PC Claire Boddie appeared before a Gross Misconduct Hearing for failing to warn an Individual before drawing and using a Taser. She was cleared of any wrong doing on all counts. The outcome today ends 18 months of uncertainty for Claire her family and friends. Police Officers are accountable for their decisions and expect there will be occasions when they will come under scrutiny. Too often the scrutiny is with the benefit of hindsight against a backdrop of a blame culture. Claire has had been subjected to a criminal investigation and trial where she was acquitted. As soon as that process finished, the IOPC announced she was still to face a Gross Misconduct hearing based on the same evidence. The Constabulary agreed, and these proceedings took place. Claire is relieved that the Panel decided that she had no case to answer. Claire has been subject to negative comments on social media, her photograph displayed in the local press and individuals saw fit to put up pictures of the incident across Bristol clearly intent on undermining race relations with the Police. Race never played a part in this incident by Claire or the other Officer and we are disappointed it was made a key component by some outside of these proceedings. This incident could have been resolved in minutes if only the other party had simply given them his name. The public rightly expect Police Officers to stop and question those they suspect are wanted for criminal offences. Clearly this was a case of mistaken identity and it is important to learn from mistakes. We do not feel a public trial and public Gross Misconduct hearing demonstrates that there was any other intention than to find her accountable for what happened that day. Claire is also grateful for the support of her colleagues and would like to put this matter behind her so she can continue to serve the community.
Author: Alan Bell
Published: Wednesday 05 September 2018 11:09:03
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