PC Steven Austin, who is based at Eastbourne, is to attend a Misconduct Hearing at Sussex Police Headquarters on 27 November to 1 December 2023 to answer allegations relating to breaches of the Standards of Professional Behaviour in respect of the following standards: Honesty and Integrity; Authority, Respect and Courtesy; Duties and Responsibilities.
It is alleged that PC Austin (a) Attended a private property while on duty for about one hour and thirty two minutes with no policing purpose; (b) Engaged in sexual relations with Female X there; and (c) Failed to respond to a Grade 1 call while at the property.
It is further alleged that the conduct of PC Austin, if proven, amounts to Gross Misconduct and is so serious as to justify dismissal.
Members of the media and public may attend subject to the following conditions:
- The taking of photographs and the use of film or sound recording equipment during the hearing, except for official use, is prohibited;
- Any accredited member of the media wishing to attend by the video conference link must give notice thereof to Sussex Police Professional Standards Department by 16.00 on the 20 November 2023;
- Any accredited member of the media attending the hearing by the video conference link or in person must produce valid identification if required to do so; and
- There may be parts of the hearing which are held in private session; if that is the case, any accredited member of the media or public attending the hearing will be asked to leave during the private session, and will be informed by the Hearings Officer when they can return.
The legally qualified chair has made an order prohibiting the publishing or broadcasting of witnesses bearing the cyphers PC A, PC B, Female X and Male Y. They shall be referred to by these cyphers in any report issued.
in respect of the proceedings the legally qualified chair also directs that no person shall write down, record, and/or otherwise transmit to or share with any person outside the hearing the true name of PC A, PC B, Female X and Male Y in accordance with Regulation 39(3)(b) and/or Regulation 39(3)(c) of the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2020.
The reason for such a direction is as follows:
It appears to the Legally Qualified Chair that this direction is necessary and proportionate pursuant to Regulation 39(3)(b) and/or Regulation 39(3)(c) of the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2020 for the welfare of the named witnesses.