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Statement over dismissal of PC Harwood

September 17, 2012, 3:34 pm

Following a gross misconduct hearing, the panel made up of an independent representative, a Superintendent and chaired by Commander Julian Bennett, have found that the case against PC Simon Harwood has been proved.

The panel found that being a member of the Metropolitan Police Service, PC Harwood did not reach the requirements contained within the Standards of Professional Behaviour in that on 1 April 2009 he:

a) struck Mr Tomlinson on his left thigh with your baton; and
b) pushed Mr Tomlinson so that he fell to the ground;

The use of the force described was found to be not necessary, proportionate or reasonable in the circumstances.

The panel did not consider the allegation that:

c) such dangerous actions inadvertently caused or contributed to the death of Mr Tomlinson on 1 April 2009.

In line with police regulations the panel has considered the appropriate sanction to be imposed and PC Harwood has been/is in the process of being dismissed from the service.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Maxine de Brunner said: “We must remember on 1 April 2009 Ian Tomlinson lost his life. I take full responsibility for Simon Harwood and I would like to offer my apologies and condolences to Mr Tomlinson’s family.

“Today’s hearing has resulted in the maximum penalty that was ever available to the panel – dismissal due to gross misconduct. This leaves no ambiguity as to how the Met views the actions of Simon Harwood.

“The detailed evidence of this case has been heard in public at both the inquest and also the criminal trial.

“This panel’s role today was to decide whether Simon Harwood had committed gross misconduct and, if so, what was the appropriate outcome. It has taken less than a day for the panel to make the decision that he should be dismissed without notice.

“Every police officer is accountable for their actions, whatever the situation. The misconduct process is the forum for holding officers to account when they do not meet the standards expected of them.

“Simon Harwood does not reflect the professionalism of the majority of officers working in public order, often in the most difficult of circumstances. I hope that this one officer’s actions in 2009 does not taint the public opinion of officers who have worked tirelessly this year supporting events such as the Jubilee and of course the Olympics.”

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