Plymouth policeman given "words of advice" over schoolgirl assault
A POLICEMAN has been given "words of advice" following a delay in an investigation when a 14-year-old schoolgirl was assaulted outside her school.
Parents Jason and Alison Wilkes made an official complaint over the delay and the attitude of the officer handling the case of their daughter Bonnie after the teen was left with a broken nose.
The pair complained to the city's chief superintendent and MP Alison Seabeck.
A police spokesperson stressed "words of advice do not constitute disciplinary action".
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The teenager, a pupil at All Saints Academy, was left with a broken nose, swelling to her cheek, a bruised eye socket and concussion.
The incident, which happened on October 15 last year, involved another student who was on trial for the day at All Saints Academy. It did not take place on school grounds.
Following the incident, Bonnie's parents said they called the police while she was being treated at Derriford Hospital.
Then on Wednesday, October 16, the pair took their daughter to Crownhill Police Station where they said officers told them to take her home.
"We kept calling but we were never pushed through the chain," Mrs Wilkes said. "They said they had a new system and the case had been put on hold from the comms rooms to CID.
"We put in an official complaint over the time it took for a response and the attitude of the detectives.
"It's been put on record" she added.
The couple said they were also told their daughter and the other student would need to shake hands over the incident.
Mr Wilkes said: "There was no way my daughter was going to shake hands with someone when she hadn't done anything wrong.
"It's crazy. I felt the service was so poor. Initially it seemed really appalling."
The incident was dealt with by the force's Professional Standards Department, which deals with serious complaints or incidents.
A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: "A full police investigation into the incident was carried out and statements taken from all of the parties involved. CCTV was also seized. A 15-year-old girl was questioned in connection with the incident and received a final warning in line with Crown Prosecution Service protocol.
"After receiving a complaint, which has also been fully investigated, an officer has been given words of advice but no disciplinary action has been taken. Words of advice means exactly that and does not constitute disciplinary action."
Plymouth Moor View Labour MP Alison Seabeck added: "The minute the parents got in touch we contacted the police. Then the police got very proactive about it.
"We merely set the ball in motion because our constituents were concerned their daughter had not been questioned. I believe the police have subsequently gone through all the right processes."