A police officer has been sacked after taking two packets of Jaffa Cakes from a charity stall without paying full price.
PC Chris Dwyer paid 10p for the confectionery, and then claimed he had paid the correct amount of £1.
The West Yorkshire officer, 51, later changed his story and said he could not remember what coins he had placed in the charity tin at Halifax police station.
Dwyer was given an instant dismissal on Thursday after a hearing found him guilty of gross misconduct and said his behaviour was “dishonest and of a criminal nature”.
Akbar Khan, who chaired the misconduct panel, said Dwyer’s actions were an “abuse of trust” and had brought “discredit on the police and the service”.
He said: “The officer is solely to blame for his own conduct, which was dishonest and of a criminal nature. The nature of his dishonesty related to underpaying for items which proceeds were to support a charity to which he was fully aware.”
Dwyer, who spent nearly 25 years in the navy before joining West Yorkshire police in 2017, said any underpayment was a “genuine mistake”.
The hearing heard that colleagues raised concerns that the officer had underpaid for the chocolate, and upon further investigation discovered that the cash float was up by only 10p.
Dwyer initially claimed he had put five 20p pieces into the cash tin, but later said he could not remember the “exact denomination”. Another officer present said she only “heard the noise of one coin” as he dropped it in the tin.
The officer walked out of the police station after the allegation was formally put to him and “had an emotional collapse” which was followed by time off work, the hearing was told.
DS Mark Long, of West Yorkshire police’s professional standards directorate, said: “This officer’s actions do not fit with the values of the organisation and he has been dishonest when challenged. An independent, legally qualified chair has found that his breach of the standards of professional behaviour constituted gross misconduct and he has been dismissed from the force.”
Source: (The Guardian)