Former police officer barred from profession after drunken night out

A former police officer has been barred from the profession after a drunken night out. Beth Hoey threatened and swore at colleagues when they refused to leave their posts and drive her home after a night of drinking, a misconduct hearing found.

Ms Hoey had been out in Leicester city centre on Friday, October 2023, Leicestershire Police said. At around 03:47 the next morning, she called her colleague, named only as Officer A, to express concern about a friend who had left in a taxi, the force added.

She asked Officer A to pick her up and take her home, the misconduct report said. When the officer refused, Ms Hoey requested she check on the friend at her home, but asked her twice not to make a record of this. Ms Hoey then messaged Officer A threatening to drive herself, despite being intoxicated, if she was not picked up.

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Leicestershire Police ruled it was “inappropriate” of Ms Hoey to ask Officer A to leave duty “for her personal benefit” and to try to persuade her to not follow proper policy, again “for her personal benefit”. The force added Ms Hoey’s threats to drink drive “placed inappropriate pressure on Officer A to do something she knew was inappropriate”.

Ms Hoey then called another colleague – Officer B – and claimed to have nearly been in a fight. Officer B contacted the friend Ms Hoey had said she was concerned about and confirmed she was safe. She said she would have to report the situation.

Ms Hoey then texted Officer B, calling her a “silly c***” and a “silly t***”. Leicestershire Police said this appeared to be in response to Officer B saying she would have to report Ms Hoey’s behaviour.

The police force said this was “inappropriate language to use against a colleague and was unjustified”. Ms Hoey claimed prior to the misconduct hearing, which she did not attend, that she would “usually communicate with Officer B in this manner”. The force said it could not find evidence this was true.

This was also not the first time Ms Hoey had behaved inappropriately towards colleagues on a night out. She was issued a final written warning in March last year following a similar incident in May 2022.

On that occasion, Pc Hoey was out in Worcester town centre in the early hours having been drinking heavily throughout the day and evening before. While coming to the end of their night, Pc Hoey approached two officers from West Mercia Police in her drunken state.

She appeared to have lost a friend with whom she had been drinking, referred to in the hearing as Witness A. Pc Hoey approached the officer and said: "Go and find [redacted]… I've f*****g lost her, she's p****d out of her face".

The hearing was told that when the West Mercia officer told Pc Hoey she was busy and walked away, Pc Hoey shouted: "Do your f*****g job. You're f*****g cops."

Pc Hoey later made a 999 call to the local force's control room, providing her collar number and reporting that her friends - referred to as Witness A and H - were missing. The panel heard that later in the call, she criticised the officers with whom she had interacted, swearing and claiming that they were "sat in a police van not doing anything".

She rang again 20 minutes later to inform the force that Witness A was safe and well. The panel on that occasion concluded that Pc Hoey breached standards of professional behaviour, namely, through discreditable conduct, "authority respect and courtesy" and honesty and integrity. However, it was considered that her behaviour was confined to a single, relatively short episode and the amount of alcohol the officer consumed led her to believe her friend was missing and at risk.

Pc Hoey accepted responsibility for her actions and showed "genuine remorse" for her behaviour, according to the panel, which also considered a number of positive character references. She was handed a Final Written Warning for a period of two years from March 23, 2023.

Speaking following the latest hearing, Chief Constable Rob Nixon said: “Former Pc Hoey failed to treat two of her colleagues with respect and courtesy and her actions fell way below the standards of professional behaviour expected. This would seriously undermine public confidence in policing, especially taking into account that a written warning has previously been issued in relation to a similar matter.

“I was therefore left with no other option but to determine that had former Pc Hoey still been a serving officer, she would have been dismissed without notice. I have also indicated that the former officer’s details are included in the Police Barred List.”