BY LIZZIE PARRY
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
SUFFOLK: Eight Suffolk police officers have resigned in the last year prior to facing gross misconduct hearings, a shocking Ipswich Star investigation has revealed.
Among the list of offences for which serving police officers have been investigated include a police officer who worked as a driving instructor while off sick from the force, another caught with indecent images of children and a colleague awaiting a court appearance for possessing a firearm.
A Freedom of Information request by the Star has revealed that eight Suffolk police officers resigned in the last year prior to facing gross misconduct hearings – of those two are facing court proceedings against them.
Dating back to 2009/10, 16 officers have faced misconduct hearings and been found guilty.
Of those six were slapped with their final written warning while seven received a written warning. In the remaining cases management action was taken or advice given. The remaining five officers who resigned before their gross misconduct hearings were investigated for:
n criminal fraud
n domestic assault, ABH and theft of police property
n indecent assault on two women in a nightclub
n fraudulently obtaining cash from charity fundraising
n damaging police vehicles and conspiring to harass a member of the public
A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said officers are expected to deliver the “highest standards of personal and professional behaviour”.
“These standards reflect the expectations the public have of how officers should behave and it is always extremely disappointing and sad when officers leave due to misconduct allegations,” he said.
“All investigations undertaken by the Professional Standards Department are conducted in a proportionate manner and are conducted in a manner that protects the integrity of the force with all evidence carefully and objectively reviewed.
“Where an officer is suspected of committing a criminal offence the case is determined using the normal criminal justice processes with evidence presented to the Crown Prosecution Service to seek advice as to whether any further action would be appropriate.
“In cases of gross misconduct, and in cases where it is considered inappropriate for the employees involved in misconduct to remain in their normal place of work, consideration will be given to precautionary suspension, or redeployment elsewhere.”
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