A former Wiltshire Police officer has been found guilty of inappropriate sexualised comments and behaviour towards female colleagues while at work.
A public hearing yesterday (Thursday, November 4) considered allegations against retired Detective Sergeant Glenn Atkinson.
There were six counts of gross misconduct brought against him.
Chaired by an independent Legally Qualified Chair, it concluded that all six allegations were proven.
Atkinson declined to attend the hearing.
He had retired prior to the hearing, a right afforded to him under police regulations.
If the Detective Sergeant had not retired, he would have been instantly dismissed, without notice.
He will now go on the national Police Barred List to prevent him from serving in the police again.
A spokesperson from Wiltshire Police thanked the women for their courage in reporting the matters, and said Atkinson had “betrayed the trust invested in him”.
Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said:
“Wiltshire Police and the public expect the very highest level of professionalism from everyone who serves within policing.
“As both a Police Officer and supervisor, Det Sgt Atkinson betrayed the trust invested in him and subjected junior female colleagues to inappropriate sexual behaviour and comments whilst on duty.
“I want to thank the women, who were subjected to the wholly unacceptable actions of this former officer, for their professionalism and moral courage in reporting these matters so the appropriate action could be taken.
“The allegations against him were heard by an independent hearing, who concluded on six counts, the behaviour alleged against him amounted to proven gross misconduct.
“Under police regulations, Detective Sergeant Atkinson exercised his right to retire prior to the hearing. However, if he had of been serving he would have been dismissed without notice.
“He will now go onto the national barred list, which will stop him working in policing again.
“Needless to say, the actions of former Detective Sergeant Atkinson will significantly and understandably impact the confidence and trust of the public in policing.
“Furthermore, his actions undermine the commitment and professionalism of those within our organisation who strive to deliver the very best service to the public each and every day.”
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Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson added that the officer’s behaviour was completely ‘inexcusable’.
He also commended the bravery of those who reported the incidents, adding that it is the responsibility of every single officer in the force to challenge this kind of behaviour.
In a statement, he said: “There is no place within Wiltshire Police for those who do not uphold the high standards we rightly hold our police force to.
“Wiltshire’s public deserve to have trust in their policing service and every incident of this nature erodes that trust and confidence.
“Former Detective Sergeant Glenn Atkinson abused his position of trust, inflicting his completely unacceptable, and inexcusable, behaviour on his female colleagues – there is simply no excuse which can ‘explain away’ this abhorrent behaviour.
“I commend those reporting this for their bravery and courage.”
He added that he is working to eradicate any traces of “canteen culture” within the force: “I continue to work with the Chief Constable to eradicate any trace of canteen culture within Wiltshire Police and ensure those in leadership roles have the suitable training to challenge those who both partake and enable it.
“Those who carry out this behaviour are the problem but those who allow it to go unchallenged are also a huge part.
“Each officer, member of staff or volunteer has a responsibility to educate themselves, spot these behaviours, challenge them and report it.
“The time for change is now.”