Senior Cleveland Police officer suspended following detective sex scandal

A panel heard Cleveland Police detective inspector Simon Hurwood groomed women over a number of years.
A panel heard Cleveland Police detective inspector Simon Hurwood groomed women over a number of years.

Cleveland Police have suspended a senior officer after a detective who worked in professional standards was found guilty of abusing junior colleagues.

Former Detective Inspector Simon Hurwood was last week found guilty of eight counts of gross misconduct and more of misconduct.

A panel heard he groomed women over a 14-year period, bombarding them with texts, breaking down their confidence and demanding naked pictures and videos.

A total of 21 women came forward with allegations about his conduct.

He also coerced one junior colleague to perform a sex act on him in police cars and in a police office.

Hurwood, who resigned in September, will be barred from rejoining any force.

Now Cleveland Police have confirmed a senior officer has been suspended over concerns they failed to act over Hurwood’s behaviour.

The Directorate of Standards and Ethics started to assess the senior officer’s conduct in April.

The investigation, named Operation Gosport, centres on whether the officer failed to take appropriate measures once made aware of Hurwood’s behaviour, and wider potential breaches of standards of professional behaviour.

The Directorate of Standards and Ethics has determined that if admitted or proved, the allegations would amount to gross misconduct.

Xanthe Tait, director of People and Evolve Legal Services, said: “I can confirm that Cleveland Police has suspended an officer of senior rank on suspicion of gross misconduct.

“We are releasing this information as it is in the public interest to do so, but I must stress that suspension is a neutral act.

“It is important for all involved, and specifically for the integrity of the investigation, that there is a presumption of innocence throughout the investigative process.

“The decision to suspend will be kept under regular review and is governed by the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012, the Home Office guidance on Police Officer Misconduct, Unsatisfactory Performance and Attendance Management Procedures and the Code of Ethics.

“Cleveland Police is committed to investigate allegations of misconduct, without regard to rank or seniority. The Service will listen, will act and will fairly investigate all information provided and will ensure that all those involved are fully supported.

“In closing I would reiterate that suspension is a neutral act from which no inferences should be drawn.

“An individual is innocent until proved otherwise.”