A South Yorkshire Police officer has been handed a written warning after appearing before a misconduct hearing accused of shouting threats and obscenities in the face of a 15-year-old boy he had just arrested.
Barnsley officer Pc Nigel Finlay was summoned to face a public disciplinary panel over alleged misconduct in the minutes after detaining the youth on suspicion of assault and breaching his anti-social behaviour order.
According to the force’s website, after placing the suspect in handcuffs, it was alleged that while in a vehicle on the way to the police station Mr Finlay climbed on top of the boy “and whilst kneeling on top of him assaulted him by striking him two or three times in the face”.
The website added: “Whilst this was happening the officer allegedly shouted threats and obscenities in the boy’s face.
“It is also alleged that on arrival at the police station PC Finlay used force on the male in the airlock area of the custody suite and put the male on the floor.”
During the hearing, the panel found that the officer had no case to answer in respect of the ‘use of force’ allegations relating to claims he punched the boy. But the allegation in respect of ‘authority, respect and courtesy’ relating to the words he used was found proven by the panel, which was chaired by an independent legally qualified chairperson.
Police forces around the country have been told to hold misconduct hearings in public since last summer as part of an attempt by Theresa May, then Home Secretary, to make forces more transparent and accountable.
Several forces have since held some of their hearings in private, citing security concerns and the welfare of the officers.