A Metropolitan Police officer was “well over the limit” when he drove his car into the kerb. PC Antony Hopkins had been in the Met for 29 years when he got behind the wheel of a vehicle while drunk. He was seen acting “unsteady” by members of the public.
In December, PC Hopkins pleaded guilty to drink driving at Stevenage Magistrates Court and was disqualified from driving for two years. Following this, he retired from the Met on January 7 this year.
Last Thursday (March 10), a misconduct hearing looked into his conduct and found he had committed gross misconduct. The hearing was told that confidence in policing among was likely to have been undermined for the witnesses who were present on the evening of his crash.
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Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball said: “His collision and unsteady behaviour were witnessed and recognised as being drink-related. This will have undermined the dignity of his office, causing serious harm to the reputation of the profession as a whole.”
His representative at the hearing said Hopkins apologised and explained he was very disappointed in himself and accepted the seriousness of his behaviour. PC Hopkins served in the Met Central Command Complex and Ms Ball noted the range of important and psychologically taxing investigations he has played a part in.
PC Hopkins was also recognised for his “dedicated work” in the Victim Identification Team. Ms Ball added: “However, his local unit commander would not wish to retain him at the unit if I were to make a different decision today and he were to return to policing. His service record, therefore, does not mitigate the gravity of his breach.”
“In behaving in the way he did, as I have described above, and in being convicted of a criminal offence in respect of that behaviour, former PC Hopkins has discredited himself and the Metropolitan Police Service. This was grave misconduct that undermines public confidence in policing as well as our reputation. The public could not have confidence in former PC Hopkins to protect them if he puts them in danger in such a way.”
She concluded that had he not already retired from the Met, he would have been fired. She said: “Nothing less than dismissal, were former PC Hopkins still serving, would fulfil the purpose of the police misconduct regime.”
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