A HAMPSHIRE police officer has been given a written warning for his handling of anti-social behaviour in the months leading up to a serious assault.
Inspector Jim Logan, who was a police sergeant at the time of the anti-social behaviour at Garland Court, in Forton Road, Gosport was given the warning as a result of an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
The investigation also identified issues in the force's training programme and it has recommended a review in how it supports officers and identifies potential training requirements.
Hampshire Police said it accepted the IPCC's findings and said it had not met the standard of excellence expected in this case.
It also promised improvements in its IT training.
The anti-social behaviour reports preceded a serious assault there on August 25 2012 on Andrew Toseland after he asked a gang to be quiet.
The 50-year-old was left unable to walk, talk, eat or sit as a result.
Samuel Armstrong, 19, of Sherwood Road, Gosport admitted intentional GBH and was jailed for five years and four months at Portsmouth Crown Court last year, but this was increased it to nine years after it was referred to the Court of Appeal.
Brandon Fisher, 19, of Old Road, Gosport, was jailed for 27 months after admitting unlawful wounding, on the basis that he had a subordinate role in the assault.
A subsequent IPCC investigation looked at Hampshire Constabulary's response to reports of anti-social behaviour at Garland Court, Forton Road, enquiries carried out by officers and contact made with residents between May 20 and August 25 in 2012 and the management of anti-social behaviour and whether it was dealt with appropriately.
It concluded that Inspector Logan had a case to answer for misconduct and he appeared before a misconduct meeting earlier this month where the case was proved against him.
An IPCC statement said: “The investigation found that Inspector Logan did not sufficiently grasp the issues at Garland Court and breached the standards of professional behaviour expected by inadequately supervising local officers.”
He received a written warning.
IPCC Commissioner Derrick Campbell said: “Anti-social behaviour causes misery for residents and as highlighted by this terrible and other tragic cases it can also have a devastating effect on peoples' lives.
“Although Hampshire Constabulary responded to some reports of disorder at Garland Court, it was done so in isolation and without the bigger picture being pieced together.
“As the Neighbourhood Sergeant who had responsibility for the area at the time of the anti-social behaviour, Inspector Logan should have realised the situation at Garland Court was escalating in relation to the number of reported incidents and put in place a clear action plan for his team to tackle the problem.”
A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: "Hampshire Constabulary accepts the IPCC's conclusions, which we have acted upon thoroughly.
"Our officers and staff understand the disruption and distress that anti-social behaviour causes to communities and the public if such reports are not tackled diligently by the police.
"We note the IPCC concluded that 'it is more likely than not earlier intervention by police would have been unlikely to have prevented the assault, although this would not be possible to determine specifically.'
"Nevertheless, on this point, we recognise our service to the residents of Garland Court in 2012 did not meet the standard of excellence expected by this force.
"We chose to refer this matter to the IPCC voluntarily in 2012 because Hampshire Constabulary wants to be open and transparent in how it is held accountable for its actions.
"Our officers have kept Andrew Toseland's family informed over the past year-and-a-half.
“We regret any concern or upset this case has caused to relatives of Mr Toseland and other residents.
“Hampshire Constabulary would like to take this opportunity to thank the Toseland family for their patience and understanding in difficult circumstances."
"It is recognised that the IT training given to Hampshire Constabulary officers and staff has not been sufficient.