Senior Met Police officer sacked for giving unauthorised information to a tabloid journalist

A senior police office who have information to a journalist has been sacked some two years after he was initially arrested.

Former Ealing borough commander chief superintendent Andy Rowell was arrested in a 6am raid on his Wiltshire home in February 2013.

At the time Scotland Yard said his arrest came about as a result of information provided by News Corp’s Management and Standards Committee.

Press Gazette understands his arrest relates to information which was shared with a redtop journalist about the arrest of a high profile footballer for rape.

The footballer concerned was cleared one month after his arrest.

Press Gazette understands that Rowell was arrested because a journalist had a copy of a document relating to the case.

At the time of his arrest the Met said: “Today's arrest is the result of information provided to police by News Corporation's management and standards committee and it relates to the suspected release of confidential information.

"Today's arrest, however, relates to the suspected release of confidential information but not alleged payment."

In July 2013 Rowell was told he would face no criminal charges but he remained suspended pending the outcome of disciplinary action.

After a five-day misconduct hearing, the Met issued a statement saying that Rowell had been dismissed without notice from the Metropolitan Police. 

“The panel, consisting of two senior officers and one lay member, carefully considered all of the evidence put before them and found the case of gross misconduct proven. 

“In total the panel heard evidence in relation to six allegations. Of the six allegations the case was found proven in four and not proven in two.

“The case of gross misconduct against DCS Rowell was found proved, that his behaviour lacked honesty and integrity, that he had abused his position and his behaviour could have brought discredit on the police service. The panel heard evidence that DCS Rowell kept a copy of a statement, which included sensitive details from a serious crime investigation. He then allowed a journalist to see it and photograph it.”

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Fiona Taylor, of the Directorate of Professional Standards, said "Andy Rowell had a long and successful career, rising to the rank of Detective Chief Superintendent, he was respected by staff across the organisation as well as the community he worked with.

“He let all of those people down when he took the decision to leak police information in a significant and sensitive case – going against everything that he knew would have been the correct thing to do. His actions lacked the integrity required to be a police officer." 

Meanwhile other senior police officers accused of leaking information to journalists, where there is no suggestion money changed hands, remain in legal limbo.

Former detective superintendant Dave Cook was arrested by officers from the Independent Police Complaints Commissioner at his Berkshire home on 10 January 2012.

He has been suspended ever since and is awaiting a charging decision. He is understood to have been arrested for giving unauthorised information to a redtop journalist.

Former City of London assistant commissioner Frank Amstrong was arrested in March 2013 on suspicion of leaking information to a tabloid journalist. He is still awaiting a charging decision from the CPS.

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