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EXCESSIVE FORCE: Former police officer found guilty of gross misconduct in St Albans

 Published on: 13th July 2023   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

A former police officer has been found guilty of several counts of gross misconduct in his role, one of which was a charge of excessive force during an incident in St Albans.

Former PC Tom Witherspoon was found for all of the charges brought against him at a misconduct hearing, which took place at Hertfordshire Police’s HQ in Welwyn Garden City on Tuesday, July 11.

A spokesperson for the force confirmed to St Albans News that Witherspoon left the police in October, but had he stayed, he would have been dismissed with immediate effect. He has also been placed on the police barred list.

One of the charges brought against him referred to an incident that took place while he was on duty in uniform in St Albans, on December 11, 2021.

During the detainment of a man, Witherspoon was found to have used force described as unnecessary and unreasonable in the circumstances.

Witherspoon was also found, between March 2019 and June 2022, to have made inappropriate comments to female colleagues in person and on social media.

In one instance, he acted in an inappropriate manner to a female colleague while off-duty in London, and in another instance failed to challenge a video in a work WhatsApp group that contained extreme pornography and bestiality.

Chief Constable Charlie Hall said: “I take great issue with how Witherspoon has behaved; however, I would like to thank his colleagues who witnessed his behaviour.

“It is their actions in calling out such poor and predatory behaviour which mean that Witherspoon is no longer policing the streets of Hertfordshire.

“They, not Witherspoon, are what I and the public of Hertfordshire wish to see from our police officers, and I praise them for taking such positive action.”

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