The Wokingham Paper

Wokingham police officer dismissed following misconduct hearing

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A POLICE officer based in Wokingham has been dismissed from Thames Valley Police following a misconduct hearing today.

PC Matthew Watt, who was based at Loddon Valley Police Station, was found to have breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour as set out in Regulation 3 and the Schedule to the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012 following a public misconduct hearing.

The breaches were in respect of Discreditable Conduct, Authority, Respect and Courtesy and Confidentiality, namely that on 5 March 2016 PC Watt sent a series of WhatsApp messages to a friend referring to a detainee in derogatory terms, a photograph of a male detainee, and a photograph of a witness statement, which could be read in an enlarged copy of the photo.

PC Watt was also found to have sent a photo of a witness statement to a group of friends on WhatsApp.

The special case hearing for PC Watt, who was given a commendation for bravery in 2014, was chaired by Chief Constable Francis Habgood at Thames Valley Police Headquarters, Kidlington.

Det Ch Insp Matt Stone, of Thames Valley Police’s Professional Standards Department, said: “PC Watt sent confidential data to members of the public in which he referred to a detainee using a disparaging term.

“For the public to have confidence in the Force it is vital that our staff and officers manage information in accordance with legislation and policies. Our investigation has shown that, in this instance, this has not happened and the behaviour shown by PC Watt fell well below the standard expected of a police officer.

“Thames Valley Police takes such breaches extremely seriously and investigates incidents of gross misconduct thoroughly, with the outcome being that PC Watt has been dismissed without notice from the Force.”

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