Head of professional standards department 'meddled in sex scandals'

Head of professional standards department 'meddled in sex scandals'

06/23/2021

Head of police force’s professional standards department meddled in two sex scandal allegations to protect her friends, disciplinary panel hears

  • Superintendent Bev Gill is accused of tipping of her friend Simon Hurwood  
  • Officer also accused of unnecessarily getting involved in another investigation 
  • Her barrister said that she ‘strongly contests the whole premise of allegations’

The head of a police force’s professional standards department who is facing a gross misconduct charge meddled in two investigations involving friends, a disciplinary panel was told.

Superintendent Bev Gill, of Cleveland Police, is accused of tipping off her friend Detective Inspector Simon Hurwood about allegations of a sexual nature against him.

The officer, who has 25 years’ experience, is also accused of unnecessarily getting involved in an investigation about a senior officer who lied about injuries he suffered at the hands of a love rival.

Her barrister Hugh Davies QC told the hearing at Middlesbrough FC’s stadium that she ‘strongly contests the whole premise of the allegations’.

Superintendent Bev Gill (pictured outside the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough today), of Cleveland Police, is accused of tipping off her friend Detective Inspector Simon Hurwood about allegations of a sexual nature against him

The officer faces allegations from her time as deputy then substantive head of the Professional Standards Department, up to six years ago, when she was a Chief Inspector.

Outlining the case, Stephen Morley, representing the force, said the Independent Office for Police Conduct had investigated her conduct following the revelations about Mr Hurwood.

Mr Morley said concerns were raised about Mr Hurwood with professional standards about his interaction with women.

It was alleged an officer in the department had a conversation with Ms Gill about Mr Hurwood’s behaviour towards a particular woman.

Mr Morley said what happened was a matter of dispute, but the allegation was she failed in her duties and did not act appropriately in taking action using the information she received.

The officer, who has 25 years’ experience, is also accused of unnecessarily getting involved in an investigation about a senior officer who lied about injuries he suffered at the hands of a love rival

He said Ms Gill then ‘did the wrong thing’ by tipping Mr Hurwood off about the concerns that had been voiced about his behaviour.

Mr Morley said: ‘As a result of Chief Inspector Gill speaking to Detective Inspector Hurwood, he then took steps to speak to the person that had spoken to Chief Inspector Gill and effectively threaten her.

‘It was a veiled threat for her to keep her nose out of his business, I suppose.’

Mr Morley said Mr Hurwood was arrested in 2018 and resigned ahead of a disciplinary hearing regarding his behaviour towards 21 women.

Ms Gill failed to act on information, then breached the confidence of that person by tipping off Mr Hurwood, the barrister said.

The officer faces allegations from her time as deputy then substantive head of the Professional Standards Department, up to six years ago, when she was a Chief Inspector

‘The reason she did that was because they were friends,’ he said.

About the love rival’s fight, Mr Morley said a Chief Inspector was ‘seriously assaulted’ by the husband of a female officer when he suspected the officer was having an affair with his wife.

Mr Morley said the woman involved was a friend of Ms Gill.

The Chief Inspector who was beaten up then lied, saying he was injured in a cycling accident, and was dismissed, but later got his job back.

Mr Morley said Ms Gill got involved, adding: ‘She meddled in the investigation.

‘She shouldn’t have done so and the reason was to help a friend.’

Mr Morley applied to the disciplinary panel to grant an adjournment to allow them more time to prepare the case, after new information from an upcoming employment tribunal came to light.

Mr Davies, for Ms Gill, said she opposed the application to adjourn, which could lead to a further delay of up to a year.

The panel will decide whether to grant the application later.

The hearing continues.   

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