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Essex/Suffolk: Police officer quit after conviction for illegal firearm possession

PUBLISHED: 15:30 06 July 2014 | UPDATED: 15:44 06 July 2014

Police car.

Police car.

A former officer with Essex Police who lives in Suffolk resigned from the force over owning a sawn-off shotgun.

PC Michael Winfield, of The Street, Melton, was suspended from work pending a disciplinary hearing.

However he resigned before the process, or a court case, was finished.

The shotgun, plus CS canisters, were found at Winfield’s former home in Benfleet, Essex.

He pleaded guilty to firearms possession charges at Ipswich Crown Court in April, where he was given a two-year suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay £1,000 costs and carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.

Essex Police added Winfield’s name to the national “disapproved” register held by the College of Policing, a list of banned officers added often because they have quit before internal misconduct hearings have been completed.

It prevents them working with a different force.

The case was detailed in a report into Essex Police’s Professional Standards Department, published as part of the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston’s commitment to transparency.

Mr Alston said: “The vast majority of police officers, PCSOs and police staff feel that acts of misconduct, or those even more rare acts of criminality, performed by their colleagues let down everyone in the force.

“In the past some of these cases would never have become known to the public. I am aware there may be shock and disappointment at some of the details.”

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