Assistant Chief Constable Naveed Malik, 47, is set to keep his £120,816-a-year job after admitting gross misconduct
On of Britain’s highest ranking Asian police officers who admitted trying to influence a colleague’s bid for promotion should not be sacked, a disciplinary panel said yesterday.
Assistant Chief Constable Naveed Malik, 47, is set to keep his £120,816-a-year job after admitting gross misconduct by mentoring an inspector seeking promotion to chief inspector.
A police disciplinary hearing said the married third-in-command at Cambridgeshire Constabulary should be given a final written warning after his actions could cause ‘boobgate levels’ of damage to the reputation of the police nationally.
It was a reference to Greater Manchester Police (GMP) ACC Rebekah Sutcliffe being found guilty of gross misconduct for flashing her breasts to a female colleague during a row about their boobs.
The force’s Deputy Chief Constable will make a final decision on his punishment in a week’s time after the hearing was told how ‘no explanation has been fully provided’ as to why ACC Malik, 47, of Cambridgeshire Constabulary, sabotaged the promotion process.
The panel made its recommendation after being read a statement from Cambridgeshire Constabulary Chief Constable Alec Wood which said: ‘I recall telling Nav in an informal one-to-one meeting that he would make an extremely strong deputy chief constable and in my view chief constable in the medium term.’
A police disciplinary hearing said the married third-in-command at Cambridgeshire Constabulary should be given a final written warning after his actions could cause ‘boobgate levels’ of damage to the reputation of the police nationally
Chairman of the panel Dorian Lovell-Pank QC said: ‘It is a harsh fact of life as we all know that the higher you climb the harder you fall.
‘You are one of the highest-ranking police officers in this country and we are all more than aware of the esteem with which you are held in the police service and the wider public, particularly in the Muslim and BME community.
‘We have been told that what you did was an error of judgement as to the limits of the mentoring process.
‘In our judgement this investigation has met the expectations of the public by being done independently by another force, Suffolk police, by being done quickly thoroughly and in as fully transparent a manner as possible.
‘We consider in the all-round interests of justice and fairness they would be best served that for this breach you be issued with a final written warning.’
It was in reference to Greater Manchester Police (GMP) ACC Rebekah Sutcliffe being found guilty of gross misconduct for flashing her breasts to a female colleague during a row about their boobs
ACC Malik issued orders for an officer he had ‘informally mentored’ to be told what questions were due to come up at an interview for promotion to Chief Inspector, the panel heard.
The officer was only referred to as Inspector A due to being a ‘whistleblower’ at the two-day hearing at Wyboston Lakes Conference Centre, Beds.
An independent panel heard Malik ‘ordered’ a personal assistant codenamed Staff Member B to use her personal mobile phone to tell Inspector A what topics were coming up in an interview on her personal mobile phone on February 22.
Malik, who is the National Police Chiefs Council’s (NPCC) lead for the recruitment of black and minority ethnic officers, admitted ‘simple misconduct’.
But he had denied ‘gross misconduct’ until an investigation was carried out by Suffolk Police in May, the panel heard.
John Beggs QC, representing the force, said: ‘One of the difficulties of this case is no explanation has fully been provided for why he would ask for the private number to be used.’
The hearing was told Malik said in police interviews: ‘I cannot think what my rationale was, I think that was the massive error of judgement, that’s just a real stupid thing to have done, a grave error of judgement and I cannot explain it.’
Mr Beggs added: ‘But he says it wasn’t with the intention of usurping the [promotion] process.
Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Tom Winsor (left) and Dorian Lovell-Pank QC leave Naveed Malik’s misconduct hearing
‘We say that this is self-evident, it requires no analysis, this is gross misconduct, this should never have happened, it completely undermined the integrity of the promotion process.’
Mr Beggs said Staff Member B said she felt ‘quite uncomfortable with the order or, directive’ to write down the interview topics in a piece of ‘scrappy paper’ and relay them to Inspector A in a call that lasted less than two minutes.
‘Inspector A told Staff Member B to go back and tell ACC Malik that, ‘I didn’t want to listen and he wanted to be promoted on merit’.
Malik, whose Pakistani father Mohammed Ahmed Malik became the first Asian police constable in 1967, said in a statement he had ‘informally mentored’ several officers.
He also said he ‘sees it as a personal responsibility to use his position for the benefit of BME officers and recruits’.
But Mr Beggs said Malik had an ‘unblemised recorded’ and that it would be a ‘genuine loss’ to dismiss him.
It took place at Wyboston Lakes Conference Centre in Bedfordshire
He drew similarities to the ‘boobgate scandal’ in mitigation for Malik: ‘The admitted gross misconduct in this case was serious and did have serious consequences.
‘There was a significant financial penalty as there would have been in the GMP case.
‘Thirdly, identical to the GMP case there would be a massive reputational impact.
‘Nonetheless, the appropriate authority does not consider that the admitted gross misconduct requires dismissal to uphold public confidence in and the reputation of the police service.’
The panel was told by Malik’s lawyer Chris Dow QC that sacking him for a ‘single error of judgement’ would be ‘disproportionate’.
Mr Daw said: ‘On careful analysis was a momentary lapse of concentration and a single error of judgement in the context of an unblemished and outstanding police
‘The disciplinary process itself has acted as the most formal warning.’
Malik has attended community events with his family and different mosques every Friday in uniform.