The boundaries between professional and personal life should be made clear in the workplace, disallowing unprofessional behaviour at work and ensuring those who display gross misconduct are reprimanded.
A tribunal hearing has revealed that a senior police officer, David Borrie, pressured an “extremely vulnerable” female employee to perform sex acts on him.
However, Borrie was not dismissed, and received only a quiet word from his Chief Constable, Mike Craik, at Northumbria Police who told him “don’t apply for promotion,” allowing him to keep his pension.
Disclosed files showed that Borrie, 57, of the Police’s Department of Professional Standards, allegedly groped the vulnerable employee in the office.
On a separate occasion, he took her to the pub for an afternoon drink where he pressured her into giving him oral sex.
An internal investigation led by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) ruled that Borrie should receive a formal warning.
Damaging the respectability, trust and ethical understanding associated with the police force, the mishandling of these allegations show gross misconduct from both the employee and manager, where issues were not solved in accordance with the law.
It was exposed by Denise Aubrey, former Head of Legal Services at the force, 54, who was fired after supposedly revealing information about the affairs – which she denies.
According to The Telegraph, Aubrey, during the hearing in North Shields, North Tyneside, said: “Superintendent Borrie, a high ranking officer in the Professional Standards Department (PSD) pursued a junior civilian staff member. He was 44, she was in her twenties and she was extremely vulnerable.”
It’s not the first scandal at the Northumbria Police department to come to light, with Craik also being accused of covering up allegations of an affair with another high ranking officer.
Aubrey accused her former bosses of “unfair dismissal following a protected disclosure, sex discrimination, disability discrimination, victimisation and harassment”.
Her allegations revealed officers were: “having an inappropriate relationship with a female suspect on bail and whose charges were later dropped,” and also “numerous failures involving the seizure and handling of firearms, failing to investigate arson and fraud, misleading other officers about the investigations and disclosing police information to criminals.”
How personal should an employee's professional life be? And what steps should be taken if these lines become blurred? Tell us in the comments...