IPCC: Tomlinson cop misconduct hearing to be public

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has confirmed that it has told the Met Police to hold PC Simon Harwood’s gross misconduct hearing in public.

An inquest jury yesterday ruled that newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson was unlawfully killed when he died after being pushed by PC Harwood during the G20 protests in London on 1 April, 2009.

This will be the first such Met Police hearing to be made open to the public and the press.

IPCC commissioner for London Deborah Glass said: ‘Over the past weeks the evidence from our investigation has been heard, tested and challenged at the inquest. The verdict speaks for itself.

‘The conclusion of the inquest is an important stage in the process but it is not the final one particularly as the inquest does not – indeed cannot – determine accountability which is a matter of exceptional public concern in this case. I have therefore decided that due to the gravity and exceptional circumstances of this case, the misconduct proceedings should be heard in public.”

The IPCC said the allegations that will be put to PC Harwood at the hearing are:

  • That he struck Mr Tomlinson on his left thigh with his baton
  • That he pushed Mr Tomlinson so that he fell to the ground
  • Such dangerous actions inadvertently caused or contributed to the death of Mr Tomlinson on 1 April 2009
  • The use of force was not necessary, proportionate or reasonable in the circumstances.

According to the IPCC, the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008 state that, if an IPCC commissioner wants a police misconduct hearing to be held in public ‘they must consult with the officer who is subject to the allegations, the police force involved, the complainant or family of the deceased and any potential witnesses whose evidence may be heard at the misconduct hearing”.

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