Police admit mistakes over PC Harwood trial
Met Police bosses have admitted failing to keep adequate disciplinary records of an officer cleared of manslaughter.
Deputy assistant commissioner Maxine de Brunner spoke following the trial of PC Simon Harwood yesterday, in which he was cleared of the manslaughter of 47-year-old Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests in 2009.
It has been revealed 10 complaints were made against PC Harwood in 12 years prior to the G20 incident , with the Carshalton-based officer retiring in 2001 to avoid facing discipline over a road rage incident.
He joined Croydon police in a civilian capacity just three days later and in 2003 was made a constable with Surrey Police.
She said: "From the outset we have done all we can to assist both the City of London investigation and then the IPCC investigation. The evidence has now been put before the jury and they have reached their decision.
"It has always been the intention of the Metropolitan Police Service to hold the misconduct hearing as soon as possible, this was delayed pending the outcome of the trial. “Papers were served on PC Harwood in November 2010 informing him of the intention to proceed to a gross misconduct hearing.
"Following the conclusion of the trial of PC Harwood we will now need to review the misconduct case against him, as required by the Home Office guidance.
“PC Harwood had previously served with the Metropolitan Police Service as well as Surrey Police. The details of his previous employment were examined at the Inquest in to Ian Tomlinson’s death. It is clear that insufficient recording and checks meant that detailed information regarding the officer’s misconduct history was not shared at key points. We got that wrong.
“Since then there have been huge changes to vetting processes. Now all applicants, including officers applying to becoming police staff as well those re-joining or transferring from other police services, are formally vetted and this involves a full misconduct intelligence check.
"Our sympathies are with the family of Mr Tomlinson and I will endeavour to ensure they are fully updated of any future actions with regard to PC Harwood."