Dorset Police officer dismissed following court case

A Dorset Police officer who pleaded guilty to harassment and data protection offences has been dismissed from the Force following a disciplinary hearing.

Police Constable Allan Smith was dismissed without notice after being found guilty of one charge of discreditable conduct which amounts to gross misconduct.

The Special Case Hearing took place at Dorset Police Headquarters in Winfrith today, Friday 3 July 2015.

The hearing was told that on Monday 1 June 2015 PC Smith appeared at Dorchester Crown Court and pleaded guilty to one charge of harassment and two offences relating to breaches of the Data Protection Act.

PC Smith is due to be sentenced at Dorchester Crown Court on Friday 10 July 2015.

The hearing heard that PC Smith’s actions during 2013 and 2014 and his subsequent conviction breached the standards of professional behaviour and brought discredit on the police service and undermined public confidence.

PC Smith, who did not attend the hearing, accepted that his behaviour amounted to discreditable conduct.

Police Sergeant Martin Davenport, of the Police Federation, read out a statement on PC Smith’s behalf.

PC Smith said he was experiencing difficulties in his work and personal life which caused him to make errors of judgement but accepted that he should have dealt with matters in a more professional way.

Finding PC Smith guilty of gross misconduct, Dorset Police Chief Constable Debbie Simpson said police officers should perform to the highest standards of both professional and personal behaviour at all times.

“Officers need to be able to separate issues in their private lives with that of acting professionally as a police officer.

“The public quite rightly expect that officers behave with integrity and within the law. By abiding by these standards officers gain and maintain the trust of the public, they are dependable and can be trusted at all times. Trust and legitimacy are fundamental principles on which policing stands.

“I believe it is untenable that an officer who has been found guilty of three offences can still hold a position within the police service and secondly I believe I would be supported in that assertion by members of the public.

“I fully accept Constable Smith regrets his actions and has offered a profuse apology to his colleagues and the Force, but having given careful consideration to all the evidence presented in his hearing, I have concluded on the balance of probabilities that Constable Smith’s conduct amounts to gross misconduct and that the appropriate outcome is dismissal without notice.”  

On 1 May 2015 the Government introduced reforms stating that disciplinary and special case hearings of officers, which could lead to an officer’s dismissal, are to be heard in public.

Today’s hearing was the first to be heard in public in Dorset.

ISSUED: 3 July 2015

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