Police officer sacked for punching suspect is reinstated

Colin Travi on duty
Image caption Colin Travi was dismissed by Thames Valley Police in 2017

A police sergeant dismissed for repeatedly punching a suspect in the head while he was detained in custody has been reinstated.

Sgt Colin Travi was sacked by Thames Valley Police in 2017 after hitting the man at Abingdon police station, Oxfordshire, on 16 August 2016.

He has returned to the force with immediate effect after successfully appealing against the ruling.

The Police Appeals Tribunal found Sgt Travi's use of force was reasonable.

Two years ago a misconduct hearing panel found the officer used "excessive and unnecessary force" when the detained man became agitated.

The suspect was arrested on suspicion of burglary and driving offences.

As he had a history of self harm, the detainee was placed on watch with the cell door left open and two officers stationed outside. Several hours later, officers reported the man had become increasingly agitated.


CCTV seen by the panel showed Mr Travi, who was the custody sergeant, enter the cell. After a brief conversation a struggle broke out and he and his colleagues attempted to restrain the man.

The man was then punched in the head four times.

On Tuesday, a tribunal found Thames Valley Police's original finding of gross misconduct was unreasonable and unfair.

The newly reinstated officer has been granted two weeks special leave to make arrangements to return to work.

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