CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Ex-Camden officer guilty of gross misconduct after windscreen smash

Footage of the incident went viral in 2016

17 June, 2019 — By Samantha Booth

A FORMER Camden police officer has been found guilty of gross misconduct after he was found to have breached police standards when he used a multi-tool during a traffic stop to saw through a windscreen.

Joshua Savage, 29, used the blade on the tool he was carrying to saw through the shattered pane of glass after hitting it with his baton.

Footage of the incident went viral on social media after being posted by the car driver, who was stopped in Weedington Road in September 2016.

At a three-day misconduct panel, which ended on Friday, Mr Savage, a former police constable who resigned from the Met last August, faced allegations he breached standards relating to use of force by smashing the windscreen without warning and that he also failed to act with self-control when he did so, breaching standards relating to authority, respect and courtesy.

It was also alleged that carrying the multi-tool without permission was a breach of orders and instructions and that the totality of his actions amounted to discreditable conduct.

The panel ruled that the case was proven against Mr Savage on all counts apart from that relating to authority, respect and courtesy and that this amounted to gross misconduct.

Mr Savage was cleared of possession of a bladed article, common assault and criminal damage at Southwark Crown Court last July.

The court then heard that Mr Savage and his colleague had mistakenly identified the driver as another person who was said to be “well known to police” and allegedly had a reputation for violence.

Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) Director for London, Sal Naseem said: “The police misconduct panel has ruled that PC Savage’s actions amounted to gross misconduct.

“From the evidence available, including footage taken by the driver, we were of the opinion that the actions of PC Savage should be tested at a disciplinary hearing and it is disappointing that we had to use our powers to direct the Metropolitan Police to hold this hearing.

“Public confidence in policing requires transparency and accountability.

“We were concerned that, during our investigation, PC Savage told us that Metropolitan Police officers were routinely carrying these types of multi-tools which is against regulation. If true, this would be matter for public concern.

“We raised the matter with the force during our investigation and we await its assurance that it has taken action to ensure this is not the case.”

The incident, on 16 September 2016, was referred to the IOPC by the Met and it completed its investigation in five months, referring a file to the Crown Prosecution Service in February 2017.

The IOPC concluded Mr Savage had a case to answer for gross misconduct. The Met disagreed and in July 2017 the IOPC directed that a misconduct hearing should take place. The Met scheduled the hearing to take place in June 2019.

The Met said it will review the hearing panel’s full determination and rationale for this case and will carefully consider the findings and any recommendations made.

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