Birmingham & Black Country

Yvonne Mosquito: West Midlands Deputy PCC 'committed serious misconduct'

Yvonne Mosquito
Image caption Yvonne Mosquito was suspended with immediate effect in March

The West Midlands deputy police and crime commissioner committed "serious misconduct" by visiting a murder victim's family without informing officers, a disciplinary hearing found.

Yvonne Mosquito was suspended in March over the alleged breach of protocol.

She has now been asked to apologise to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), West Midlands Police and Kenichi Phillips's family.

Her union Unite said it would appeal against the hearing's findings.

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Allegations against Ms Mosquito related to a visit she paid to the family of Mr Phillips, 18, who was shot dead in a car in Ladywood, Birmingham, on 17 March.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Labour's David Jamieson - who was re-elected last week - said, based on evidence from the family and the force, her visit "caused ongoing upset and distress" and "damaged the relationship" between the family and police "in the middle of a complex and sensitive murder investigation".

Unite has rejected the allegations and said it was "deplorable" the disciplinary went ahead without the attendance of Ms Mosquito or her union representative Caren Evans, who was on holiday but had suggested alternative dates.

Ms Mosquito has not yet commented, but supporters have insisted she visited as an ordained minister who wanted to offer condolences to grieving relatives.

The Office of the PCC said an independent panel considered the evidence, including a "substantial statement" from Ms Mosquito.

The family's evidence confirmed Ms Mosquito requested to pray with them but they did not, said the PCC.

Mr Jamieson said her actions "clearly interfered with operational policing".

Image caption Maxie Hayles (second right) said on Wednesday, Yvonne Mosquito "had not meant any harm" by visiting the grieving family

He said the family believed Ms Mosquito, a Labour city councillor for Nechells ward, attended in an official capacity because she left her business card and "sought to raise a range of issues that were not pastoral or spiritual".

Ms Mosquito has been issued with a final written warning. The Office of the PCC said, as she had not yet offered an apology, she remained suspended until her contract was due to end later on Wednesday.

The BBC previously reported Ms Mosquito wrote a letter of complaint about the PCC's behaviour towards her, of which the PCC was aware, four weeks earlier before her suspension.

Maxie Hayles, who chaired a public meeting in support of Ms Mosquito in April, said it was an "injustice" to proceed hearing "such a serious accusation" in Ms Mosquito's absence.

Conservative councillor Andrew Hardie, of Sutton Vesey ward, who also attended that meeting, said the disciplinary process had "been handled very badly in view of the tragedy involved."

Hours after announcing the result of the disciplinary, the office of the PCC said it would be recruiting two new assistant PCCs instead of a single deputy PCC.

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