Police are considering “legal options” after a new officer was not immediately fired despite urinating in a York shop fitting room while drunk off-duty and then lying about it.
PC Amelia Shearer was found guilty at a disciplinary hearing of gross misconduct following the incident at Urban Outfitters in High Ousegate, but the panel stopped short of ruling she should be sacked.
The 24-year-old was instead given a final written warning lasting for five years, which the panel’s legally qualified chair, Ogheneruona Iguyovwe, said was a serious sanction.
But Chief Constable Mark Webster of Cleveland Police, which PC Shearer joined as a junior in 2019, said her actions were “incompatible” with his expectations of those who serve in the force.
The police chief said he was “concerned” about the outcome of the hearing and “legal options” were being considered over the case.
He said: “Officers must adhere to the highest standards of behaviour and exemplify our values, whether on or off duty.
“The actions of this officer are incompatible with my expectations for those who serve in Cleveland and out of keeping with their role, which other officers uphold with pride and integrity.
“Cleveland Police’s Department of Standards and Ethics prepare evidence for misconduct hearings. Evidence is heard and a determination made by a panel chaired by an independent Legally Qualified Chair (LQC).
“The misconduct process is in place to protect our standards and ensure public confidence in policing so we are concerned by the outcome determined at yesterday’s hearing. We are now considering the legal options available to us.”
The disciplinary hearing heard how PC Shearer had a bottomless brunch at a York bar, downing half a bottle of Prosecco and three cocktails, before having a Jack Daniels and Coke at another venue.
A member of staff gave evidence to say PC Shearer asked if the store had toilets, was told “no”, but immediately went into a cubicle without any clothes to try on.
The employee radioed for his manager and when the officer came out, they saw a pool of what smelled like urine on the floor.