Final warning for Lincolnshire police sergeant who admitted gross misconduct

A Lincolnshire police sergeant who used unnecessary force to detain a woman has been given a final written warning.

Sergeant Philippa Rowson admitted a charge of gross misconduct after CCTV showed her taking hold of Samantha Taylor and then pushing her against a wall inside Skegness Police Station.

A misconduct hearing at Lincolnshire Police headquarters on July 13 heard Miss Taylor was then taken to the floor by the officer.

Sergeant Rowson also admitted a second charge of misconduct after she failed to adequately record her reason for the use of force on Miss Taylor.

The hearing was told Miss Taylor had been handcuffed and brought in to the station by two other officers after being arrested in Skegness.

Miss Taylor was taken to the custody desk manned by Sergeant Rowson where there was a verbal exchange between them.

CCTV then showed Sergeant Rowson walking out from behind the desk and approaching Miss Taylor.

Matthew Greene, representing Lincolnshire Police, said while Miss Taylor was being verbally unpleasant there was no obvious sign of her using physical force or launching an attack.

Mr Greene said CCTV showed Sergeant Rowson then taking hold of Miss Taylor and pushing her against a wall. She was then held against the wall for over a minute before being taken to the floor by Sergeant Rowson.

Miss Taylor was not injured but wrote a letter of complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission following her release from custody.

The officer was the subject of a criminal investigation but no charges were brought after the incident was reviewed by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Mr Greene told the hearing Sergeant Rowson had lost her self control with a detainee and used force that was not necessary.

The hearing was told Miss Taylor had been spoken to and did not want Sergeant Rowson to lose her job.

Alistair Williamson, representing Sergeant Rowson, admitted the CCTV was shocking but asked for the officer’s 26 years of outstanding service to be taken in to consideration.

Mr Williamson added that Miss Taylor was not injured and the techniques used were appropriate in other circumstances.

The three person misconduct panel, headed by chairman Jayne Salt, found that Sergeant Rowson did not grab Miss Taylor around her windpipe but had used unreasonable, unnecessary and disproportionate force.

They also found Sergeant Rowson had failed to treat Miss Taylor with respect and courtesy and said it was right that she raised her concerns.

The panel concluded: “We consider a final written warning is a sufficient deterrent.”