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Gwent Police apologises to officers who were ignored after reporting colleague’s domestic abuse

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Gwent Police has issued a public apology to two female officers who were ignored after they reported domestic abuse by a senior male colleague nearly 10 years earlier – as the victims condemned a ‘boys’ club culture’ at the force.

PC Clarke Joslyn, 49, pinned one woman to a wall holding a knife and told a second ‘something bad would happen’ if she humiliated him.

He also subjected one of the woman to ‘controlling and coercive behaviour’ while monitoring her Facebook profile. 

The victims, referred to as Sarah and Jodie throughout a misconduct hearing, have not been identified.

They were serving officers when Joslyn’s abuse took place and said they were left feeling ‘worthless’ and ‘broken’ by the ‘negligence of Gwent Police and its ‘boys’ club culture’. 

Joslyn was banned from working for the force at a misconduct hearing in November 2019, having already resigned from his role as a constable following a 26-year career. 

A female officer, though, revealed she had complained about his conduct back in 2012 alleging he abused her following the end of their relationship.  

Clarke Joslyn resigned from his position as a constable within Gwent Police in November last year. He has now been banned from working for the force

Clarke Joslyn resigned from his position as a constable within Gwent Police in November last year. He has now been banned from working for the force

Joslyn had been involved in training the women and is said to have used his seniority to have groomed them into having a relationship with him.   

Both were then subjected to domestic abuse and eventually reported him.

However, their allegations were not taken seriously and they were instead targeted by Joslyn’s colleagues.

It later emerged that several other women had been victimised by Joslyn over a period of years while he remained a serving officer with access to young female trainees. 

When his case finally reached the misconduct hearing in 2018, he had already quit the force.

At the hearing, which took place in his absence, a panel heard he pinned a woman against a wall holding a knife and used derogatory messages online towards her.

The panel also heard the ‘obsessive’ Joslyn told a second woman ‘something bad would happen’ if she ever humiliated him.

He was found to have ‘deep seated attitudinal issues’ and breached professional standards while off-duty.  

Joslyn claimed in written evidence the complaints against him were ‘fabricated, misrepresented and exaggerated’.

However, Chris Daw QC, representing Gwent Police, told the panel that his behaviour ‘typifies that of a bully’.

He said the resignation was ‘just another tactical manoeuvre to avoid the consequences of his behaviour’ towards ‘two, courageous young women’.

Speaking of police chiefs’ failure to act on her 2012 complaint, one of the officers said: ‘I would not be dramatic in saying this destroyed my career.’

The two women made a civil claim against Gwent Police as part of a national police super-complaint on police-perpetrated abuse being brought by the Centre for Women’s Justice. 

The case has led to more than 155 women coming forward who allege to have suffered similar experiences. 

Gwent Police finally issued an public apology to the two women on Wednesday for its failure to act on the allegations.

Joslyn was found to have 'deep seated attitudinal issues' and breached professional standards while off-duty

Joslyn was found to have ‘deep seated attitudinal issues’ and breached professional standards while off-duty

Amanda Blakeman, Deputy Chief Constable of Gwent Police, says she has since met with both victims in person

Amanda Blakeman, Deputy Chief Constable of Gwent Police, says she has since met with both victims in person

A disciplinary hearing took place in Joslyn's absence at Gwent Police HQ in Cwmbran, Gwent

A disciplinary hearing took place in Joslyn’s absence at Gwent Police HQ in Cwmbran, Gwent

Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said she has since met with both victims in person.

She said: ‘I am extremely sorry that at a time when they felt most in need of our support that we let them down.

‘We take any allegations of this nature very seriously and they will be thoroughly investigated, and action taken. We will also work with individuals raising concerns to make sure they have the support they want and need.

‘Public expectations around our standards of behaviour are quite rightly very high. There is no place in our force for inappropriate workplace behaviour or the abuse of an individual’s position to exploit others.

‘We expect everyone within Gwent Police to maintain high standards of professional behaviour – the vast majority of our employees work tirelessly to serve our communities with professionalism, honesty and integrity.

‘We are committed to identifying and taking action against those individuals who breach these standards. 

‘The public must have the utmost confidence in the integrity of our officers, and we are very clear that anyone who undermines the public’s trust will have no future in this force.’

Joslyn quit after 26 years with before he was banned by police chiefs for gross misconduct following the misconduct hearing.

The hearing ruled he would have been sacked if he were still an employee over his ‘abuse’ of women.

Jodie said: ‘It took all of my strength and courage for me to report these crimes back in 2012. When I wasn’t taken seriously, my confidence and trust were shattered beyond repair. 

‘I was left not only feeling worthless but also that my integrity was being questioned.

‘My aim all the way through this was to bring a domestic violence perpetrator to justice and prevent anybody else going through what I did. 

‘Sadly this was not the case due to the negligence of Gwent Police and its boys’ club culture.’

Sarah added that she ‘lost everything’ after she reported Joslyn.

‘My reputation, my health, and ultimately my career in the police,’ she said.

‘I entered Gwent Police a bubbly young woman who was excited about her job and her future. When I left just five years later, I was completely broken. 

‘I have even lost my confidence in the police as a public service.’ 

Jodie was supported by the Centre for Women’s Justice charity, which said the case raised ‘systematic’ issues about the culture of police officers abusing their position.

Solicitor Kate Ellen said: ‘It’s about the lack of procedures in place to ensure independent investigation where things go wrong, where officers are accused of abusing their position.

‘Until police forces confront the scale of the issue, we are not going to see meaningful systemic change.’

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