ONE OF the most senior black female police officers in the UK has been sacked after she was found guilty of possessing video footage of child abuse.
Supt Novlett Robyn Williams was convicted in November and sentenced to 200 hours unpaid work over the possession of an indecent image of a child. She was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years.
Today in a fast-track misconduct hearing, Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Helen Ball ruled that Supt Williams’ conviction was “discreditable conduct” and amounted to gross misconduct.
Former chair of the Black Police Association Charitable Trust and Met Supt Leroy Logan told The Voice the decision was a “total tragedy” and would have a negative impact on the the Metropolitan Police’s relationship with the black community and its recruitment of black officers.
“It’s a total tragedy. I truly believe it will make such a massive impact on community trust and confidence to know that such a high profile officer has been subject to a real lack of objectivity in a case which really could happen to anyone,” he said.
He added: “This will erode the black community’s trust and confidence in the police.
“High profile cases like this also have an impact on recruitment of officers so it’s going to have an impact on the Met’s aspirations to be a reflective organisation on the street’s of London.”
Williams’ supporters, including the Black Police Association, have said the case is an
“I can’t discount the possibility that this has happened to a white officer and it’s never seen the light of day. It’s only been brushed under the carpet,” Logan said. “This level of scrutiny that black officers face is significantly higher than a white counterpart.”
The BBC reported that Ball said racial bias played “no part” in her decision.
Logan condemned the Met for going forward with the hearing before Williams’ appeals against her conviction have been exhausted.
“You would have thought that the Met would have waited for that result before they made this decision,” Logan said. “I think they’ve been extremely premature.”
Williams has lodged an appeal against her conviction but the Met said the hearing was required to take place without delay.
Williams, a senior officer and recipient of the Queen’s policing medal for distinguished service, maintains that she did not view the footage which was sent to her unsolicited by her sister Jennifer Hodge.
Hodge forwarded the clip to her 17 WhatsApp contacts after she received it from her partner, Dido Massivi.
Jurors believed Williams’ claim that she did not view the footage but disagreed with her that she did not know the clip was on her phone.
Williams has the right to appeal the misconduct hearing’s ruling.