Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Statement from Deborah Glass regarding supervised investigation into Downing Street incident
The IPCC has supervised the Metropolitan Police investigation into the Downing Street incident since 17 December 2012.
In April this year an initial file was submitted to the CPS which resulted in further work being done and yesterday's decision to charge PC Wallis with misconduct in public office.
The evidence will now be put before a jury in respect of PC Wallis.
Deborah Glass, IPCC Deputy Chair said:
“The evidence is that the officer who accompanied Mr Mitchell to the gate, unlike some of his colleagues, did not want to pursue that matter and was content with the apology he had received from Mr Mitchell. He was not responsible for the later actions of those who came to hear about it.
“The officer concerned says he was not familiar with the word “pleb” prior to the incident. His record of the words used was contemporaneous. Mr Mitchell has denied using that word. I do not think this can be proven one way or another. I do not think it is possible to establish exactly what words were said during the initial altercation. However, what is in my view beyond doubt is that the incident should have gone no further than the personal apology Mr Mitchell made to the officer concerned for swearing.
“Those officers who may be responsible for turning a largely inaudible altercation lasting less than a minute into a national scandal plainly have a case to answer for gross misconduct. The Metropolitan Police has proposed, and I agree, that four officers will be subject to a misconduct hearing in relation to discreditable conduct, honesty and integrity and/or improper disclosure of information. One of those officers, PC Wallis, has now also been charged with misconduct in public office. A fifth officer also has a case to answer for gross misconduct in relation to a statement he made to the investigation, which was untrue.
"The MPS has also proposed, and I agree, that two officers have a case to answer for misconduct and will be subject to a misconduct meeting for inaccurate statements, and a further officer will be subject to management action for inappropriate comments.”