A police officer has received a final written warning after posting numerous “inappropriate” comments from an anonymous Twitter account about people in custody.
Susan Gaitely, a police sergeant at Gloucestershire Constabulary, made remarks about people’s health and welfare in custody on a Twitter account called ‘Last Rat Standing’ over a three year period.
A misconduct outcome report reveals some of the Tweets included: “sometimes the odour of scrote gets too much #StraightInTheShower #PoliceCustody”, “OMG. The Great British public is drinking liquid d******d tonight. #Policecustody,” and “Vile vile vile. Prosecute for oxygen theft & non-existent personal hygeine #policecustody#.”
The account has been deactivated, and Gloucestershire Constabulary have confirmed PS Gaitely has stopped using all social media and will be monitored “to ensure there is no recurrence of this behaviour”.
The misconduct panel, which met on June 11, found 14 tweets out of 26 made by PS Gaitely amounted to misconduct.
Among them included calling Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn a “d**k” and Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond a “T**t. Out of touch t**t.”
Some tweets showed PS Gaitely commented on committing violence upon people she placed in police custody, such as: “Dropped a perfect knee strike into a fighting guest today – only to find they’d wet themselves. Classy. #joblikenoother #policecustody.”
One tweet, dated August 8, 2016, made a remark against a former Chief Constable with an attached Daily Mail story about them taken many holiday days, saying: “One rule for some. Another for the rest… #ukpolice”
The panel agreed that 10 of the 13 tweets PS Gaitely disputed did not constitute as misconduct were correct.
The misconduct outcome report said: “On the basis of the above we found that PS Gaitely had committed a number of actions that constituted breaches of two Standards of Professional Conduct as identified.
“Whilst we found those actions to be misconduct, we concluded that individually they had not passed the threshold for which she could be dismissed.
“However, given their number and their seriousness we concluded that taken together they did constitute gross misconduct, on the basis that she could be dismissed for the cumulative effect of them.
“We emphasise that at that stage we had not formed a view as to what the appropriate sanction should be.”
The panel then concluded that a final written warning would “show that the matter was taken very seriously.”
The report added: “It was a strong sanction thus demonstrating to the public and the police service that such conduct was unacceptable, but was not too harsh to the officer given her personal mitigation and references.”
Detective Superintendent Mark Chicken of the Professional Standards Department said the officer’s behaviour was “totally unacceptable”.
He said: “The behaviour of this officer was totally unacceptable and fell well below the standards we expect of our staff.
“When it came to light we referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). An independent investigation was carried out by the IOPC, which ultimately led to a public misconduct hearing.
“The Constabulary made representations to the independent misconduct panel that the officer should be dismissed without notice.
”However the panel made a determination that a final written warning was the appropriate outcome.”
“The Constabulary respects due process and the determination of the panel, which took into account all of the evidence in the case, including the mitigation of the officer.
“The officer has stopped using all social media and will be monitored to ensure there is no recurrence of this behaviour.”