Police officer disciplined for 'misleading account' of arrest at Sheffield pensioners' protest

People protest against the arrest of two people during a demonstration about cuts to free travel for pensioners.
People protest against the arrest of two people during a demonstration about cuts to free travel for pensioners.
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A police officer has been disciplined for submitting a misleading account of an arrest made during a demonstration by pensioners.

Stefan Money, a constable for British Transport Police in Doncaster, was handed a final written warning over the statement he made following the protest at Sheffield Railway Station.

Protesters angry at cuts to free travel for the elderly staged the demonstration on June 23 in 2014 and two people were charged with obstructing police.

But the arrests sparked further protests and the charges were later dropped.

A BTP misconduct panel hearing in York yesterday was told that Pc Money signed a witness statement providing his account of the previous day’s demonstration.

The statement was alleged to have been misleading and contained some wording deemed inappropriate.

The panel found one allegation of gross misconduct against Pc Money to be proven in relation to the statement and that he was in breach of the standards of professional behaviour in regards to authority, respect and courtesy and discreditable conduct.

An additional charge of gross misconduct in relation to honesty and integrity against the officer was not proven.

Details of the specific wording in the statement were not provided by BTP after the hearing.

But in a statement, the force said: "The panel concluded that the statement had been misleading, that the language used was inappropriate and the officer’s response was lacking judgement however there had been no dishonest intent.

"It concluded that the wording used in the statement amounted to gross misconduct and Pc Money has been sanctioned with a final written warning."

Detective superintendent Gill Murray, head of professional standards at the BTP, added: "The panel found that Pc Money had breached standards of professional behaviour, namely through the use of inappropriate language in his statement.

"The panel found no evidence to suggest any issues in relation to Pc Money's honesty and integrity.

"It is unacceptable for a police officer to use such language that could cause offence and undermine public confidence - Pc Money, who apologised for any offence he may have caused at the hearing, has faced the consequences of these actions.”