A disgraced detective who slapped a coworker on the buttocks and called her a “bad girl” was put in charge of dealing with sex offenders.
DI Matt Banks, who lives in the Canterbury area, narrowly kept his job with the Kent Police Department last year despite a misconduct panel deeming his actions “disparaging and sexist”.
And now he has been given a new role of overseeing a team that monitors sex offenders after they are released from prison.
The appointment raised eyebrows among fellow police officers, and Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield said she would take up the case with Kent Police.
One of the colleagues at DI Banks – based in the east of the county – told KentOnline: “How would you feel if you were the victim of a sex offense and you knew the person overseeing the handling of your offender? had herself been convicted of a serious misconduct offense after slapping a woman on the buttocks? ”
DI Banks appeared before a misconduct panel at Kent Police Headquarters in Maidstone in September last year.
The panel learned that in January 2020, DI Banks went on a tea tour and unwittingly missed the officer, referred to at the hearing as DC.
She was making her own cup of tea in the office kitchenette after exchanging jokes with DI Banks about being left out.
DI Banks then walked over and slapped DC on the buttocks, saying words like “drop it, bad girl, I’ll do it”.
The woman told the panel: “It was a hard slap. It was a slap on the bottom that was strong, strong enough to hear it, to feel it. It hurt and made me jump.
DI Banks denied the use of the word “villain”, saying he instead said “cheeky”.
But the panel ruled he slapped DC and said both mean and cheeky, amounting to serious misconduct.
He “concluded very narrowly” that DI Banks – a highly recommended officer – could keep his job, issuing a final written warning to him.
“I am concerned to hear about this matter, because now more than ever it is vitally important that we restore the confidence of women who need to report such behavior …”
President Claire Harrington said of her behavior: “It did not treat DC, a woman, fairly and with respect. The panel concludes that DI Banks would not have acted in this way towards a male colleague.
“His conduct towards DC was sexist and he used disparaging and sexist commentary by hitting her on an intimate part of her body.”
But DI Banks has since been in charge of the East Division Offender Management Unit, covering Canterbury, Ashford, Folkestone, Hythe and Dover.
KentOnline understands that the appointment was made within six months of the conduct hearing.
The fellow officer, who asked not to be named, argues that this shows that the Kent police are “a dirty white force that hasn’t changed much since the 1980s”.
DI Banks has 20 years of detective experience with Kent Police, according to his LinkedIn profile, and was promoted from Detective Sergeant to Detective Inspector in September 2019.
Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield is troubled by her new position.
She told KentOnline: “I am concerned to hear about this matter, because now more than ever it is vitally important that we restore the confidence of women who need to report such behavior.
“I am going to speak to the Kent Police about it and I will express my concerns about the appointment of DI Banks.”
Kent Police Superintendent Lopa McDermott said KentOnline officers are “always assessed for suitability before assuming a new role” and disciplinary matters are “fully considered beforehand”.
She said: ‘In September 2020, a Kent police officer received a final written warning after a panel led by an independent and legally qualified chairman ruled that their actions of slapping a colleague and making an inappropriate comment constituted a serious fault.
“This officer has since changed roles and now works for the Kent Police Offender Management Unit, ensuring that violent and sex offenders comply with the terms of their release from prison in the interests of public safety. . The role does not require officers to come into regular contact with victims or witnesses.
“Officers are always assessed for their suitability before taking on a new role, with their experience, skills and all disciplinary issues fully considered beforehand.
“We continue to expect the highest standards of professional behavior from our officers and staff, the overwhelming majority of which behave correctly and professionally, including those who have already been the subject of misconduct proceedings. and have learned from their mistakes. “
Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury