Hackney police constable sacked after urging youth to make complaint about his colleague
PUBLISHED: 16:16 09 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:16 09 October 2018
A Hackney police constable has been dismissed without notice after “using his influence” to encourage a teenager to be interviewed without a lawyer present.
Clifford Fox also breached rules around confidentiality and respect by encouraging the boy to make a formal complaint against a police colleague, a disciplinary panel found on October 1.
Mr Fox denied breaching the standards of professional behaviour in respect of “authority, respect and courtesy”, “honesty and integrity”, “confidentiality” and “discreditable conduct”. But the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) upheld all the accusations against him and he was sacked last week.
The professional body decided Mr Fox had obtained, retained and disclosed evidence in a criminal investigation unlawfully and used bullying and harassing language and behaviour towards his colleague.
The ex-officer told the Gazette he “holds his hands up high” and admits that he didn’t deal with the incident – which dates back to February 2014 – through the right channels. But he insists he was acting in the child’s best interests.
Rather than notifying a supervisor or the DPS that his colleague at the Met “might have lied that the youth hit him in the face”, Mr Fox went straight to the boy’s family because he “didn’t know who to trust or where to go”.
He told the Gazette: “I put my head above the parapet, and I admit I disclosed information I shouldn’t have really given to a member of the public, but I did it all for the right reasons that injustice had been done on a boy. I may have been sacked, but I walk away with my head held high and I’m proud of what I did.”
Mr Fox, who has served in the police force for 14 years, added: “My whole world came crumbling down on Monday [last week]. I was walked into a room and they took my tunic off me, and I was marched out the building. I don’t know what pay I’ve got coming to me, and had to come home and explain to my son and wife what’s happened. You are dumped on the scrap heap just like that.
“What I find ironic is they have to weigh up whether public confidence has been lost in the police by this officer’s actions before they sack you, and they concluded ‘yes’, my actions have.
“But my actions in the first place were to boost public confidence in the police.”
He plans to appeal the decision.