Police Federation chair suspended over sexual misconduct allegations
The national chairman of the Police Federation has been suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct.
John Apter has been accused of sexually touching a woman at the Police Bravery Awards earlier this month, The Telegraph reported.
The newspaper said Mr Apter, the head of the Police Federation, which represents 130,000 rank and file officers in England and Wales, has been suspended by Hampshire Constabulary and is now the subject of a criminal investigation.
Mr Apter has been accused of inappropriate behaviour relating to four separate incidents between October and earlier this month, with the most recent allegation relating to an incident which took place at the Police Bravery Awards on 9 December in London.
He was elected to chair the Police Federation in 2018, and has since led negotiations on pay, conditions and other issues with the home secretary and police chiefs.
Mr Apter was due to step down from his role by declining to stand for re-election during the February 2022 ballot.
Hampshire Constabulary referred the matter to police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC.)
In a statement, the IOPC said: “We can confirm that, on Friday 17 December, we received a referral relating to a police constable from Hampshire Constabulary and we have started an independent investigation.
“On Monday 20 December, the officer was served with a notice of investigation for potential breaches of police professional standards relating to four separate alleged incidents.
“They were also advised they are subject to criminal investigation, for sexual touching contrary to section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, in relation to two of those alleged incidents.”
Hampshire Constabulary did not confirm the identity of the officer under investigation, but said he had been suspended from duty.