Jaswant Singh ordered back-up to “take their time” while colleagues made urgent calls for help
26 NOVEMBER 2015 | BY NICK MCCARTHY FOR BIRMINGHAM MAIL
A West Midlands Police misconduct panel, sitting in Birmingham, sacked Mr Singh without notice after ruling that the officer of 24 years service had breached professional standards by failing in his duties on the night.
Following the incident, after two meetings with a chief inspector to discuss what happened , the panel also ruled that the inspector lied to the senior officer about the incident.
In summing up the decision of the panel the Chairman, Assistant Chief Constable Carl Foulkes, said: “The panel is satisfied he (Singh) deliberately lied to cover up his own failings on the night, and in doing so impugned the reputation of his colleagues.
“His actions fell well sort of what could reasonably expected of an officer of his rank and experience.”
The panel said it found the inspector’s account of what happened “implausible” and said the accounts of officers grappling with drunken revellers who made the back-up call, were “entirely credible” on the central issues.
Mr Singh was the duty inspector for Dudley when the trouble broke out at the pizzeria just before 2.30am on Sunday February 23.
The hearing was told that Sgt Mark Butler, at Olivio’s, said in a radio message: “I need officers down on the High Street, like yesterday, please.”
Asked where he was by Inspector Singh, he replied: “Straight to Olivio’s, it’s going off like a bottle of pop in here.”
Just minutes later, the inspector radioed back saying: “Yeah, I’m here now, things have calmed down so people can slow down, but still make, over.”
This prompted the sergeant to query: “Gaffer, have you just said people can slow down?”
He quickly added: “That’s a negative boss. I need them here and I need them now.”
At the time, Sgt Butler told the panel that he and a colleague were in the eatery in a “very challenging” scene trying to split two groups of “heavy and muscular” men on the verge of fighting each other.
Moments earlier, two “grappling” men had already been ejected from the pizza parlour by another officer, who was still tied up outside dealing with the pair.
The panel ruled that Mr Singh was in no position to assess the situation on the ground at the time, when he made the call for other responding units to slow down.
He had insisted he was inside the late-night pizza parlour alongside fellow officers, and was able to carry out a proper risk assessment of the situation.
But colleagues said he stayed outside on t he busy High Street throughout the fracas .
The action was brought against the officer after Pc Bird, who was at the incident with Sgt Butler, filled out a “near-miss report” about what happened, dealing with health and safety issues.
The panel heard that Dudley-based inspector, who was just over five years away from retirement, had previously worked in Birmingham West and Central and in South Birmingham and had received a number of awards, including five Chief Superintendant commendations, one of which was for bravery.
Panel chairman assistant chief constable Carl Foulkes, added: “On his account, Inspector Singh would have been first (into Olivio’s), he would have stood out with his fluorescent jacket on, and making his way to the back, pushing past police sergeant Butler. The panel find Inspector Singh’s account implausible.
“And the panel also finds implausible that in 14 seconds Inspector Singh is able to make his way from near to Chicago’s to Olivio’s through a rammed area to the rear of the restaurant, risk-assess the situation and transmit the call to slow down.”
Mr Foulkes said allowing the dad-of-two to keep his job “would undermine the trust junior officers have in senior officers and undermine confidence the public have in West Midlands Police”.
Mr Singh has a right to appeal the panel’s decision.