North office in 2018. Such comments were neither challenged nor reported. The hearing will now break for the Christmas period and resume in the first week of January when the Panel will determine the appropriate sanctions for each officer.
We understand there is significant interest in this case and our response to this outcome, however as this remains a live legal process, we will respond fully at the conclusion of the proceedings.