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Police officer given 'final written warning' after investigation

Police officer given 'final written warning' after investigation

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 1:39pm 21st May 2019.

A Devon and Cornwall Police officer has been given a final written warning following an investigation.

It comes after the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) looked into his conduct during a stop and search.

A misconduct hearing found the police constable had committed gross misconduct for failing to arrest a man for a drugs offence after he was found to be in possession of crack cocaine.

But no details have been released about where the incident took place.

Devon and Cornwall Police referred the incident to the IOPC in November 2017 after two officers raised concerns about the officer's conduct, alleging the officer told the suspect he would dispose of the drugs if he provided information relating to a suspected drug dealer.

The investigation, which concluded in July 2018, obtained accounts from the officers who made the allegations and other witnesses, reviewed police logs, and examined vehicle tracking, GPS data and CCTV footage.

Devon and Cornwall Police agreed with the IOPC's view that there was a case to answer for gross misconduct.

An independent panel last week found the officer's conduct fell short of his professional obligation to act with integrity and that he failed to act diligently in the exercise of his duties.

"The officer had the grounds to arrest the suspect for a drugs offence but chose not to.

"The officer's improper conduct and failure to appropriately handle and log evidence meant the man could not be subsequently prosecuted for any offence relating to the drugs found on him.

"His actions compromised the integrity of the investigation and also put his colleagues in a difficult position."

IOPC Regional Director Catrin Evans

A referral was also made to the Crown Prosecution Service as there was an indication a criminal offence may have been committed.

The CPS decided not to authorise any charge.

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