Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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South Wales Police officer dismissed after making dishonest statement

A South Wales Police officer who made a dishonest statement about an incident in which a woman sustained a head injury has been dismissed without notice at a misconduct hearing recently (17 July 2020), which followed an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation.

The independently-chaired police disciplinary panel found gross misconduct proven for PC Sally Thomas after considering allegations that she had breached the honesty and integrity, and duties and responsibilities standards of professional behaviour.

Our investigation followed a referral from South Wales Police after a woman complained about her arrest and detention in Maesteg.

When interviewed about the incident by IOPC investigators, PC Thomas made dishonest statements about what she had and hadn’t witnessed while the detained woman was being escorted from the scene of her arrest to a police van. The body worn video coupled with other evidence discredited her account. 

South Wales Police agreed PC Thomas had a case to answer for misconduct for failing to tell the custody sergeant that the woman had suffered a head injury and that force was used during her arrest. The force also agreed a case to answer for gross misconduct for providing responses in her statements that were inconsistent with the available evidence. The panel found the officer’s actions amounted to gross misconduct.

Director for Wales Catrin Evans recently said:

“It is vital for public confidence in policing that officers are truthful about their involvement in adverse incidents. In this case, PC Thomas did not display the high standards of professional behaviour expected of police officers by making a false account during her interview with our investigators.”

The incident in Maesteg happened in March 2018 and our investigation concluded in February 2019. Other officers involved in the detention and arrest of the woman were found to have no case to answer. PC Thomas will also be placed on the barred list.


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