Policeman who made social media threat allowed to keep job
PUBLISHED: 17:30 05 July 2017
A police officer who made ‘offensive and threatening’ comments on social media has received a final written warning by a misconduct panel.
PC Simon Jewell, who has worked for Avon and Somerset Constabulary for 17 years and was stationed in Weston-super-Mare, made the ‘inappropriate’ comments on Facebook in December.
On one occasion, he posted a threatening message on a picture of a man alongside his wife, who he had separated from.
He said: “If he touches my wife anymore I will rip his f****** face apart.”
The misconduct panel said the Facebook entry was ‘highly inappropriate, offensive and threatening’, but it was acknowledged it was written when PC Jewell was in a highly emotional state because of the breakdown of his marriage.
PC Jewell did, however, share a further Facebook post which suggested anyone offended by the poppy on Remembrance Day should leave the country.
The panel said: “In the past, PC Jewell had been advised about the use of Facebook and so was undoubtedly aware of the care he should have taken when posting entries on it.”
In January, he threatened a man, who was wanted on a warrant, at North Somerset Courthouse in St Georges when the man said he had to leave for work.
The panel found although ‘on the balance of probabilities’ PC Jewell had said the words, they had not been intended as a threat.
The panel said: “The behaviour spans a significant period of time and related to words said while on duty and behaviour off duty, which had the potential to fundamentally undermine public confidence in the police force.”
It agreed the misconduct was ‘sufficiently serious’ to justify dismissing PC Jewell from the force.
However, the panel said: “On balance, we have decided there is the potential for PC Jewell to be managed within the force and to address his fundamental failings.
“We do not feel his behaviour, serious though it was, excludes the possibility he will change but we are also mindful the public interest should include retaining an officer, capable of learning from his mistakes, if it is possible to do so.”