A married police inspector has been sacked after asking a female colleague to get him a drink from the bar ‘so he could stare at her a***’ and telling another ‘I could be your dad because I f***** your mum’.
Benjamin Meakin, 46, was removed from his role at St Mary’s Wharf police station, Derbyshire Constabulary, after a panel found him guilty of gross misconduct.
The panel, headed by solicitor David Tyme, heard numerous sexual misconduct allegations against the father-of-three before making its decision.
Mr Meakin was also found to have touched a female colleague’s knee, put his hand on her bottom and touched her thigh underneath her skirt during a work night out at a Derby pub in 2013.
It was also alleged that he told female colleagues he had a ‘free house’ during a work night out in July 2018.
Explaining the decision to sack Mr Meakin, solicitor Mr Tyme said the panel concluded that his conduct ‘would harm public confidence’ in the police.
‘The panel concluded that Meakin’s conduct in relation to proven allegations was deliberate and targeted,’ he said, speaking outside Ripley police station.
‘He should have been aware that such conduct was improper. The conduct was sexual in nature and intent.’
He added that Meakin is ‘genuinely thought of as a good inspector’ but said the panel concluded that his actions ‘amount to gross misconduct’.
Following the decision, Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Swann said in a statement: ‘We expect our officers to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times and treat their colleagues and the public with respect.
‘This officer failed to meet these expectations and has been dismissed after a gross misconduct panel found his actions amounted to a breach of the standards of professional behaviour.
‘The public has a right to expect the highest standards of conduct and integrity from those delivering their policing services and the force will take appropriate action as necessary to uphold those standards.’
Prosecutor Stephen Morely had urged the panel to dismiss Mr Meakin saying his ‘immediate dismissal’ is the ‘only outcome in this case due to the number of people involved, his rank, and the time over which his behaviour continued’.
But Mr Meakin’s defence team argued against immediate dismissal, urging that he should receive a final written warning.
Defence Richard Littler QC told the chair: ‘The manner of the evidence was that many officers thought that he was a good officer and they did not have a bad word to say against him.
‘They do not describe him as a predator.
‘How on earth has this conduct been allowed to go on for 10 years? The reason is that it was thought that it was not a problem at all.
‘The public would not be protected by getting rid of this excellent officer. Let him keep his job. A job that he has loved for 22 years.’
Mr Littler also said that Mr Meakin’s ‘touchy-feely’ behaviour was learnt from the police force itself.
He said: ‘It was quite clear that he was not the only one doing it. Most of this conduct is happening up and down the country in most offices.’
DI Meakin joined Derbyshire Constabulary in July 1996. He spent 10 years as a police officer before being promoted to Sergeant. He was then promoted to Inspector in summer 2017.
He was a key part of Operation Vigilance, Derbyshire police’s drive to combat house break-ins and street crime.