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A former police officer has had a misconduct allegation proven against him after it was alleged he had driven in a dangerous and careless manner.
A disciplinary hearing was held at Sussex Police Headquarters on Tuesday 11 April, in front of a panel led by an Independent Legally Qualified Chair (LQC). LQCs are selected from a list of independent, legally-qualified persons to conduct police misconduct hearings, and are governed by Police Conduct Regulations. They work with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and others to instil and embed as much transparency and proportionality into misconduct hearings.
The panel heard that on 9 April 2020, former PC Robert Teear, 30, based on West Sussex division had driven to Shoreham in response to an emergency call concerning a fight in the High Street. It was alleged that he drove the police vehicle in a dangerous and careless manner outside of his police driving permit provisions and that he intentionally drove towards a member of the public in an attempt to stop them.
The member of the public, who had in fact tried to assist police before Teear’s arrival sustained minor leg injuries. Following a public complaint, an internal and criminal investigation followed and a jury found Teear not guilty of dangerous driving during a five-day trial at Hove Crown Court in November 2021. Teear resigned while under investigation.
The former officer appeared in front of the panel who found he had breached standards of professional behaviour in respect of duties and responsibilities. The panel found that this breach amounted to misconduct.
Under legislation relating to former police officers, as the finding was one of misconduct as opposed to gross misconduct, the panel were unable to impose a sanction as the officer had already left the force.
Detective Chief Inspector Jon Robeson from the force’s Professional Standards Department said: “We expect our officers to act with the utmost integrity and professionalism, and in accordance with the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Professional Behaviour. The actions of the officer in this case fell short of the standards we expect, and we remain committed to holding officers and staff to account.”