A POLICE officer who helped a friend with favours has appeared at Thames Valley Police's headquarters in a misconduct hearing.

It is alleged that PC Paul Froggatt initially failed to declare an association with a person involved in a case he was investigating and that when he eventually did, he failed to give full disclosure to the force.

The officer, who was based at Bicester Police Station until he was suspended, met hairdresser Ben Newton 12 years ago at a barber shop in the town.

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As the years went by, PC Froggatt became a loyal customer of Mr Newton, following him to various barber shops in Bicester.

When the barber opened his own shop in Bicester in 2016, PC Froggatt helped him with DIY jobs such as tiling as well as creating a ‘manscaping’ room where men can have massages and other beauty treatments.

The pair met with their partners on around five occasions including at the police officer’s wedding reception in 2017, at a barbecue hosted by Mr Newton in 2015 and at the officer’s wife’s 30th birthday celebration meal.

PC Froggatt said their relationship was ‘friendly’ and that a ‘social acquaintance or associate’ was the best way to describe their friendship, but wouldn’t consider Mr Newton a close friend.

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However, it was alleged he had been ‘unprofessional’ in the way in which he handled a case in December 2015 to which he had assigned himself.

Mr Newton had let the officer know that the father of his partner’s child had threatened his family and that something needed to be done. The police officer assigned himself as the investigating officer in the case and yesterday accepted that he made an ‘unprofessional’ comment, when he told Mr Newton that he should have a ‘blanket party’ on the man – a term, the court heard, to describe the practice of concealing a person beneath a blanket and beating them.

He arranged to collect Mr Newton’s statement in the case, but did not disclose that he knew Mr Newton.

PC Froggatt admitted the comment was unprofessional but said his intent was to ‘give good service’ and would not seek to do anything differently in the case.

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On another occasion in October 2016, PC Froggatt received a call from Mr Newton saying a man had been threatening to attack his barber shop in Bicester. PC Froggatt then contacted CCTV officers based in Banbury to direct a camera at the shop.

He said: “I called up the CCTV officer and asked them to be mindful if a man would return to the barber shop. I was concerned that the man would come back. I’d do nothing differently. I was doing it in response to the circumstances explained.”

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He was told the CCTV camera had been moved.

The force has other allegations against PC Froggatt which if proven, would amount to gross misconduct. The hearing continues today.