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Police chief defends force after second officer is convicted

PUBLISHED: 17:19 10 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:35 12 August 2010

A POLICE commander has defended his officers after a second cop in 18 months was convicted for misconduct on his watch.

A POLICE commander has defended his officers after a second cop in 18 months was convicted for misconduct on his watch.

Borough Commander Charles Griggs insisted that misconduct in the police was "not a Bromley issue" and said that he was still the right person to lead the force.

One of his new officers, James Formby, was convicted for misconduct in a public office after he had sex with a woman who had called 999 alleging domestic violence.

His conviction comes just over 18 months after Bromley police officer Malcolm Searles was jailed for six-and-a-half years last October for killing Sandy Simpson as he sped in a patrol car in Homesdale Road, Bromley Common.

Mr Griggs admitted that he had "never encountered" officers like Searles and Formby in his 31 years in the police service.

He added: "I was horrified by the driver behaviour of Malcolm Searles.

"I don't think a single officer here was not disgusted by what had happened, and I thought he should face the consequences.

"Formby was recently transferred from another force with 10 years' service. I can't believe he behaved like that here without it happening elsewhere.

"He may have tried it on somewhere else and got away with it but he tried it on in Bromley and he didn't get away with it."

But Mr Griggs insisted that no change in management at the police station was necessary, adding: "It is not a Bromley issue. We maintain high standards of conduct and we take great pride

in the high standards of behaviour.

"When officers don't meet those, we do something about it.

"We need to learn as to why this happened - what put Malcolm Searles in the position that he thought driving like that was acceptable and why Formby did what he did.

"We are absolutely horrified at Formby's conduct and he will never work as a police officer again."

Formby, 31, narrowly escaped jail last Thursday when he was handed a 20-week prison sentence suspended for two years after he admitted a single count of misconduct in a public office.

Southwark Crown Court heard he had sex with a victim of domestic abuse at her home after he and colleagues responded to her emergency call.

An atmosphere of "sexual tension" developed between the pair as she described how she had been attacked by her boyfriend, a male stripper.

It led to her performing a sex act on him in her bedroom last September.

Formby admitted a single count of misconduct in a public office.

He was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,000 in prosecution and defence costs.

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said: "Your duty as a police officer was to treat her professionally.

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