London police officer sacked for trying to use warrant card to get a hug from lone jogger
A London police officer has been sacked for using his warrant card to try and get a hug from a lone female jogger who he said “looked too curvy to be Asian”.
PC Imran Aftab was originally given a written warning for abusing his position for a sexual purpose, but the British Transport Police (BTP) successfully overturned the decision and he has now been dismissed from the force.
In April 2020 Aftab parked his car while off duty and approached a woman who was out jogging, before using his warrant card to try and talk to her.
He told the woman she “looked too curvy to be Asian” and before leaving, Aftab asked the woman for a hug, an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) hearing in 2021 heard.
The panel were also shown evidence of a text the woman had sent to her friend at the time of the incident saying “help me”.
Following an investigation by BTP’s Professional Standards Department and the IOPC, Aftab appeared at the public misconduct hearing in May 2021 where an independent panel found him guilty of gross misconduct.
They decided that he would be given a final written warning rather than dismissed from his job.
But BTP disagreed with this decision and immediately challenged the sanction in the High Court.
Following a Judicial Review Hearing, the judge on issued his written judgement on Friday. He ruled that the decision of the panel was irrational and would be overturned.
Aftab is now formally dismissed from the force.
He tried to claim to the High Court that he was a “victim of the times we are now living in today” but the judge ruled that that there “could only be one rational and reasonable disciplinary outcome” from his behaviour and that BTP were “correct to observe that these proceedings capture a real and present national concern about male police officers’ conduct towards lone women.”
The judge stated it was his “own choice to approach a lone female and indulge in prejudiced racial stereotyping and sexualised language, amongst other troubling features of his conduct, which have been the undoing of his police career.”
Chief Constable Lucy D’Orsi said on Friday: “There is no place for anyone like Imran Aftab in policing.
“Using a warrant card to influence a lone woman for an officer’s sexual gain is a total abuse of police powers and so seriously undermines public confidence that it is destructive to the very fabric of policing by consent.
“It is completely unforgivable that any woman should feel so intimidated by the actions of a police officer that she feels compelled to text her friend for help.
“This is why we were so determined to ensure he doesn’t work another day as police officer, and I am pleased that the judge agreed with our challenge today.”