The former head of the Police Federation will not face criminal charges over allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman at the police Bravery Awards.
John Apter, who served with Hampshire Constabulary, was placed under criminal investigation after being accused of inappropriately touching a woman at the high-profile event in Dec 2021.
At the time, Mr Apter was the chairman of the Police Federation, which represents 130,000 rank-and-file officers in England and Wales.
It was alleged he had behaved inappropriately on four separate occasions, including at the Bravery Awards, an annual event that recognizes extraordinary acts of courage by police officers. He was suspended and subsequently retired from policing.
But following a lengthy criminal investigation, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has concluded that the case does not meet the threshold for a prosecution.
However, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which carried out the investigation, said there is a case of potential gross misconduct and has asked the Hampshire force to arrange a formal disciplinary hearing.
Police watchdog recommends hearing
An IOPC spokesperson said: “We completed our investigation in June 2022 into allegations relating to the conduct of a, now retired, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary police officer.
“We referred a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to consider two counts of sexual assault contrary to section 3 of the Sexual Offenses Act 2003.
“We were notified this week that the CPS, having reviewed the evidence, has decided it did not meet the threshold for prosecution. We have notified the parties involved.
They continued: “We also found an indication of gross misconduct for potential breaches of the police professional standards of behavior relating to authority, respect and courtesy; equality and diversity; and conduct.
“We will now liaise with the force as it arranges a misconduct hearing.”
Just weeks before the allegations arose, Mr Apter announced he would not seek re-election as head of the Police Federation and planned to step down in April 2022.
But following the allegations, he stepped down immediately and was eventually replaced by Steve Hartshorn following an election.