Sacked officers ‘may appeal’

Lancashire Constabulary HQ where the officers were based.
Lancashire Constabulary HQ where the officers were based.
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Four sacked police officers dismissed by the force for organising a car-buying ‘scam’ are today considering appealing the decision.

A detective chief inspector, a detective inspector, a detective sergeant and a detective constable, all from Lancashire Police, lost their jobs after being found guilty of gross misconduct.

It is understood the officers had been ordering unmarked police cars they wanted for themselves, knowing they would soon be available to buy personally at a reduced cost.

This is because the cars are frequently changed and sold by the force at heavily-reduced prices after being used in covert operations.

But Lancashire Police Federation today labelled the decision to sack the four “too harsh’.”

Rachel Baines, chairman of the body representing rank-and-file Lancashire Police officers, said: “Lancashire Police Federation fully accept that an investigation into such an allegation must take place, but on behalf of the officers we are extremely disappointed with the result.

“We believe there are lessons to be learned by the constabulary and we will be working with them to ensure future organisational failings are avoided.

“The officers are considering whether an appeal is appropriate.

“It is a decision that has not been made at this time and they are considering whether to appeal the decision.”

The matters were brought to the Constabulary’s attention in October 2012 and an investigation was immediately launched.

The five officers, all from a specialist covert unit based at the Hutton headquarters, were suspended in March.

A misconduct hearing came to a conclusion last week and the officers were dismissed.

Mrs Baines added: “We think the sanction was too harsh.

“They could have retained their positions as police officers with another outcome.

“Whether that was a final written warning or whatever, it could have meant they kept their jobs.

“We have a couple of weeks to decide whether we want to appeal the decision or not and the process will happen as soon as they can draw a panel together, which could take some time.”

The officers will not face criminal charges after the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute.

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