Ex-sergeant who harassed witness would have been sacked, hearing rules

Former police sergeant Syed Ali, 46, was found to have committed a sackable offence at a misconduct hearing today

Former police sergeant Syed Ali, 46, was found to have committed a sackable offence by a misconduct hearing - Credit: Met Police

A former east London police sergeant who harassed a witness he met during counter-terrorism work committed a sackable offence, a misconduct hearing concluded today. 

Westminster Magistrates Court previously heard how Syed Ali, 46, sent the witness almost 450 messages over the course of ten days in 2020, only stopping when he was arrested on July 23 of that year. 

Ali pled guilty to harassment at court on March 24 this year and resigned from police work in Redbridge, Havering and Barking and Dagenham on April 30. 

Ali first met the woman, who now has a restraining order against him, while working as a counter-terrorism officer in 2015. They had not spoken since before she began receiving messages in 2020. 

At the conclusion of his police misconduct hearing today, chair Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball noted that Ali “continued to send messages after being told he should stop” by his victim. 

Ass Com Ball added: “It’s entirely unacceptable for police officers, who are responsible for enforcing the law, to break the law themselves. 

“He had been given the victim’s number in the course of his policing duties… [and], in behaving as he did, former PS Ali caused actual harm to the recipient. 

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“He harmed the victim’s confidence in and the reputation of the Met. He has discredited himself and the police service. 

“The public could not have confidence in former PS Ali to protect them if he behaves in this way.” 

Ass Com Ball noted that former PS Ali had expressed, in a written statement, that he was “deeply sorry” and “did not mean to cause this distress”. 

She said that, while she was “grateful” for his remorse, it “did not mitigate” the effect of his actions. 

Chief superintendent Stephen Clayman, BCU commander for the East Area which covers Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge, said: “This type of conduct has absolutely no place in the Met and we are committed to bringing the perpetrators of such crimes to justice.

”The hearing has rightly determined that had Ali still been in the Met he would have been dismissed.”

Former PS Ali did not attend the hearing and was not represented by any legal counsel. 

On May 12 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Ali was given a six-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work. 

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