Two Bedfordshire Police officers have been sacked after a misconduct hearing found they had committed gross misconduct when detaining with Faruk Ali in Luton in 2014.
ITV News reports that PCs Christopher Thomas and Christopher Pitts were found to have breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour around honesty and integrity, authority, respect and courtesy and discreditable conduct.
PC Thomas was also found to have breached equality and diversity in relation to Mr Ali’s disability.
The officers had pursued, detained and laughed at Mr Ali, who has autism and has a mental age of 5, on February 20, 2014, after he was seen running away from them in Bury Park. PCs Pitts and Thomas had been on patrol at the time in their roles in the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit.
Faruk Ali’s family have always maintained that he was beaten up by the two officers even though he was wearing an ID card which identified his condition. They have said he wouldn’t hurt a fly and was traumatised by the incident.
Ali’s family told ITV News that they were satisfied by the outcome of the hearing and that Faruk is now recovering from his trauma.
And Deputy Chief Constable Mark Collins of Bedfordshire Police said: “Firstly I would like to apologise on behalf of the force to Faruk Ali and his family for the distress this incident has caused them. We are committed to supporting vulnerable people which is a priority for this organisation and I see excellent examples on a daily basis where we provide that support to the most vulnerable in our society.
“However, on this occasion the two officers’ conduct has fallen well below any standard that is acceptable in policing and they have now paid the ultimate sanction in losing their jobs. This should send a very clear message to police officers that this type of behaviour is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. It also demonstrates how committed we are to tackling unprofessional behaviour which has no place at Bedfordshire Police. I’m sure officers across the force, and indeed the country, will share my disappointment at the actions of PCs Thomas and Pitts and the damaging impact it will have on confidence in policing.
“We are committed to rebuilding that trust and confidence and will continue to work hard with our communities in order to protect people and fight crime. We appreciate this has been a long process for all those involved but it was only right that every aspect of this case was thoroughly investigated and scrutinised in a transparent manner and I would like to thank people for their patience.”
Meanwhile, the Independent Police Complaints Commission Commissioner Mary Cunneen added: “This case illustrates the importance that police officers should be held to account for their actions. There is no place in policing for the shocking behaviour exhibited by these officers. The investigation highlights the continuing need for police to treat vulnerable people with the dignity and respect they deserve.”