Off-duty police officer who urinated in changing rooms guilty of gross misconduct

A close-up of the word Police, and the decals and Metropolitan Police design on the side of a police car on the street in London.
A police officer has been found guilty of gross misconduct. (Getty)

A police officer who urinated in a clothes shop fitting room while drunk off-duty has kept her job after a disciplinary panel found her guilty of gross misconduct.

PC Amelia Shearer relieved herself in the York branch of Urban Outfitters in September last year.

The “excellent” new police officer from Cleveland Police wept as the panel gave their judgment on Wednesday.

The panel was adjourned and considered whether she should lose her job, following submissions on her behalf and from her force.

The retailer paid £492 to have the cubicle professionally cleaned and the store’s nine fitting rooms had to be closed afterwards, a disciplinary hearing at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium was told.

PC Shearer denied allegations she urinated in the store and lied to her boss afterwards, claiming she had entered the changing room to adjust her bra.

However, she did not tell her superior, Inspector Christian Duree, that information when she spoke to him the next day on the phone.

PC Shearer explained that she only gave him an “abridged version” of events, but the force accused her of lying to him and in subsequent interviews.

Urban Outfitters in York paid £492 to have the changing rooms professionally cleaned after the incident. (Google)

The panel’s legally qualified chair, Ogheneruona Iguyovwe said the allegations of discreditable conduct and breaches of honesty and integrity against the officer were proven.

Ms Iguyovwe said: “Police officers are expected to maintain high standards of behaviour.

“They have to ask themselves if their actions might result in a member of the public losing confidence in the policing profession.

“Officers are required to act with integrity and honesty at all times.”

The panel was told she had gone to the city with a friend and they had a “bottomless brunch” at Vodka Revolution, shared a bottle of prosecco between them and consumed three cocktails in 90 minutes, as well as eating a breakfast pizza.

They went to another bar where they had nachos and she drank a Jack Daniels and coke before going to Urban Outfitters.

PC Shearer was alleged to have asked if the store had toilets before going into a cubicle and urinating.

The officer, who studied a Masters in criminal investigations before achieving her childhood dream of joining the force, denied that, telling the hearing she would not expect such a shop to have public conveniences.

The Middlesbrough-based PC told the panel she was drunk in the shop, and described her and friend as “loud and giggly”.

She denied urinating, and said: “I haven’t done that, I went to the changing room to resolve an issue with my underwear.”

Less than an hour after being asked to leave the store, she said she was questioned in a nearby street by a North Yorkshire police officer.

PC Shearer told the hearing: “I was mortified that the allegation had been made and it was trying to be resolved in a busy street where there was people walking past.”

Olivia Checa-Dover, for the force, told the panel the evidence against the officer was “overwhelmingly strong”, and the two members of staff who gave evidence were telling the truth.

Joan Smith, for the defendant, said she had consistently denied urinating.

Ms Smith told the panel: “The only person that can give you credible, sincere evidence on what was going on in that changing room is PC Shearer.”

Earlier, the officer wept as Inspector Duree praised her performance as a probationer.

He told the hearing: “From my experience as a police officer she has been absolutely spot-on, an excellent officer.

“She deals with members of the public exceptionally well.

“Her performance as a probationer was excellent.”