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Officers dismissed for gross misconduct

Two officers have been dismissed from British Transport Police after a misconduct hearing found them guilty of gross misconduct.

The hearing on Friday (26/5) found the officers had been negligent when they deleted photographs from a suspect’s phone and failed to investigate an allegation that he had used one of the images to commit fraud.   

The independently chaired panel concluded that the actions of PC James Oughton-Martin, based at Milton Keynes, and PC Gary Williams, based at Watford, breached the standards of duties and responsibilities in a way that amounted to gross misconduct and they were dismissed from the force with immediate effect.

In November 2015 the two officers were called to investigate an incident where it was believed that a man had unlawfully extracted photographs from a victim’s phone. They arrested the suspect and seized a laptop used in the offence but decided to delete the photographs from the computer and take no further action.

When the victim subsequently reported that her credit card had been used without her permission, believed as a consequence of an image of the card being kept on her phone, the officers failed to follow up her concerns in line with policing procedures.

Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock said: “This was a weak and flawed investigation and these officers seriously let down a victim of crime. Their fundamental responsibility as police officers was to protect the public and prevent and detect crime; by failing to carry out the most basic of actions they not only allowed the offender to commit a further offence, but more worryingly damaged the confidence of the very person who sought their help.

“The panel quite rightly concluded that the officers had acted inappropriately and contrary to the standards of behaviour we, and most importantly the public, expect of professional police officers and so they have been dismissed from the force.

“I am proud of the commitment and compassion our officers demonstrate when responding to calls from the public, often in very troubling situations, and this depressing episode does not reflect the outstanding work the majority of our officers do every hour of every day.”

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