Joyriding pair took vehicle without consent
Two Devon and Cornwall Police constables have been fired after they took a vehicle for a joy ride after stopping it while working on a road safety campaign.
PC Shaun Pearce and PC Daniel Pike were involved in an initiative called 'No Excuses,' cracking down on motorists who speed, use mobile phones, drive under the influence of drinks or drugs or don't wear seat belts.
In January 2019, after seizing a vehicle for an alleged offence they were waiting for a recovery vehicle to take it away when they decided to take it for a spin without the consent of the vehicle’s owner. PC Pearce drove the vehicle for three miles, at one point reaching 89 miles an hour.
The vehicle was returned minutes later to the same position. PC Pike was a passenger and filmed part of the driving, including the excessive speed. This footage was then shared with other officers via a WhatsApp group. The officers then gave an explanation for the necessity to move the vehicle rather than it remain in situ awaiting recovery.
They've now faced a disciplinary committee accused of breaching the standards appropriate to the conduct of a police officer in respect of honesty, integrity, authority, respect, courtesy, duties and responsibilities, and discreditable conduct.
In a public meeting that lasted three days, a misconduct panel found that their actions amounted to gross misconduct after they breached the expected standards of professional behaviour.
As well as dismissing them without notice, the panel is passing their details to the College of Policing Barred List, preventing them from working in policing again.
Head of professional standards Detective Superintendent Paul Kessell said: "The behaviour displayed by these officers falls well below what the force and the public expect of a police officer.
"Through their actions, they have undermined the public’s trust and confidence in the police force and taken advantage of the responsibility placed on them in their roles.
"We will not tolerate such behaviours and therefore dismissal was the right and proper outcome.”