'Gangnam style' Falmouth cop Gary Watts sacked for 'gross misconduct'

Force refuses to reveal why Falmouth cop was sacked

Force refuses to reveal why Falmouth cop was sacked

First published in Cornwall
Last updated

Almost a year after being suspended, Falmouth police sergeant Gary Watts has been fired for gross misconduct.

Mystery still surrounds what has led his dismissal as his superiors refused to reveal details of his misdemeanours despite being pressed by The Packet late this afternoon.

A statement released by Devon and Cornwall Police at 5pm said: “Sergeant Gary Watts was suspended by the force in May 2013. He appeared before a disciplinary hearing on 31 March and faced allegations of gross misconduct.

“The allegations were found to be proven and Sgt Watts has been dismissed from the force with immediate effect for gross misconduct. No criminal charges have been brought against him.”

In addition, Deputy Chief Constable Bill Skelly said: “We expect high standards from our officers and any officer who is thought to have breached these standards can be subject to disciplinary enquiries which can ultimately lead to dismissal.

“It is important that members of the public have confidence in the officers and staff who serve their communities and behaviour standards are extremely important in maintaining that confidence.”

Sgt Watts had been a high profile neighbourhood beat sergeant in both Falmouth and Helston, but his fame spread across the country after he organised a successful charity video that parodied Psy's international hit Gangnam Style.

The ex-RAF man was the brainchild behind the video, which made him an internet sensation. In it he starred alongside other officers and PCSOs from Falmouth police station, raising money for Lancashire lad, Joshua Wilson who was left with severe disabilities following an operation on a brain tumour.

Even before that, Sgt Watts, who described himself as a lone Buddhist who set up the Buddhist Police Support Network, had made a name for himself in the local community, working with residents' associations and trade organisations. He was also behind such initiatives as the Falmouth Safe Space scheme and the Taxi Marshals.

This is The West Country:

Comments (8)

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8:16pm Tue 1 Apr 14

road_hogg says...

Best wishes for your future plans Mr Watts which I believe are for a new local radio station in the Falmouth area.

Hopefully when you speak to the police federation you can be exonerated of these allegations.
Best wishes for your future plans Mr Watts which I believe are for a new local radio station in the Falmouth area. Hopefully when you speak to the police federation you can be exonerated of these allegations. road_hogg
  • Score: 0

9:21pm Tue 1 Apr 14

rwarwicker says...

road_hogg wrote:
Best wishes for your future plans Mr Watts which I believe are for a new local radio station in the Falmouth area.

Hopefully when you speak to the police federation you can be exonerated of these allegations.
From Twitter on Gary's feed it seems to imply the radio station is going on air on 17th May.
[quote][p][bold]road_hogg[/bold] wrote: Best wishes for your future plans Mr Watts which I believe are for a new local radio station in the Falmouth area. Hopefully when you speak to the police federation you can be exonerated of these allegations.[/p][/quote]From Twitter on Gary's feed it seems to imply the radio station is going on air on 17th May. rwarwicker
  • Score: 0

10:13pm Tue 1 Apr 14

tonym64 says...

how the hell can this be classed as gross misconduct when all he ever did is support this community and try to raise funds for a Lancashire lad who was left with severe disabilities following an operation on a brain tumour. I thought our Cornish spirit was the best in the world but reading this article i'm not sure any more.he should be reinstated immediately and his superiors should make a toke donation to the young lads appeal.Mystery still surrounds what has led his dismissal as his superiors refused to reveal details of his misdemeanours despite being pressed by The Packet late this afternoon. what are they afraid of the public knowing the real reasons behind his dismissal? I think that all of the officers and pcso's do a fantastic job without having to watch their every action in case It upsets one of the superiors! bring back the policemen like graham martin and maxi tripp and len brokenshire who stood up for there rights and the publics!!!
how the hell can this be classed as gross misconduct when all he ever did is support this community and try to raise funds for a Lancashire lad who was left with severe disabilities following an operation on a brain tumour. I thought our Cornish spirit was the best in the world but reading this article i'm not sure any more.he should be reinstated immediately and his superiors should make a toke donation to the young lads appeal.Mystery still surrounds what has led his dismissal as his superiors refused to reveal details of his misdemeanours despite being pressed by The Packet late this afternoon. what are they afraid of the public knowing the real reasons behind his dismissal? I think that all of the officers and pcso's do a fantastic job without having to watch their every action in case It upsets one of the superiors! bring back the policemen like graham martin and maxi tripp and len brokenshire who stood up for there rights and the publics!!! tonym64
  • Score: 0

10:51pm Tue 1 Apr 14

sandy54 says...

its ridiculas that video was brilliant it raised a lot of money
its ridiculas that video was brilliant it raised a lot of money sandy54
  • Score: -3

9:06am Wed 2 Apr 14

spaceghost says...

