Hampshire police officer sacked for stealing £2,000 from evidence lock-up

PC James Street
PC James Street

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A POLICE officer has been sacked for stealing £2,106 from an evidence lock-up.

PC James Street took the cash from a temporary store set up to house cash, drugs and other items seized or handed in at the BoomTown music festival in 2016.

More was seized than usual at the festival and the way items were handled ‘fell from the standards’ expected. About £53 that went missing is not accounted for.

A misconduct hearing, held at Fareham police station, was told PC Street also failed an ‘integrity test’ after not handing in cash from a holdall given to him by a ‘member of the public’ at a petrol station.

Separately, the hearing was told he called a colleague a ‘dyke’ and ‘made offensive comments about her and her appearance’ on WhatsApp.

Andrew Waters, counsel for the hearing, said PC Street had been spotted on CCTV at 1.10am on August 15, 2016, removing an ‘item’ from a safe in the temporary store and put it on a shelving unit.

PC Street re-entered the store at 1.34am ‘carrying a brown envelope’ and went to the ‘same area’.

The officer was out of camera view for 25 seconds – leaving the store, at Southampton station, at 1.36am.

Mr Waters said: ‘That two-minute period must have been when he put the cash exhibit in the envelope.’

The hearing was told PC Street, who denied the allegation, re-entered the store at 2.35am with a colleague and was seen ‘suspiciously’ looking at the CCTV cameras.

Banking enquiries found £700 was deposited in the officer’s Lloyds account on August 16, and then another £800 on August 22.

Mr Waters told the hearing it was also ‘no coincidence’ that computer records showed PC Street started looking at the investigation linked to the cash.

The officer, who has previously worked a beat in Petersfield, also failed an ‘integrity test’ on July 13, 2017.

PC Street was handed a holdall containing ‘deal bags’ of ‘white powder’ and cash at a petrol station. He took £50 and 50 Euros from the bag, claiming he put the money in an evidence bag in his stab vest to process later. The panel was told he did book in other cash and powder.

PC Street said he had ‘no intention’ of stealing cash.

A panel, chaired by Caroline Carberry QC, found the two cash allegations proved as gross misconduct, and the WhatsApp message on March 27, 2017, was misconduct.