In January 2020, then-PC Christopher Cruise of Merseyside Police, 57, assigned to a special school dragged a ten-year-old severely austistic pupil along a corridor by his hood, choking him and causing knee injuries, and then threatened a second pupil with the “same treatment”.
The officer was convicted of assault after a trial at Crewe Magistrates’ Court, where he was fined £800 and ordered to pay £100 in compensation, as well as £500 in prosecution costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
Cruise attempted to appeal the decision, however he was unsuccessful and the conviction was upheld. His failed appeal also accrued further costs of £1,620.
He has retired from the force after the incident but will face a disciplinary panel in August, which could have implications for his pension.
According to a notice published on the Merseyside Police website, Cruise is accused of “allegedly breaching the Standards of Professional Behaviour, namely; Use of Force, Honesty and Integrity, Discreditable Conduct and Authority Respect and Courtesy to the level of gross misconduct”.
The notice states: “The officer will face allegations that on January 29, 2020, whilst in his role as a Police Liaison Officer at a local school, he assaulted a pupil by dragging him by the coat, causing him to injure his knee and threatened another pupil with the same treatment.
“The officer received a criminal conviction arising out of an event that occurred whilst he was on duty and in a position of trust.”
According to Merseyside Police, all schools officers have since undergone additional training in conjunction with the Merseyside Police training academy, School Improvement Liverpool and the local authority.
Detective Chief Inspector Craig Sumner said: “Merseyside Police takes the professional standards of its officers and staff extremely seriously and will not tolerate any behaviour that does not meet the high standards and expectations demanded by the police service and the public we serve.
“It is essential that police officers and staff act with integrity at all times and that as a Force we take swift and robust action to investigate anyone suspected of breaking the law.
“Officers or police employees who find themselves the subject of a criminal investigation will receive the same treatment as any other member of the public.
“An internal misconduct hearing is due to be held on 12th August and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”