HC Deb 15 June 1999 vol 333 cc100-1W
Mr. Sanders

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish his reasons for overturning the Devon and Cornwall Chief Constable's decision to dismiss police officers Wayne Burns and Andy May. [86412]

Mr. Straw

[holding answer 11 June 1999]Wayne Burns and Andy May appealed to me against decisions by the Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall in January 1998 to find them guilty of disciplinary offences and dismiss them from the force. I appointed an independent tribunal to consider the appeal and to make recommendations to me. The tribunal reheard the evidence and unanimously recommended that the appeals should be allowed.

I considered all the facts of the case, the points raised in the grounds of appeal and the Chief Constable's response, together with the report of the tribunal. I decided to accept the tribunal's reasons and their recommendation to allow the appeals. The reason for my decision was that I was not satisfied that the charges had been proved to the criminal standard of proof which was the standard required at the relevant time. The standard of proof required in police discipline proceedings has now been lowered from the criminal standard to the civil standard but only in respect of alleged police misconduct occurring after 1 April 1999.

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