September 21, 2022
A POLICE officer stole drugs from an evidence room while on duty and had sex in a staff locker room, a tribunal heard.
The man, who can only be named as Officer X, would have been dismissed from the force if he had not resigned before a disciplinary hearing could find him guilty of gross misconduct.
The police constable stole diazepam, commonly known as benzos, from the evidence room of the Sussex Police station in Crowhurst Road, Hollingbury in 2020.
Diazepam, also known as Valium, is a drug primarily used for anxiety and withdrawal from alcohol.
Officer X entered the evidence room four times while on duty over a 12-hour period between 11.47pm on April 1 and 11.30am on April 2.
On April 4, his partner called the police with concerns over his welfare.
Police arrived at his home were they found 35 packets of diazepam.
Officer X admitted that it "wasn't prescribed" and told them he had got it "from up the road".
He is said to have attempted to conceal his wrongdoing by changing the evidence bags the drugs were in.
Stealing drugs from the evidence room was described as "one of the most serious operational acts an officer can do".
Officer X was later arrested.
The panel was told that he admitted to doctors that he stole diazepam.
A doctor said that officer X was "focused on killing himself, not selling the drugs" that he took.
The panel heard that Officer X suffered with mental health issues from 2010 and that he had PTSD after an incident while on duty in 2018.
An independent medical report said he had the mental capacity despite his depression to know that stealing the drugs was wrong.
In 2019, Officer X was said to have "struck up a relationship" with another officer and had sex with her in the locker room of John Street police station, Brighton.
He made "several attempts" to engage in sexual activity with the officer. One of these was successful on June 17 that year.
Officer X denied these allegations.
Officer X was also alleged to have "lied and/or misled the force on mental health forms" when joining Sussex Police.
He answered no on a question that asked if he was aware of any other problems that may affect his employment.
All the allegations breach Sussex Police's code of conduct, amounting to gross misconduct.
The panel decided that Officer X's mental health issues do not hinder the misconduct proceedings against him.
They decided he would have been dismissed for all three of the allegations put against him.
The consequence of this is that officer X will be placed on to a national police Barred List.
Chief Superintendent Lisa Bell, from the professional standards department, said: "Police officers must behave in a manner that does not discredit the police service or undermine public confidence.
"The actions of this officer fell far short of the standards and integrity expected by Sussex Police, which is reflected in the findings by the panel.
"The unacceptable conduct that has been heard here will not be tolerated but this poor behaviour should not overshadow the hard work by the vast majority of our officers, staff and volunteers within Sussex Police."
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