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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Detective sacked over prisoner contraband

Detective sacked over prisoner contraband

A detective was sacked today after an inmate got hold of drugs and mobile phones while in his care outside prison.

The Metropolitan Police officer came under suspicion when the contraband was found as the prisoner returned to Wormwood Scrubs in west London after an interview.

He has been sacked, and two colleagues have received written warnings, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said.

An investigation was launched after the prisoner was temporarily released on September 17 last year to be interviewed over a series of thefts from vehicles in 2004 and 2005 in the Hounslow area.

He was put in the care of three officers - a constable and two detective constables - all based in the crime squad at Brentford police station.

They were warned that the prisoner was planning to obtain drugs and mobile phones and he was strip-searched as he left.

When he returned he was searched again and drugs, two mobile phones, three SIM cards and an adapted USB cable were found secreted around his body.

Officials later found that the officers allowed the inmate to visit his family in Whitton during a two-hour window after he was interviewed in Hounslow.

All three officers denied any involvement in the supply of drugs and phones and said he must have brought them out of the jail with him.

Forensic tests on all the items were unable to identify any third parties involved in their supply.

The prisoner's family said officers had taken him to his home on at least five occasions during 2009.

A file was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) but no charges were brought.

Deborah Glass, of the IPCC, said one detective was dismissed and the others received final written warnings after a misconduct hearing took place.

The hearing found they neglected information about a potential crime, disregarded protocols surrounding temporary prisoner releases and brought discredit on their force.

Mrs Glass added: "In this case, a prisoner came to obtain drugs and a mobile phone while supposedly in the care of police officers.

"Although there was no evidence directly connecting these officers to illegal acts, one officer had repeatedly enabled a prisoner unauthorised visits to his family, and allowed a further visit despite the fact that there was specific intelligence that illegal substances would be obtained.

"Whether his actions were naive or deliberate, they undoubtedly brought discredit on the Metropolitan Police and this has been reflected in his dismissal."

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "The Met expects its staff to behave professionally, ethically and with the utmost integrity at all times.

"Those who fall below the standards expected by the Met will be dealt with robustly."

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