Derbyshire Police dismisses two officers after woman injured in custody

THE Derbyshire Police dismissed two officers after a woman suffered a head injury when the driver of a police van deliberately braked on the way to custody, reported the BBC.

Police Constables  were sacked without notice for gross misconduct, the report added.

A misconduct panel found PC Sekhar deliberately braked after the woman, who was arrested in Long Eaton, became disorderly in the back of the van.

PC Collins was dismissed for giving a misleading statement to protect Sekhar.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said five officers had faced misconduct charges following the woman’s injury, which was sustained in the summer of 2019.

PCs Chloe Burrell, Hannah Butler and Stephanie Merrick had no action taken against them as their breaches of professional standards were found not to amount to misconduct, according to reports.

The panel heard the complainant – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly, and on suspicion of being in possession of drugs.

She was escorted and locked in a nearby police van, but body-worn camera footage appeared to show the woman acting drunkenly and aggressively in the cage part of the van.

The footage then showed PC Burrell swearing at the detainee as she was locked inside the cage mechanism.

Minutes later, PC Sekhar was found to have deliberately braked “sharply” and “for no good reason with the intention of causing an adverse effect on the detainee” after telling his colleagues at the back of the van to “brace” themselves, the BBC report.

PC Sekhar claimed he braked because of a “cat on the road” – but the independent panel disagreed.

It was claimed the braking had led to the woman sustaining a head injury as it caused her to throw herself forward.

When the van arrived at a police station in Derby, she was taken to hospital.

According to reports, Collins and Sekhar were in tears as their dismissal was announced.

However, legal expert Nick Stanage, the panel chair, said it was the only option as the pair’s actions had damaged Derbyshire Police’s reputation.

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