PC John Apter has been suspended as chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales over allegations of gross misconduct relating to sexual touching.
On Tuesday, December 21, Apter was suspended from his position and now faces a disciplinary and also criminal investigation.
The former police chair now faces four allegations of gross misconduct in relation to sexual touching, two of which have been decided as justifying a criminal investigation.
On Monday, December 20, Apter was also suspended from his duties as a police officer for the Hampshire force, The Guardian reports.
The alleged incidents of sexual touching are claimed to have occurred during the Police Bravery Awards, which took place in central London on December 9, and another time in October.
An independent investigation is being carried out by the Independent Office for Police Conduct, after the allegations were first raised to the Hampshire force.
Apter first joined the Hampshire Police Federation in 1992, and served as an officer for 29 years before becoming the chair. In April 2018, he also became chair of the national federation, which represents 130,000 rank and file officers. He was due to step down from his position in 2022.
The IOPC stated:
We can confirm that, on Friday 17 December, we received a referral relating [to] a police constable from Hampshire constabulary and we have started an independent investigation.
On Monday 20 December, the officer was served with a notice of investigation for potential breaches of police professional standards relating to four separate alleged incidents.
They were also advised they are subject to criminal investigation, for sexual touching contrary to section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, in relation to two of those alleged incidents.
Moreover, it was confirmed by the Police Federation that Apter would be suspended from his positions as both an officer within the Hampshire force, and chair of the PFEW, while the ‘investigation is undertaken’.
‘As a result he is also currently suspended from his current PFEW role. PFEW has acted as swiftly as possible in conjunction with the force,’ it stated.
Hampshire also confirmed the suspension and said it would ‘assess each case based on the information provided’ to it.
After PC Wayne Couzens was sentenced to a whole life order for the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard, Apter stated how the force needed to do better.
He said, ‘I love policing and the people within it. I’m proud to carry a warrant card and privileged to do the role I do on behalf of those fantastic men and women in blue who I represent.’
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas.
Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on their website or on their free helpline 0808 800 5005, open 9am–5pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 8am–8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10am–2pm Saturdays.
Topics: News, Police, Sarah Everard