From Devon & Cornwall Police:
On Thursday 9 March 2023, two former police constables were found guilty of gross misconduct. This occurred nearly two years ago. At least it seems they were not still serving and being paid! With confidence in many police forces at a low, it is good to see action taken, but surely the whole recruitment and training process needs to be seriously addressed.
Had they still been serving, Police Constable Steven Athawes and Police Constable Daria Krolewicz would have been dismissed without notice from Devon and Cornwall Police, after members of the misconduct panel found that their actions amounted to gross misconduct.
Both officers will now be submitted to the College of Policing Barred list.
Former PC Steven Athawes faced allegations that on 30 May into 31 May 2021, he breached the standards appropriate to the conduct of a police officer in respect of Honesty and Integrity, Discreditable Conduct, Authority, Respect and Courtesy and Duties and Responsibilities.
It had been alleged that the officer had knowingly planned to collect an off-duty female officer, PC Daria Krolewicz, without a policing purpose for this, which was a neglect of his duties as a police officer.
It was also alleged that once PC Athawes had collected PC Daria Krolewicz on that date, he then engaged in sexual encounters in a marked police vehicle with her whilst he was on duty.
The third allegation was that whilst on duty, he informed his supervisor and his crew mate that he was on a medication run and unavailable for response calls. This was not the case, and he was, in fact, collecting PC Daria Krolewicz, who was off duty.
Former PC Daria Krolewicz faced allegations that on 30 May into 31 May 2021, she breached the standards appropriate to the conduct of a police officer in respect of Discreditable Conduct.
It had been alleged that the officer had knowingly engaged in sexual encounters with PC Steven Athawes, who was on-duty, in a marked police vehicle.
Following the two-day public hearing, the panel concluded that the allegations were proven, and that PCs Athawes and Krolewicz had breached the expected standards of professional behaviour.
The panel determined that had the officers still been serving, they would have been dismissed without notice and their details will be submitted to the College of Policing Barred List, preventing them from working within policing.
Head of Professional Standards, Superintendent Jo Arundale, said: “On this occasion the behaviour of the officers fell below the standards expected within policing.
“Through their actions, the officers undermined the public’s trust and confidence in the police force and did not fulfil their duties and responsibilities.
“Such behaviour will not be tolerated within policing and the decision made by the panel is that, had the officers still been serving, they would have been dismissed without notice.”