A former Metropolitan Police Service officer, and Deputy General Secretary and Treasurer of the Metropolitan Police Federation, would have been dismissed for gross misconduct, if still serving, after developing an inappropriate relationship with an officer he was representing and using discriminatory language a police misconduct panel has concluded.
In August 2018 the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) concluded its investigation into allegations former Detective Sergeant Stephen Redgewell, 54, developed an inappropriate relationship with a colleague he was representing and sent her inappropriate messages. Former DS Redgewell made several references to his colleague’s race in a sexual context, calling her an ‘Asian babe’ and suggested the woman should leave her husband.
He also sent pictures of a sexual nature, non-sexual pictures of himself, photographs of an officer he referred to as a ‘Muslim babe’, messages relating to that officer’s race, and messages which can be categorised as anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic and sexist.
We passed a copy of our final report and its findings to the MPS who agreed with us that the former officer had a case to answer for gross misconduct and arranged for a misconduct panel to hear the evidence. DS Redgewell resigned from the MPS in November 2018.
Yesterday (Wednesday, 16 December) the police panel, chaired by an independent legally qualified chair, found the case for gross misconduct against former DS Redgewell to be proven and that he breached the standards of professional behaviour relating to authority, respect & courtesy, equality and diversity and discreditable conduct. He would have been dismissed without notice had he still been a serving officer and will now be placed on the policing barred list.
In December 2017, following a referral from the MPS, we began examining DS Redgewell’s actions in his capacity as a Federation representative when he assisted the woman who was in a vulnerable position relating to a work issue. We looked at whether the contact between the former officer and the woman was appropriate, whether he used his position to influence or delay work matters and whether his colleague was treated differently owing to her ethnicity.
As part of our investigation IOPC investigators interviewed DS Redgewell. The woman was also interviewed. We examined more than 2,000 text messages between the former officer and the woman he was representing, finding evidence that he sent numerous racially and sexually charged messages. The messages were sent between October 2015 and September 2017, with the majority of messages being sent in January and February 2017.
IOPC regional director for London Sal Naseem said:
“At a time when a vulnerable colleague needed assistance, Stephen Redgewell, who had risen to the senior position of Deputy General Secretary and Treasurer within the Metropolitan Police Federation, abused his position by behaving in a predatory manner. This type of appalling behaviour corrodes the public’s trust in policing and I have no doubt will appal fellow officers, the wider policing community and members of the public.
“The former officer abused his senior position to send racially and sexually explicit messages to a colleague when she was at her most vulnerable. The colleague told us he manipulated her and made her feel dependent on him to the extent she had to engage with him in order to receive the assistance she required from the Metropolitan Police Federation.
“Not only did former DS Redgewell breach the standards expected from him as a police officer, he breached the trust placed in him by the policing community to represent the Metropolitan Police Federation. These breaches were so serious we note the panel would have dismissed him without notice had he still been a serving officer and he will now be placed on the barred list.”