Officer who used ‘unacceptable’ force during arrests dismissed for gross misconduct
A West Midlands Police officer who used “unacceptable” force during two arrests has been dismissed without notice for gross misconduct.
Following a nine-day hearing, an independently chaired disciplinary panel yesterday (July 23) found the cases against Police Constable Sunil Narr proven over his use of force on a man he kicked and punched while arresting at a domestic incident at Bell Green in April 2017, and another man he struck with a baton after a pursuit in Coventry in August that year.
PC Narr was charged with assault following the incident in April, but Hereford magistrates decided that he had no case to answer and dismissed the charge in April 2018.
Officers had reported their concerns about PC Narr’s use of force during the incident in the Hillfields area of Coventry in August 2017 when a man was detained following a police pursuit. The man suffered a head wound when PC Narr struck him with a baton.
The Coventry-based response officer was charged with wounding, but was cleared by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court following a trial in June last year.
Despite the court results, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which had investigated PC Narr, considered that a panel could find misconduct in his behaviour and the gross misconduct hearing was convened to hear the allegations.
Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Todd, head of West Midlands Police Professional Standards, said: “The use of force by PC Narr was completely unacceptable and went against the training that all officers have in safely bringing suspects under control.
“While the criminal cases against him did not result in convictions, the burden of proof at a misconduct hearing is lower, and officers are bound by strict rules on the use of force, which PC Narr clearly breached.
“At a time when police use of force is under scrutiny nationally and internationally, it is more important than ever that our communities have confidence in our professionalism. When officers go beyond what is reasonable, they face serious consequences.”
PC Narr and a second officer were cleared of a further gross misconduct allegation that they had breached standards of honesty and integrity over their accounts of a police pursuit on the Leicester Causeway in Coventry in February 2017.
The other officer was also cleared of breaching standards of honesty and integrity over his actions after temporarily switching off his body-worn video camera during the arrest at Bell Green.
The IOPC carried out investigations into all three incidents following referrals from West Midlands Police, which were concluded by December 2018.
IOPC Regional Director for the West Midlands, Derrick Campbell, said: “Police officers have a duty and responsibility to only use force that is necessary, reasonable and proportionate.
“Following our thorough investigations, West Midlands Police agreed a gross misconduct panel should hear all of the evidence. A disciplinary panel has now decided that two of three allegations against PC Narr were proven, amounting to gross misconduct, and dismissed him from the police service.”