Two former police officers breached standards of professional behaviour
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Two Sussex police officers who had already resigned from the force have been formally dismissed after accelerated misconduct hearings were held by the Chief Constable.
The former officers – Inspector Wes Wilkie, who was based at Brighton, and PC Mohammed Rezgui, who was based at headquarters – were the subject of two separate accelerated misconduct hearings chaired by Chief Constable Jo Shiner at Sussex Police HQ in Lewes on Tuesday 3 October.
An accelerated misconduct hearing is held when there is incontrovertible evidence and it is in the public interest to remove the officer from service as soon as possible, or in the case of an ex-officer, to have them placed on the barred list.
The first hearing was told that former Inspector Wilkie, aged 38, was on a night out with colleagues when he inappropriately touched a female officer. This was witnessed by colleagues and the female officer reported it to her supervisor.
Insp Wilkie was moved away from the division and later suspended while an investigation was carried out. Insp Wilkie resigned from the force in December 2022.
Although the criminal investigation did not result in a prosecution, the force’s Professional Standards Department then progressed a misconduct investigation.
Insp Wilkie was alleged to have breached standards of professional behaviour in respect of Discreditable Conduct, Equality and Diversity, and Authority, Respect and Courtesy.
The allegations against him were found to be proven by Chief Constable Shiner, with a decision that he would have been dismissed with immediate effect had he not resigned. He was added to the College of Policing barred list which will prevent a return to policing.
The second hearing concerned former PC Rezgui, aged 30, who was identified as being part of a WhatsApp group where he posted images of himself in uniform and identified himself as being employed by Sussex Police. Within this chat group, he also posted numerous offensive, racist, misogynistic, and homophobic messages.
The hearing was told that he had handed in his resignation to Sussex Police a few days prior to this being identified and he left the force in May this year.
He faced allegations of breaching standards of professional behaviour in respect of Discreditable Conduct and Equality and Diversity.
These were found to be proven by Chief Constable Shiner with a decision that he would have been dismissed with immediate effect had he not resigned. He was also placed on the College of Policing barred list which will prevent a return to policing.
Chief Constable Shiner said: “The actions of these two officers have tarnished the name of Sussex Police, have discredited thousands of hard-working and supremely conscientious colleagues and above all else, have failed the people of Sussex who put their trust in us.
“There is no place in the force for such conduct which has been reflected in the outcomes of the hearings today.”