Chesterfield former cop and kids play centre owner made “false” witness statement, hearing told

A former Chesterfield policeman has been accused of deliberately falsifying a witness statement and not investigating a racist incident on a town centre bus.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 2:22 pm

PC Ian Biggin - who resigned from Derbyshire Constabulary on Friday last week and owns a children’s play centre in Chesterfield - faces an allegation of gross misconduct.

A misconduct hearing at Derbyshire Constabulary Headquarters heard today that on January 27 notes the former constable took while interviewing a victim provided “false information”.

The allegation arises from an incident on a 54 bus in the town centre on the same day when a woman’s neighbour allegedly called her step father a Polish b****** and physically threatened her.

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The hearing is taking place at the police headquarters

She gave a detailed account during a 999 call just after the incident and named her abuser, giving his home address - at the same block of flats where she lived with her mother and stepfather.

However police watchdogs heard today that during a 13-minute interview at the victim’s home PC Biggin wrote a false account of her evidence on his electronic notebook.

He then asked the woman - referred to as “Witness A” during the proceedings - to sign the statement - which she did - telling her the purpose of the signature was to confirm he had attended.

The woman told the hearing today: “All I could see was the signature bit - just a blank space to sign my name.”

His notes, read out to the hearing, read: “Today I was on the bus and overheard a drunk man who had mental health issues.

“I thought I overheard something and shouted at him - I do not want the police to do anything about it.”

Caroline Sellars, a solicitor acting for Derbyshire Police, told the hearing: “The officer deliberately misled Witness A by first asking her to sign the entry without showing her the contents - knowing it contained false information.”

The officer later updated police’s “Niche” records system that the entire incident had been a “misunderstanding”.

Ms Sellars added: “He knowingly provided false and deliberately misleading information in his update to the incident on Niche that Witness A had wrongly assumed the racial abuse and the witness was mistaken about the identity of the offender.”

It was also said that during the brief visit PC Biggin told the victim - who suggested requesting CCTV footage from Stagecoach bus company - that footage would be “grainy”.

The woman said in her evidence at the hearing today: “He (PC Biggin) said it would be grainy and the sound wouldn’t be very good because they’re not good cameras.

“And he said it would be ‘he said, she said’, as they wouldn’t be able to make anything out.”

Stagecoach confirmed that “no request was ever made” to secure footage from the bus and, as a result, the footage was lost or overwritten.

The hearing heard on January 27 the victim - referred to as “witness A” - was on the 54 bus when her drunk neighbour began racially abusing her stepfather.

Giving evidence, she said he called her stepfather - who is actually Lithuanian - a Polish b******.

She described how, as she challenged him, saying “are you talking about my stepdad?” the abusive man - sitting directly behind her - leaned towards her and “pulled back his fists”.

The panicked young mum - who was shopping for her nine-week-old son at the time - pressed the bell and exited the bus - however her abuser exited the bus “10 seconds later”.

When she shouted “help” as he walked towards her a passer-by intervened, so he kept on walking - kicking a bin and looking back at her.

The woman added that since the incident she had "accidental" contact with PC Biggin at a children's play centre, which he owns.

Ms Sellars told the tribunal today: “It’s alleged that the conduct, if found to be proved, amounts to gross misconduct for these reasons.

“That the officer was dishonest in his recording of the incident, that he failed to accurately record details of the incident.

“His conduct is likely to undermine public confidence in the police service as a whole and the conduct has an impact on the ability of the service to maintain trust.”

The hearing continues.

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