Misconduct hearing concludes that former police sergeant would have been sacked for sexually harassing witness

A former east London police sergeant who sexually harassed a witness he met during counter-terrorism work committed a sackable offence, a misconduct hearing concluded today.

Syed Ali, 46, resigned from police work in Redbridge, Havering and Barking & Dagenham on April 30, after pleading guilty to harassment at Westminster Magistrates Court on March 24.

The court heard he sent the witness nearly 500 messages over a ten-week period last year, 450 of which were sent over just ten days, and only stopped when he was arrested.

Ali first met the woman, who now has a restraining order against him, while working as a counter-terrorism officer in 2015. They had not spoken since, before she began receiving messages in 2020.

At the conclusion of his police misconduct hearing on Tuesday, August 17, the chair noted that Ali “continued to send messages after being told he should stop” by his victim.

The chair added: “It’s entirely unacceptable for police officers, who are responsible for enforcing the law, to break the law themselves.

“He had been given the victim’s number in the course of his policing duties… [and], in behaving as he did, former PS Ali caused actual harm to the recipient.

“He harmed the victim’s confidence in and the reputation of the Met. He has discredited himself and the police service.

“The public could not have confidence in former PS Ali to protect them if he behaves in this way.”

The chair noted that former PS Ali had expressed, in a written statement, that he was “deeply sorry” and “did not mean to cause this distress”.

She said that, while she was “grateful” for his remorse, it “did not mitigate” the effect of his actions.

Former PS Ali did not attend the hearing and was not represented by any legal counsel.

On May 12 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, following his guilty plea, Ali was given a six-week sentence,suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work.

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter