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WPCC3-0080 Pension forfeiture

Decision Reference Number: WPCC3-0080

Lead Officer: Polly Reed

Chief Officer approval: n/a

Date: 28/02/2023

Status: Non-confidential

Decision summary:

This decision relates to the application to the Home Secretary for a Certificate of Pension Forfeiture in respect of ex-police officer, Mr Alan Butler.

I confirm that my register of interests declaration is up to date and that none of my interests preclude me from making this decision.

Signature: Philip Seccombe

Date: 01/03/2023

Supporting information

1. Background information

The Police and Crime Commissioner is the Pension Supervising Authority for the purposes of this pension forfeiture application relating to the Pension of Mr Butler.  In August 2021 Mr Butler was convicted of two charges of misconduct in a public office.

In July 2021 Mr Butler was tried at Warwick Crown Court for two counts of Misconduct in Public Office, he pleaded not guilty to these charges but was convicted of both counts on the 3 August 2021.  Mr Butler was subsequently sentenced on the 4 October 2021 to 18 months’ imprisonment for one count and 15 months for the other, to be served concurrently.  Following the sentence, the Solicitor General referred Mr Butler’s sentence to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme.  On 30 November 2021 the Court of Appeal found Mr Butler’s original sentence to be unduly lenient and doubled it to 3 years’ imprisonment.

3. Expected benefits

This offence is likely to have a public impact on trust and confidence in policing. Following the Pension Forfeiture process demonstrates the importance the Police and Crime Commissioner attaches to proper conduct for those working in policing.

4. Impact of not approving the application

A conviction of misconduct in a public office is an offence which involves the betrayal of an important position of trust for personal gain.  Offences were committed in connection with Mr Butler’s service as a member of the police force and are liable to lead to a serious loss of confidence in the public service

5. Costs (including any identified savings)

If the Certificate of Pension Forfeiture is granted the PCC will make a further decision about the forfeiture.  Any forfeiture agreed will result in monies returning to the public pensions pot.

6. Equality considerations

No matters relating to equality have been identified when considering this application.

7. Legal comments

Pension Forfeiture: Regulation K5 of the 1987 Regulations sets out provisions that allow a PSA to determine a pension forfeiture where a pension scheme member has been convicted of an offence committed in connection with his service as a member of a police force, which is certified by the Home Secretary to be liable to lead to a serious loss of confidence in the public service. Regulation K5(4) of the 1987 Regulations allows a PSA to determine the extent to which the pension should be forfeited when an offence is committed in connection with a pension scheme member’s service as a member of a police force. This may be permanent or temporary and may affect the whole or part of the pension. Mr Butler has been convicted of two offences of misconduct in public office and following review at the Court of Appeal found Mr Butler’s original sentence to be unduly lenient and doubled it to 3 years’ imprisonment.

8. Social or Environmental considerations

None identified

9. Publication

Information in this form is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act) and other legislation.  Unless the information provided is covered by an exemption and stated to be either confidential or partly confidential, the information contained in the form will be published on the OPCC website.

Comments from the Treasurer

Any forfeiture of pension in this case will result in monies being made available in the wider context and budget for public pensions.

Comments from the Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer

It is appropriate to apply to the Home Secretary for the certificate in this case and the Pension Forfeiture process has been followed to do this.