Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Officer sacked after using “excessive force” at Grays police station

An Essex Police member of custody staff has been dismissed for use of excessive force.

Gross misconduct was substantiated against Catherine Renew, a civilian Detention Officer (DO), at an Essex Police hearing on Wednesday this week for her using excessive force, failing to treat a woman detainee with respect and dignity, and not providing appropriate care reports a newspaper.

DO Renew was working in the custody suite at Grays Police Station when the 36 year-old woman was brought in at approximately 11.20pm on Friday 11 June 2010. The woman was booked in by a custody sergeant and then taken into a separate room by DO Renew so she could change into different clothing. She was then taken into a cell.

When in the cell alone with the detainee, DO Renew took the woman to the floor with excessive force. As the woman lay apparently unresponsive on the floor DO Renew used derogatory language towards her and failed to provide appropriate care. Other officers then entered the cell, placed the woman in the recovery position and an ambulance was called to enable hospital treatment.

Essex Police referred the incident to the IPCC and it was decided an independent investigation would be carried out. The IPCC liaised with the Crown Prosecution Service following the investigation who decided to charge DO Renew with actual bodily harm. Catherine Renew was found not guilty at a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court in October last year.

The misconduct hearing held at Chelmsford on Wednesday was headed by an assistant chief constable from the force, and several Essex police officers and staff gave evidence.

IPCC Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne, said:

“The police have a duty of care to people in custody and they should be treated with decency and respect, which clearly did not happen in this case. Catherine Renew not only used excessive force on a distressed and vulnerable woman who posed no threat to her, but treated her with a disturbing disregard throughout by using derogatory language and showing little or no concern for her welfare.

“Our investigation was prompted by Essex Police who rightly referred the matter after viewing CCTV from the custody suite, and being concerned by what they saw. I commend Essex Police for the serious action they have taken on the back of our investigation in showing that conduct of this nature by custody staff will not be tolerated.”

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