A police officer who slapped a female colleague on the bottom while calling her a “naughty girl” has been given a final written warning.
Det Insp Matt Banks was accused of hitting the detective constable while making a tea round at work in January.
The misconduct panel sitting at Kent Police headquarters found Mr Banks’s actions were “belittling and sexist”
Kent Police’s representative said: “We recognise Det Inps Banks did not set out intending to harm [her]”
Aaron Rathmell, representing the force, said: “It was a very clear line that he crossed and the harm and the upset was reasonably foreseeable.”
Mr Banks accepted misconduct but said he had accidentally hit the female officer, referred to as DC during the hearing
‘Sexist and belittling’
He had denied the use of the word “naughty”, telling the panel he said “cheeky” instead.
The panel concluded Mr Banks slapped DC and had said both naughty and cheeky, amounting to gross misconduct.
Claire Harrington, chairing the panel, said: “This did not treat DC, a woman, fairly and with respect. The panel finds that DI Banks would not have acted in this way towards a male colleague.
“His conduct towards DC was sexist and he used a belittling and sexist comment when hitting her on an intimate part of her body.”
Nick Yeo, representing Mr Banks at the hearing, said the incident was “extraordinarily out of character” for the highly commended officer.
Miss Harrington said: “Having considered carefully all of the circumstances… we have very narrowly concluded that the appropriate sanction is that of a final written warning.
“The police service has no place for such behaviour and we hope we have made that clear in our findings.”
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