DC Mohammed Hussain was dismissed with immediate effect following a gross misconduct hearing which found he had failed in his duty to properly investigate alleged breaches of a non-molestation order, as well as breaching standards of behaviour in respect of fairness, impartiality, respect and courtesy in how he had treated other victims.
This included failing to conduct thorough enquiries in relation to these cases, as well as making inappropriate comments to victims. DC Hussain, who was based at Luton Police Station, was found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour on four counts following a four-day hearing at King’s House in Bedford in December 2020.
The panel chairman’s findings are below:
We were satisfied that the level of culpability was high in this case. We found that DC Hussain’s actions were intentional, planned and targeted. We considered that the acts were targeted due to his perception of 'redacted'religious beliefs.
We were also satisfied that there was an element of breach of trust in this misconduct. DC Hussain had a specific responsibility as he was working in the Emerald team and 'redacted' had a high degree of reliance on him. He was her OIC and her main point of contact with the police. We are satisfied that she is a vulnerable person as a victim of domestic abuse. Her cultural differences, her ability to communicate in English and her experience as a victim of crime contributed to her vulnerability.
The panel was also satisfied that there was an element of discrimination by DC Hussain in his dealings with 'redacted'. He treated her differently on the basis of her religion or belief, we found.
We were satisfied that the types of harm that were applicable in this case were:
- The undermining of the public confidence in policing;
- The effect on 'redacted'- this amounted to likely psychological distress as she was not being listened to by DC Hussain at a time of great stress for her;
- The likelihood of harm occurring to 'redacted' and the gravity of that harm because of the risks created by DC Hussain’s behaviour in attempting to get 'redacted' to reconcile with her estranged husband.
We considered, having found gross misconduct, that the impact of the misconduct by DC Hussain would be substantial on the standing and reputation of the police force as a whole.
Regarding the witness 'redacted', the likely harm was in the undermining of public confidence in the police.
Taking care not to ‘double count’ factors, we considered that the following aggravating factors were present:
- DC Hussain’s behaviour was regular and repeated, albeit over a limited timespan;
- Such behaviour occurred after DC Hussain should have realised that it was likely to be harmful;
- There were multiple allegations and breaches of the Standards of Professional Behaviour proved.
We took into account a letter from the Deputy Chief Constable for Bedfordshire Police.
In terms of mitigation, the panel accepted that DC Hussain had suffered from bereavement following the death of his father earlier in 2019 and that he had not long returned to full time working.
We were not satisfied that he showed any meaningful remorse or insight or that he exhibited acceptance of his responsibility for the effect of his actions. He only made very limited concessions at the very end of his evidence.
We acknowledged that DC Hussain had no previous findings of misconduct and that he had produced testimonials which we took into account.
The panel reminded itself that its central concern, having regard to the principle of proportionality and weighing the interests of the public and DC Hussain, is the reputation or standing of the policing profession rather than the punishment of DC Hussain.
Accordingly, the panel came to the conclusion that – having found gross misconduct - DC Hussain’s behaviour could have caused serious harm to 'redacted' and caused harm to public confidence in the profession of policing and that only dismissal could be justified.
Dismissal without notice.
Following the case, Detective Chief Superintendent Dee Perkins, head of crime and public protection at the force, said: “Mohammed Hussain’s actions are totally against our policies and values. He tried to reflect his own misguided beliefs onto the people he should have been protecting. As a result, his position with the force was entirely untenable, and I hope this case reassures victims that we will not tolerate such behaviour.
“Those subjected to domestic abuse often have to overcome numerous physical and emotional barriers to speak to the police, and we have a duty to support them in every way possible through that journey.
“All of the victims let down by this officer have been engaged, supported and safeguarded by our Emerald officers, with thorough investigations carried out and positive action taken against the offenders.
“We understand how difficult it can be to report abuse, and so we want our message to be clear to those who need our help – please come forward to speak to us, we will believe you.”
Find out more information and advice about domestic abuse.
To report abuse you can call us on 101, or via our online reporting tool. Alternatively, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Always call 999 in an emergency.
Victims of domestic abuse can also contact Signpost for free and confidential support, whether the abuse has been reported to police or not. For further information or to get in contact visit The Signpost Hub (opens in a new window)