Essex police officer dismissed after “extremely serious breaches”
Detective Constable Peter Wood has been dismissed by Essex Police after breaching professional standards while working for the force’s North Child Abuse Investigation Team.
Dc Wood’s dismissal followed a public misconduct hearing held in Southend which found that he had breached the standards of professional behaviour relating to orders and instructions, duties and responsibilities and honesty and integrity.
Three out of four allegations made against Dc Wood were found proven.
A panel, led by legally qualified chair Siobhan Goodrich, ruled that between June 2013 and August 2014 Dc Wood has failed to take appropriate steps to trace a suspect and consider any safeguarding requirement while working for the North Child Abuse Investigation Team.
The panel also found that Dc Wood had made a dishonest entry on a force recording system which related to checks that he said he had completed.
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He was also found to have failed to take steps to ensure that two mobile phones and a laptop were submitted for forensic examination and then lied to a supervisor regarding the submission of the devices.
In addition Dc Wood lied about a witness not being willing to provide a statement and then making an entry to that effect on a force’s recording system.
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He also failed to follow the instructions of a supervisor in trying to trace two witnesses.
Superintendent Kevin Baldwin, who was part of the hearing panel said: “Police officers are expected to always act with the highest standards of behaviour and it is profoundly damaging to the trust and confidence that victims of crime must have in us when the actions of an officer do not meet those expectations. This is even more crucial in the most harmful and complex crimes we investigate.
“These are extremely serious breaches of the standards that must apply to every police officer. They amount to gross misconduct and in those circumstances the only possible sanction is dismissal.”