Former West Midlands police officer sexually harassed female colleagues at HQ

A West Midlands Police officer who sexually harassed colleagues while working at its headquarters has been barred from returning to the role.

Former West Midlands police officer sexually harassed female colleagues at HQ

Former officer Mark McKitterick was said to have targeted female colleagues while working on an initial investigations team at its Lloyd House headquarters, in Colmore Circus, in Birmingham.

He has since resigned from the service and the force said he would have been sacked had he not already left, after a misconduct panel ruled he had breached professional standards.

The force said the women felt "shocked, embarrassed, upset and angry" by the his behaviour, which included inappropriate personal questions unwanted hugging and other physical contact during incidents dating to 2017. The matters came to light following a complaint in March 2020 and other women also made reports.

At a hearing on Tuesday an independent chairperson found the officer's behaviour amounted to gross misconduct. McKitterick was found to have breached professional standards of authority, respect and courtesy, equality and diversity and discreditable conduct.

The panel said: “We would add that we hope that this decision not only sends a clear message to all officers that such behaviour will not be tolerated, but also it encourages others to raise their concerns without any fears as to repercussions. And that the force considers ways in which support can be provided to victims to come forward and be protected.”

Although the officer resigned when the complaints were made, the misconduct process continued.

Superintendent Wendy Bailey, of the force's Professional Standards Department, said: “Former Pc McKitterick’s behaviour was completely unacceptable and has left colleagues understandably feeling really upset.

“Police officers have a right to be treated with respect and dignity by colleagues at all times and this officer fell well short of that on several occasions.

“We make it clear to all of our officers and staff that we expect the highest standards of professionalism and behaviour, whether in public or in the workplace, and unacceptable behaviour such as this will be dealt with swiftly.”

The former officer will now be placed on the barred list preventing him from working in policing anywhere.

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