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Chief Superintendent given management advice after relationship became personal

Screenshot 2020 08 03 at 16.50.28
Screenshot 2020 08 03 at 16.50.28

A Chief Superintendent has been given management advice after misconduct was proven against him.

Ch Supt Rob Atkin MBE, commander for the South East, attended a misconduct hearing to answer allegations that his conduct amounted to a breach of the standards of professional behaviour in respect of authority, respect and courtesy, honesty and integrity and confidentiality. 

In October 2015, Ch Supt Atkin 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.

Having heard all the evidence, on Friday, 31 July, 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 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 Ch Supt 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.