Durham police officer sacked after slapping teenager in the face

  • The moment Nicola Voke-Williams slapped the teenager was caught on camera

A police officer who was found guilty of assault for slapping a 15-year-old boy in the face has been dismissed from the force.

Durham Constabulary officer Nicola Voke-Williams was convicted of assault after slapping the teenager in the face while on duty in Spennymoor in February 2022.

She attempted to appeal the conviction last month but it was quashed by a judge at Teesside Crown Court.

She has now been sacked from the force after a panel found she had demonstrated gross misconduct with her actions.

The chief constable of Durham Constabulary, Jo Farrell, said Voke-Williams had not shown any remorse for her actions and that if she continued to serve it would risk undermining public confidence in the force.

The officer, who had 21 years of experience, had attended an incident in the town centre, after reports of a large group of youths who had arranged a fight with weapons and glass bottles.

Voke-Williams arrived at the scene with another female officer but their car started to roll with the handbrake off and the youths were reported to have laughed at them, with one allegedly shouting "useless".

A short video was shown at the constable's appeal which showed the officer slapping the boy in the face with her left hand. PC Voke-Wiliams claimed she thought the boy was about to spit in her face and so pre-emptively struck him in self-defence.

However, this allegation was dismissed in court and she has been given a six-month suspended discharge, ordered to pay £50 compensation and court costs of around £425.

Nicola Voke-Williams was dismissed from Durham Constabulary.

Voke-Williams did not attend the misconduct hearing for health but her conduct was found to be poor for a police officer, especially when confidence in the police is low.

It was noted that she had a good record of police work before the incident and should not have been goaded by the teenagers on the day. However, this did not prevent her dismissal as she was sacked for gross misconduct.

A Durham Police spokesperson said: “As a result of her court conviction for assault, PC Voke-Williams faced an accelerated misconduct hearing where she was alleged to have breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour - discreditable conduct and therefore her case was heard at an accelerated hearing.

“That hearing took place on Tuesday, September 19 in her absence. PC Voke-Williams’ actions were found to amount to gross misconduct and she was dismissed from service."

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