It doesn't say one way or the other whether this was related to the video he was involved with. The article should probably be explicit in this until the real reason is discovered.
It doesn't say one way or the other whether this was related to the video he was involved with. The article should probably be explicit in this until the real reason is discovered. spaceghost
  • Score: 11

9:42am Wed 2 Apr 14

spaceghost says...

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-england-cor
nwall-26840934

The BBC specifically states: "The allegation was not linked to the video, nor his use of social media."
http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-england-cor nwall-26840934 The BBC specifically states: "The allegation was not linked to the video, nor his use of social media." spaceghost
  • Score: 12

12:49am Thu 3 Apr 14

Valben says...

It's nobody's business but his and the police force. What would you gain from knowing? Employment law protects the privacy of ndividuals even those who have been sacked. We do not have a right to know why he has been sacked unless it is in the public interest. There is likely to have been a justifiable reason for his dismissal or he would still be employed. No matter how much money he made if he committed an act of gross misconduct then the outcome is correct. He cannot be given preferential treatment because of a previous good deed, or it would be unfair on others. If he believes the decision is wrong then the law gives him an opportunity to appeal the decision which may or may not result in him being reinstated. I have no idea what his misdemeanour is and neither I assume does anyone else who is. commenting. So everyone should "move on from his commendable good deed" and allow him to do the same thing.
It's nobody's business but his and the police force. What would you gain from knowing? Employment law protects the privacy of ndividuals even those who have been sacked. We do not have a right to know why he has been sacked unless it is in the public interest. There is likely to have been a justifiable reason for his dismissal or he would still be employed. No matter how much money he made if he committed an act of gross misconduct then the outcome is correct. He cannot be given preferential treatment because of a previous good deed, or it would be unfair on others. If he believes the decision is wrong then the law gives him an opportunity to appeal the decision which may or may not result in him being reinstated. I have no idea what his misdemeanour is and neither I assume does anyone else who is. commenting. So everyone should "move on from his commendable good deed" and allow him to do the same thing. Valben
  • Score: 15

6:13pm Fri 4 Apr 14

ForCryingOut Loud says...

Do people really think a police officer would be dismissed with immediate effect if had done something that did not warrant such a drastic and dramtic move? There are I believe two levels of misconduct an officer can conduct and this is the most serious, i.e gross misconduct. Clearly not something to be taken lightly.
He may well have done sterling work in his local community and also raised money for charity, both of which are admirable and he is to be congratulated for that work. However, if he has then gone on to do something that a warranted police officer should not have done, and it sounds like something pretty serious, then he has to accept the consequences of his actions. And so does the general public he used to serve. Do they really want somone with the powers a police officer has, policing them if he can not behave in the manner in which the public and the Constabulary expect and demand. If he has done nothing wrong to deserve his sacking then he can appeal aginst the dismissal through the employment laws that are in place to protect people. Time will tell if he takes this recourse. If he does not then clearly the move by the Constabulary was legal and correct inder the individual circumstances. Police Forces do not make a habit of sacking officers for minor transgressions. They have options with regards to levels of punishment for officers who transgress. Sacking is the ultimate move and is reserved for the MOST SERIOUS BREACHES OF CONDUCT.
Do people really think a police officer would be dismissed with immediate effect if had done something that did not warrant such a drastic and dramtic move? There are I believe two levels of misconduct an officer can conduct and this is the most serious, i.e gross misconduct. Clearly not something to be taken lightly. He may well have done sterling work in his local community and also raised money for charity, both of which are admirable and he is to be congratulated for that work. However, if he has then gone on to do something that a warranted police officer should not have done, and it sounds like something pretty serious, then he has to accept the consequences of his actions. And so does the general public he used to serve. Do they really want somone with the powers a police officer has, policing them if he can not behave in the manner in which the public and the Constabulary expect and demand. If he has done nothing wrong to deserve his sacking then he can appeal aginst the dismissal through the employment laws that are in place to protect people. Time will tell if he takes this recourse. If he does not then clearly the move by the Constabulary was legal and correct inder the individual circumstances. Police Forces do not make a habit of sacking officers for minor transgressions. They have options with regards to levels of punishment for officers who transgress. Sacking is the ultimate move and is reserved for the MOST SERIOUS BREACHES OF CONDUCT. ForCryingOut Loud
  • Score: 0

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