20 July 2024

Former Wiltshire Police officer “subjected junior female colleagues to inappropriate sexual behaviour and comments whilst on duty”

A public hearing has concluded that six allegations of gross misconduct against a former Wiltshire Police officer have been proven.

The hearing yesterday (4th November 2021) considered allegations against retired Detective Sergeant Glenn Atkinson relating to inappropriate sexualised comments and behaviour towards female police colleagues while at work.

It was chaired by an independent Legally Qualified Chair and concluded that all six allegations were proven.

Det Sgt Atkinson, who declined to attend the hearing, has retired from the Force under his rights afforded by Police regulations, but if that were not the case then he would have been instantly dismissed.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said: “Wiltshire Police and the public expect the very highest level of professionalism from everyone who serves within the policing.

“As both a Police Officer and supervisor Det Sgt Atkinson betrayed the trust invested in him and subjected junior female colleagues to inappropriate sexual behaviour and comments whilst on duty.

“I want to thank the women, who were subjected to the wholly unacceptable actions of this former officer, for their professionalism and moral courage in reporting these matters so the appropriate action could be taken.

“The allegations against him were heard by an independent hearing, who concluded on six counts, the behaviour alleged against him amounted to proven gross misconduct.

“Under police regulations Detective Sergeant Atkinson exercised his right to retire prior to the hearing, however if he had of been serving he would have been dismissed without notice. He will now go onto the national barred list, which will stop him working in policing again.

“Needless to say the actions of former Detective Sergeant Atkinson, will significantly and understandably impact the confidence and trust of the public in policing. Furthermore, his actions undermine the commitment and professionalism of those within our organisation who strive to deliver the very best service to the public each and every day“.

Responding to this news, Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson said, “There is no place within Wiltshire Police for those who do not uphold the high standards we rightly hold our police force to. Wiltshire’s public deserve to have trust in their policing service and every incident of this nature erodes that trust and confidence.

“Former Detective Sergeant Glenn Atkinson abused his position of trust, inflicting his completely unacceptable, and inexcusable, behaviour on his female colleagues – there is simply no excuse which can ‘explain away’ this abhorrent behaviour. I commend those reporting this for their bravery and courage.

“I continue to work with the Chief Constable to eradicate any trace of canteen culture within Wiltshire Police and ensure those in leadership roles have the suitable training to challenge those who both partake, and enable, it. Those who carry out this behaviour are the problem but those who allow it to go unchallenged are also a huge part.

“Each officer, member of staff or volunteer has a responsibility to educate themselves, spot these behaviours, challenge them and report it.

“The time for change is now“.

Written by
Beth Doherty
View all articles
Written by Beth Doherty