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7 April 2016, 12:50
Two Bedfordshire Police officers have today been sacked after a misconduct hearing found they had committed gross misconduct when dealing with Faruk Ali in Luton in 2014.
PCs Christopher Thomas and Christopher Pitts were found to have breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour around honesty and integrity; authority, respect and courtesy and discreditable conduct.
PC Thomas was also found to have breached equality and diversity in relation to Mr Ali's disability.
The officers had pursued and detained Mr Ali, who has autism, on February 20, 2014, after he was seen running away from them in Bury Park. PCs Pitts and Thomas had been on patrol at the time in their roles in the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit.
The breaches of Standards of Professional Behaviour were upheld at the hearing in Wyboston which took eight days.
Other breaches which included confidentiality and challenging and reporting improper conduct were not upheld. PC Thomas was also cleared of breaching standards in relation to use of force.
Both had been acquitted of criminal charges in the incident after a crown court trial in 2014.
Both officers were suspended following the incident.
Deputy Chief Constable Mark Collins said:
"Firstly I would like to apologise on behalf of the force to Faruk Ali and his family for the distress this incident has caused them.
We are committed to supporting vulnerable people which is a priority for this organisation and I see excellent examples on a daily basis where we provide that support to the most vulnerable in our society.
However, on this occasion the two officers' conduct has fallen well below any standard that is acceptable in policing and they have now paid the ultimate sanction in losing their jobs.
This should send a very clear message to police officers that this type of behaviour is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. It also demonstrates how committed we are to tackling unprofessional behaviour which has no place at Bedfordshire Police. I'm sure officers across the force, and indeed the country, will share my disappointment at the actions of PCs Thomas and Pitts and the damaging impact it will have on confidence in policing.
We are committed to rebuilding that trust and confidence and will continue to work hard with our communities in order to protect people and fight crime.
We appreciate this has been a long process for all those involved but it was only right that every aspect of this case was thoroughly investigated and scrutinised in a transparent manner and I would like to thank people for their patience."