Police officers sacked over car buying ‘scam’

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Four Lancashire Police officers have been sacked over a ‘scam’ involving covert police vehicles.

A spokesman for the force said five officers were suspended from duty in March this year after allegations were brought to the attention of Constabulary bosses last October.

It is understood the ‘scam’ involved the buying of unmarked police cars to use in covert operations.

To stop the cars being identified by criminals, they are changed frequently and sold by the force to the public at heavily-reduced prices when they are finished with.

But the officers had been found to have ordered cars they wanted for themselves to be used as covert vehicles, knowing they would soon be available to buy at a reduced cost.

Four of the five officers have now been dismissed, with the case against the fifth found not to be proven.

All of the officers were based at Lancashire Police’s Hutton headquarters. The force would not comment further on where the officers had previously been based.

A police spokesman said: “These matters were brought to our attention in October last year and an investigation was immediately launched. The five officers were suspended from duty in March.

“The case was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and a full and thorough investigation continued under their supervision which resulted in the officers being charged with gross misconduct, as we were clear that in our view there was a case to answer.

“The misconduct hearing panel was made up of a Chief Officer and Chief Supt from separate forces and a lay member. They have listened to the facts of the case over nine days and we welcome the decisions they have reached. The case was proven against four of the officers and a fifth was exonerated.

“Honesty and integrity are two of the most important characteristics of a police officer and these officers have clearly failed to display those qualities, as well as failing to act with due diligence. The impact of their actions has brought discredit to the force.

“We will ensure that any recommendations and lessons from this case are reflected on and we will work with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Police Federation to prevent further occurrences of this nature.

“We remain resolute in our commitment to deal with anyone in the organisation who does not keep to the high standards expected of them and which the vast majority of our staff adhere to on a daily basis.

Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw; “I fully support the actions of the Constabulary in this matter. I want everyone to have the highest level of confidence in the police and through their actions this minority have let the vast majority of dedicated and hard-working officers and staff of the Constabulary down.”

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