Former firearms officer sent to hearing over claims wood was stolen from shooting range to make garden table

Former firearms officer sent to hearing over claims wood was stolen from shooting range to make garden table
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Max Parry

By Max Parry

Published: 14/02/2022

- 15:55

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 11:26

Pc B who no longer works for Dorset Police, removed four or five posts from the range without permission, the hearing heard

A police officer took wooden posts from a shooting range and used them to build furniture for his garden, a misconduct hearing has heard.

The former firearms officer, known only as Pc B, used the stakes to construct a table.

It is claimed that Pc B, who no longer works for Dorset Police, removed four or five posts from the range’s stores without permission between July and August 2019.

The hearing at Dorset Police HQ heard that Pc B’s supervisor learnt from another officer that the stakes were missing, and that Pc B was suspected of taking them.

It is further alleged that his conduct was aggravated by acting dishonestly when under investigation by lying to his supervisors.

Giving evidence, Inspector W said that when he first heard about it, he sought advice from the force’s professional standards department.

Days later Pc B went to his office, appearing “agitated”, and admitted he had taken the stakes – 6ft fence posts used in training – and said they were being used to prop up a wooden lean-to at his home.

Inspector W told the hearing: “Pc B came into the office, and he was in what I would term a state of agitation, and he asked me if I had been to professional standards in relation to a matter.

“I thought that’s interesting because it was a very tight process I was trying to keep.

“I informed him I had been to professional standards, and it was about the matter of range posts which I had been told had been used by him to construct a table.

“Pc B said ‘Why didn’t you come to me to talk about it? Why did you go to professional standards?’

“He was clearly now both agitated and upset.

“I stated I wasn’t happy with his conduct and that professionally I wasn’t happy dealing with it at my level and it had to be dealt with properly.”

Inspector W said he did not feel it was a “proportionate” response to then caution Pc B for theft.

“Perhaps I was being a little naive. However, I was very conscious not to question heavily prior to consulting with professional standards,” he said.

“It was a disclosure that Pc B came to us with and I wasn’t expecting it and I have to admit I was taken a little off guard.”

Inspector W said that, after taking further advice, he wrote down what Pc B had said and asked him to check it and sign it to confirm its accuracy, which he did.

The hearing was told that Inspector W and an officer known as Sergeant V went with Pc B to his home address, where they discovered the garden table.

“We went into the house and there was a big blue chunky table on a deck and it raised eyebrows,” he said.

Sergeant V told the hearing: “He was flustered and said he had taken some wooden posts to prop up a lean-to.

“He stated he had taken the posts and said that he was aware that professional standards were investigating the taking of the property.

“He said the posts would be on his driveway, which was at odds with the previous account he had given and it made me think the previous account was not a truthful account.

“He then said a friend had the posts and he would arrange for the posts to be returned.”

Another officer, Sergeant X, told the hearing he had become suspicious of Pc B in the summer of 2019 because of a “lot of shenanigans”.

“I had a run-in with Pc B and I challenged him on his behaviour, and I was keeping Sergeant V updated on these things,” he said.

“I think I had told him we were missing some posts and that Pc B may have taken them.”

Sergeant X said that, on the day Pc B admitted to Inspector W that he had taken the wood, Pc B phoned him and asked him to go to a DIY store and buy some garden fence posts.

The misconduct panel, which is being chaired by lawyer Derek Marshall, also watched CCTV footage of Pc B loading wood into his van at the firing range.

Pc B, who is represented by Police Federation representative James Dimmack, is not attending the hearing.

The hearing continues.

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