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Lancashire Constabulary Detectives sacked for car-buying scam
FOUR detectives from Lancashire Constabulary have been sacked for organising a car-buying scam.
The officers have been dismissed for gross misconduct after a misconduct hearing found them guilty of ordering unmarked cars for their covert police unit, knowing they would be able to buy them personally just months later at a heavily-reduced price.
In a bid to stop covert police cars being identified by criminals, they are changed frequently and sold to the public at heavily-reduced prices, with most aged only around six to 12 months.
The sacked officers, who include a detective chief inspector, all worked at police headquaters in Hutton. An investigation was launched after the scam was uncovered, and a fifth officer from the same department also faced the hearing, but the case against them was not proven.
A police spokesperson 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 a chief superintendent 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, said: “I 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 majority of dedicated and hard-working officers down."
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