Senior MPS officer 'abused position' during personal relationship with colleague
A chief superintendent has been given management advice after a misconduct panel heard he allegedly “abused his position” during a personal relationship with a female officer to promote her professional development.
Chief Superintendent Rob Atkin, MBE, commander for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) South East division, had been appointed as mentor to the police constable, who was a candidate for accelerated promotion, in October 2015. Between August 2017 and May 2018 the relationship became personal.
It was alleged that during their personal relationship, Chief Supt Atkin abused his position to promote her professional development through postings and promotion opportunities and failed to make full disclosure of his relationship to line management.
Having heard all the evidence, a misconduct panel, led by an independent legally qualified chair, concluded on Friday (July 31) that it was proven in part that Chief Supt Atkin breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of authority, respect and courtesy, and this was at the level of misconduct.
“The panel found he acted within his role as mentor and had not gained anything from promoting the officer’s professional development nor had a bad purpose in mind by doing so. He did fail to inform line managers of their relationship,” said the MPS.
“While assisting in the 2018 fast-track promotion assessments, Chief Supt Atkin was sent confidential assessment papers and a list of candidates. It was alleged that he failed to disclose that the constable he was in a personal relationship with was on the list of candidates and failed to declare a conflict of interest.”
It was also alleged he showed the officer the assessment papers with the intention of providing her with an unfair advantage.
The panel concluded that it was proven in part that Chief Supt Atkin breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of confidentiality and this was at the level of misconduct.
It found the female officer did see the papers but it was not proven that Chief Supt Atkin allowed that to happen nor that he was attempting to provide her with an unfair advantage.
The panel also did not find it proven that Chief Supt Atkin failed to declare a conflict of interest. It was accepted Chief Supt Atkin did not notify the College of Policing that the officer had seen the papers.
“The panel found a breach of the standards of professional behaviour in respect of honesty and integrity not proven in relation to the assessment papers as it was not proven Chief Supt Atkin allowed the officer to see the papers nor that he was attempting to provide her with an unfair advantage,” said the MPS
“The panel considered Chief Supt Atkin made unwise decisions and showed poor judgment rather than displaying deliberate wrong-doing and therefore the breaches proven were at the level of misconduct and not gross misconduct.”