EXCLUSIVE: Top cops avoid the chop - chief insp keeps job after outburst in Chinese restaurant
A SENIOR Met Police officer has kept his job after a misconduct panel found him guilty of abusing his position and displaying violent behaviour in a Chinese restaurant.
Chief inspector Mark Williamson was in the Xian restaurant, North Finchley, in March 2019 tempers flared.
Mr Williamson was found by the panel to have "used physical force" against an unnamed employee and "caused staff and customers to apprehend the immediate use of unlawful violence." The misconduct panel heard claims that during the incident chief inspector Williamson was verbally abusive and asserted his position as a police officer while off-duty to gain advantage in altercations with staff and customers. The panel found the allegations to be true and that they were gross misconduct, according to brief details published by the Met about the case.
Mr Williamson is a key figure in the Met Police Transformation OCU, which is striving to make efficiencies across the force in the face of cuts to resources.
Although findings of gross misconduct often lead to officers being dismissed without notice, the panel chaired by Harry Ireland issued a final written warning instead.
A Met Police spokesman would not say if Mr Williamson had been arrested over the alleged assault or interviewed under caution, but confirmed that a file following a criminal investigation had been sent to the CPS.
SCENE: Xian in North Finchley where the incident happened (Google)
He said: "During the altercation it was alleged Chief Inspector Williamson was verbally abusive and abused his position as a police officer while off-duty to gain advantage in the ensuing dispute.
"There were no criminal proceedings as a result of the incident on March 23 2019. "The case was referred to CPS. but the evidence did not meet the evidential stage of the full code test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors."
The restaurant was contacted for comment, but no one responded. It is the second recent case where a top Met officer has kept his job after being found guilty of misconduct.
Chief Superintendent Robert Atkin MBE was found guilty of misconduct after failing to declare he was in a relationship with a WPC who he was mentoring while she was promoted within the force.
In October 2015, when Ch Supt Atkin (above) was involved with recruitment within the force, he was appointed as mentor to a constable who was a candidate for accelerated promotion. Between August 2017 and May 2018 the relationship became personal. It was alleged that during their personal relationship, Ch Supt Atkin abused his position to promote her professional development through postings and promotion opportunities and failed to make full disclosure of his relationship to line management. A Met Police spokesman said: "Having heard all the evidence, a panel, led by an independent legally qualified chair, concluded that it was proven in part that Ch Supt Atkin breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of authority, respect and courtesy, and this was at the level of misconduct. "The panel found he acted within his role as mentor and had not gained anything from promoting the officer’s professional development nor had a bad purpose in mind by doing so. He did fail to inform line managers of their relationship."
While assisting in the 2018 fast track promotion assessments, Ch Supt Atkin was sent confidential assessment papers and a list of candidates. It was alleged that he failed to disclose that the constable he was in a personal relationship with was on the list of candidates and failed to declare a conflict of interest. It was also alleged he showed her the assessment papers with the intention of providing her with an unfair advantage. The spokesman added: "The panel concluded that it was proven in part that Ch Supt Atkin breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of confidentiality and this was at the level of misconduct. "They found the female officer did see the papers but it was not proven that Ch Supt Atkin allowed that to happen nor that he was attempting to provide her with an unfair advantage. "They also did not find it proven that Ch Supt Atkin failed to declare a conflict of interest. It was accepted Ch Supt Atkin did not notify the College of Policing that the officer had seen the papers." The panel found a breach of the standards of professional behaviour in respect of honesty and integrity not proven in relation to the assessment papers as it was not proven Mr Atkin allowed the officer to see the papers nor that he was attempting to provide her with an unfair advantage. The panel considered Ch Supt Atkin made unwise decisions and showed poor judgement rather than displaying deliberate wrong-doing and therefore the breaches proven were at the level of misconduct and not gross misconduct, so he was given "management advice". Mr Atkins, who has been with the force more than 26 years, was in charge of the Met's biggest ever recruitment drive before he became south east borough commander in May. He had been on restricted duties since June 2018 when the allegations surfaced.