Ex-Bedfordshire Police officer committed gross misconduct
PUBLISHED: 18:28 09 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:01 12 November 2018
A former Bedfordshire Police officer has today been found to have committed gross misconduct for his inappropriate attitude towards junior female officers.
Richard Barker, who retired in April this year after serving with the force since 1989, was found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour through his conduct between 2005 and 2017. He would have faced instant dismissal had he still have been a serving officer.
An independent panel sitting at the Old Court House in Biggleswade today ruled that he had committed gross misconduct for authority, respect and courtesy, equality and diversity, duties and responsibilities and discreditable conduct.
An investigation by Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Professional Standards Department was launched in November 2017 following complaints from a probationer officer.
The panel heard from a number of witnesses who gave evidence that he had acted inappropriately towards given his rank and level of service. In addition, he was also alleged to have sent inappropriate text messages and took officers off site for welfare meetings.
He was also accused of unfairly assisting a student during an exam in 2015.
Under regulations issued in January 2015 by the then Home Secretary Theresa May, Barker would have had to remain in his position until the outcome of the misconduct hearing – but this decision was reversed in December 2017, meaning he was able to retire prior to the case reaching its conclusion.
Barker admitted misconduct, but denied gross misconduct. However the panel ruled that his behaviour amounted to gross misconduct.
Chair of the panel Siobhan Goodrich passed a sanction that he would have been dismissed without notice. It means he will be placed on the College of Policing barred list.
Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire said: “Richard Barker’s behaviour towards junior female colleagues was entirely inappropriate and was clearly an abuse of his position of trust.
“Equality and respect are core values here at Bedfordshire Police and absolutely every officer and member of staff should be treated with the dignity they deserve.”