Police officers quit after 'shocking' conversation accidentally recorded on bodycam

North Wales Police HQ in Colwyn Bay
North Wales Police HQ in Colwyn Bay -Credit:Hadyn Iball

Two North Wales Police officers have quit the force after their “cruel and shocking” conversation was caught on a bodycam which one of them had failed to turn off. An accelerated misconduct hearing at Colwyn Bay, conducted by North Wales chief constable Amanda Blakeman, ruled that constables Terrence Flanagan and Iwan Williams were guilty of gross misconduct.

The “discriminatory, misogynistic and sexualised” conversation took place within a police vehicle last November after the pair had been to a domestic incident. The former officers, who didn’t attend the hearing, were accused of speaking in a discriminatory manner during a video which lasted 26 minutes.

They would have been sacked if they hadn’t already resigned, the chief constable decided. The Police Federation said they accepted misconduct but not gross misconduct and they had both been under stress.

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The PCs landed in trouble when their chat was discovered during a review of an investigation. Full details weren’t outlined in public.

It was claimed against them: ”On 12th November 2023 both officers attended at an incident during their duties and after leaving the scene participated in conversations which were disparaging towards the members of public involved, including misogynistic comments regarding members of the public and their own colleagues.” The chief constable said the conversation was unacceptable and they made “cruel, shocking and offensive” comments.

She declared: ”Violence against women and girls will not be tolerated here. Behaviour that amounts to misogynist or discriminatory behaviour will not be tolerated, and dealt with appropriately.”

Former PC Williams was said to be “ashamed and embarrassed” and thought he was having a private chat. Ex-PC Flanagan “deeply regrets” what he said, the hearing was told.

The chief constable said: “I am cognisant of how their conduct would be perceived by the public if they were to hear the conversation. Most of the public would feel, as I do, that the conversation was unacceptable on any level and certainly not the conduct they would expect of police officers.

“I would describe the comments as cruel, shocking and offensive. The public have an absolute entitlement to expect North Wales police officers and staff to be operating at the highest possible standard of professional behaviour.

“The fact this conversation took place out of view of the public doesn’t detract from the impact and the harm it has the potential to cause.” The conversation was ongoing throughout the recording.

“This in an aggravating factor. Comments were repeated,” she declared. The police chief stated: ”The officers’ apologies are welcome and I note their previous unblemished careers.”

But she added: ”Those officers and staff who behave in this way can expect the most serious sanction.”

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