Two South Wales Police officers have been sacked following an IPCC investigation into their handling of allegations of sexual offences against former DC Jeffrey Davies.
Detective Inspector Phillip Camm and Detective Sergeant Richard Jones both had cases of gross misconduct proven following a five-day hearing.
Det Sgt Jones was Mr Davies’ line manager, and Det Insp Camm his supervisor. Both officers were based at Merthyr Tydfil police station in the force’s Aberdare CID unit.
In April 2011, woman B made an allegation of indecent exposure against Mr Davies. Two inspectors, including Det Insp Camm, spoke to her the following day. She did not make a formal complaint at that stage or in the following weeks. Once the force professional standards department (PSD) became involved, she did pursue the complaint.
In July 2011, woman A’s former partner made an allegation of indecent assault by Mr Davies on woman A dating back to 2010. Woman A told officers she did not wish to pursue a complaint. However, once the force’s PSD became involved in September 2011 she did make a formal complaint.
At this stage, the force referred both the allegations against Mr Davies, and the non-referral to PSD by Det Insp Camm and Det Sgt Jones to the IPCC.
The IPCC found that Det Insp Camm failed to refer the complaint from woman B to PSD, nor treat her as a victim of a sexual offence, and failed to carry out an effective investigation. He treated the allegation as a malicious complaint. Det Sgt Jones failed to refer woman A’s complaint to PSD.
The investigation also uncovered a series of inappropriate emails and documents from Det Sgt Jones’ computer, a number of which were sexual in nature. One document was created the day after woman B had made an allegation of indecent exposure against Davies and contained lewd sexual and derogatory references to the complainant.
Another document, written a few weeks after woman B’s allegation, contained a list of questions about staff members with multiple choice answers with a number of sexually explicit remarks. One ‘question’ referred specifically to woman B’s allegation stating it was ‘scurrilous’ and with derogatory references poking fun at the complainant. Det Sgt Jones told the IPCC that the quiz was used on a bus journey on a trip outside of work hours with colleagues.
It was found proven that Det Sgt Jones had deleted the documents from his work computer once he became aware of the IPCC investigation. He had also misused the force computer system to send lewd and inappropriate emails to colleagues including officers under his supervision.
Det Insp Camm did not challenge the behaviour of his officers and failed to report emails from Det Sgt Jones containing inappropriate language. He was dismissed after it was found proven that he had lied to the IPCC in an interview.
IPCC Commissioner Jan Williams said:
"The allegations made by these women against Jeffrey Davies were extremely serious and should have been treated that way from the outset. They were vulnerable women who had turned to the police for help and had found themselves subjected to an appalling abuse of trust.
"Their dreadful experience was then further compounded by the inactions of Jeffrey Davies’ supervisors who failed to deal properly with the criminal allegations against him.
"The allegations were not reported to the force’s professional standards department as appropriate despite the serious nature of the complaints being made against a colleague under their supervision. The women were not treated as victims of a sexual offence and their allegations were not investigated effectively. It was only once the allegations were reported to PSD that the women indicated that they would pursue the complaints which eventually led to Jeffrey Davies’ trial.
"This investigation also revealed a CID unit pervaded with what could be described as a ‘canteen culture’ where inappropriate comments and behaviour were viewed as harmless banter. But the language demonstrated in emails and documents was, in fact, grossly unprofessional, offensive and demonstrated a lack of respect for the women complaining.
"I read with a sense of repulsion the sexual content of comments made by Detective Sergeant Jones, both in his emails and in the two documents found on his computer. They were littered with lewd language. One of the documents demonstrated a total lack of empathy and respect for a victim who had shown real courage to report an allegation of indecent exposure against a police officer. He treated her complaint as sport, to be used as part of a quiz with colleagues outside work.
"This was outrageous and demonstrates the contempt in which the woman and her allegation was held.
"Detective Sergeant Jones then tried to hide the evidence of his behaviour by deleting documents from his computer when he became aware of our investigation.
"Inspector Camm failed to challenge his team’s behaviour and lied to the IPCC during an interview.
"It is only right that these officers have been dismissed. Their failure to challenge inappropriate behaviour strikes at the heart of confidence in policing and tarnishes the good work done by officers every day.
"I have echoed the concerns raised by my predecessor, Tom Davies, about the culture at the Aberdare CID unit with the Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner. These concerns were raised at the early stages of this investigation and I am pleased that as our investigation has progressed, the force has taken their own action to reinforce the high standards that they expect of officers.
"It is vitally important that other officers are confident that they will be supported if they challenge inappropriate behaviour. Victims of crime must also feel that they can have confidence to speak to an officer, and be treated with dignity and respect.”
A third officer, an Inspector, was given management action by South Wales Police after he was found to have a case to answer for misconduct for taking too long to deal with the report of a crime alleged to have been committed by Mr Davies against woman A.
Jeffrey Davies was jailed for three years at Swansea Crown Court in August 2013 after being convicted of two counts of sexual assault – one against woman A, and one against woman C. He was cleared of a further offence of exposure against woman B. The trial followed an investigation managed by the IPCC.
Photo by Carter Lauren