Ian Tomlinson manslaughter trial: Watchdog has ‘grave concerns’ about vetting procedures of Met
The police watchdog has raised “grave concerns” about the Metropolitan Police’s vetting procedures after details of PC Simon Harwood’s disciplinary record were published.
Mr Harwood was due to face internal proceedings in 2001 after being accused of unlawful arrest, abuse of authority and discreditable conduct, but these were discontinued when he retired on medical grounds.
He was accused of shouting at another driver and knocking him over his car door, and then announcing he was an officer and arresting the motorist on a common assault charge.
After retiring as a police officer from the Met, Mr Harwood rejoined it as a civilian worker and then became a police officer for Surrey. He was later allowed to rejoin the Met in 2004 as part of its Territorial Support Group (TSG), specialising in public order.
Deborah Glass, deputy chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), said: “The circumstances of PC Harwood’s return to the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) in 2004 raised grave concerns about MPS vetting procedures.
“It is alarming when police officers who have avoided disciplinary proceedings by resigning or retiring are able to come back. We recommended that the MPS tighten their procedures in this area.”
The IPCC will now look again at the evidence given by other officers at the scene when Mr Harwood pushed and hit Ian Tomlinson, she said.
Mr Harwood is now expected to face internal disciplinary proceedings.
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