'Robocop' faces disciplinary charges after investigation into misconduct

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The detective who pioneered zero-tolerance policing in England was fighting for his career yesterday after being charged with 14 disciplinary offences alleging mismanagement and neglect of duty.

The detective who pioneered zero-tolerance policing in England was fighting for his career yesterday after being charged with 14 disciplinary offences alleging mismanagement and neglect of duty.

Detective Superintendent Ray Mallon, of Cleveland Police, now faces a hearing in front of a chief constable from outside his own force. He is likely to be dismissed if the allegations are proved "beyond reasonable doubt".

The disciplinary charges follow the long-running £5m inquiry, Operation Lancet, into alleged malpractice at Middlesbrough CID, where Det Supt Mallon was in charge. The Police Complaints Authority yesterday agreed with the investigation's findings that the senior officer, whose tough stance on crime earned him the nickname "Robocop", was guilty of misconduct.

He faces nine charges of alleged neglect of duty, three of alleged falsehood or prevarication, one of alleged discreditable conduct and one of alleged misconduct towards a member of the police force.

The charges relate to allegations that the senior officer failed to manage his staff at the CID, some of whom were accused of offering drugs in exchange for information.

Five other minor allegations against the officer have been substantiated by the police inquiry and the PCA. These include misconduct towards a member of a police force, improper disclosures to the media and disobedience. The recommended punishment for these is "strong advice". The PCA said five further allegations had not been rejected and one remained to be finalised.

Det Supt Mallon, 45, who has been suspended since December 1997, strongly denied yesterday he was guilty of any wrong-doing. He insisted he would be acquitted and "walk back into the police service", and said he "never ever disclosed anything that I shouldn't have disclosed to the media".

He added: "I absolutely deny that. As far as disobeying orders, I am not prepared to obey unlawful orders and I was given certain unlawful orders bycertain officers in Cleveland Police. I have absolutely no regret in not obeying those orders and I would do exactly the same again.

"The PCA and Cleveland Police have to justify an investigation that has cost the taxpayer over £5m. They are my accusers, my enemy.

"I don't believe I should have been charged with anything. When I look at the charges, none of them are particularly serious."

In June, the Crown Prosecution Service found no grounds to charge Det Supt Mallon with any criminal offences arising from Operation Lancet.

The PCA is now awaiting recommendations from Cleveland Police concerning other officers whose conduct has also been investigated.

Ian Bynoe, a member of the PCA, said: "We are not scraping the barrel. This is the first, perhaps, of many charges. This is the start of the process."

Comments