A South Wales police officer has been issued a final written warning for abusing a taxi driver, refusing to pay a fare and attacking the cab's windows and doors while under the influence of alcohol. PC Richard Olsen, of South Wales Police, got a taxi to his home in Margam on 5 May after a night out drinking with friends in Swansea.
Olsen asked the driver to cut the trip short, refusing to pay the fare. When the taxi driver remonstrated with him, the 22-year-old became verbally abusive towards him.
A panel at Olson's misconduct hearing, heard how he began to kick and punch the doors and windows from inside the vehicle.
As reported on Wales Online, when the taxi driver told him he was going to ring the police PC Olsen told him he was a police officer. When the police arrived at the scene, Olsen failed to identify himself as an officer and went on to lie about the journey, claiming there were others in the taxi with him who had already paid some of the fare.
PC Olsen eventually backed down and paid the fare.
During his hearing, Olsen accepted his behaviour was a breach of professional behaviour and amounted to gross misconduct. Sergeant Bryan Smith, representing PC Olsen, said the officer had just played the final game of the season before going out to celebrate with teammates, which led to his intoxication. He said: "He put his responsibilities out of his mind during his days off and as a former student and rugby player was used to recreation drinking. "He met peers from the rugby club and continued drinking excessively and this incident was a culmination of escaping from responsibilities he undertook while on duty." Speaking at the hearing PC Olsen said: "These are actions I don't condone and it's not the standard I accept of myself. My off-duty conduct now is that of which I expect it to be and is similar behaviour to as I am on duty, playing the role of a police officer 24/7." Luckily for Olsen, the taxi driver and the officers involved in the case did not wish to make a complaint. Concluding the hearing, DCC Lewis said it had been a difficult decision but he would not be dismissing PC Olsen from the force. He added: "Listen carefully: this decision was a very close one and by no means clear cut and you have the chance to prove this was a one-off incident due to drunken behaviour and immature arrogance which has no place in South Wales Police. "I expect hard work and vigour from you to demonstrate this decision is not a poor one on my part. Any similar behaviour will result in only one outcome."
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