Thieving Scam Cop Faces Jail

Alexis Scott faces jail
Alexis Scott faces jail

A former police community support officer from south-east London who stole thousands of pounds by tricking departing air passengers into thinking they were carrying too much cash could be facing jail.

Alexis Scott approached travellers as they were about to go through the final gate at Gatwick in Sussex and asked how much money they were carrying, police said.

She convinced some that they were carrying more than the maximum amount allowed and “confiscated” the balance, before reassuring her victims they could claim it back when they returned.

The 39-year-old then placed the money under her uniform hat and headed back to the police station.

The scam was uncovered when returning passengers began asking airport officials for their money back. Scott, of Plumstead, was arrested in May last year.

After a police investigation she was accused of stealing more than £15,000 from seven victims.

After a trial lasting more than three weeks, she was convicted at Canterbury Crown Court of six offences of theft and one of misconduct in public office, while she was found not guilty of one count of theft. The charge she was cleared of related to an alleged theft of around £1,500.

Scott was remanded into custody ahead of sentencing.

Following the verdict Deputy Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney said: “Sussex Police expects the highest personal and professional standards of everyone who works for us.

“Scott fell woefully short of those standards, abusing the trust that we had placed in her, but more importantly, the trust of the public and in particular, the victims of her crimes.

“Passengers and other users of Gatwick Airport rightly expect that those who wear the uniform of Sussex Police do so with integrity and honesty.

“Scott failed in this simple requirement and has been duly punished, but this mustn’t be allowed to reflect upon the professionalism, honesty and integrity of other employees of Sussex Police who work tirelessly and selflessly around the clock.

“This was a complex and detailed investigation of an audacious act, but any such act will not be tolerated and we acted swiftly and decisively as soon as it came to light.”

After internal disciplinary proceedings in July last year Scott was dismissed from her job, which pays a basic salary of between £18,500 and just over £20,000 a year.

Sex cop spared jail

PC Simon Abell
PC Simon Abell

A Pc who sent sexually inappropriate texts and Facebook messages to a woman he met in his capacity as a serving officer walked free from court today.

Intelligence officer Pc Simon Abell was handed a six-month sentence, suspended for one year, at Nottingham Crown Court after pleading guilty to misconduct in a public office at an earlier hearing.

The court was told he sent inappropriate texts and Facebook messages between November 4, 2011 and the end of August 2012 to a woman he met in his capacity as a police constable.

Sentencing the 42-year-old, Judge Michael Stokes, Recorder of Nottingham, said: “You have pleaded guilty to a single offence of misconduct in a public office, which is always a serious offence.

“You were at the relevant time, and had been for over 20 years, a serving police officer.

“It is always a matter of regret and gravity when a police officer offends in this way.

“A police officer is in a position of trust in relation to all members of the community who he serves.”

The court heard Abell, who was based at Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, had been a serving officer for 23 and a half years.

The judge said: “It is quite inappropriate for a police officer to be engaging with someone who started as a potential witness in this sort of sexual innuendo.”

The court heard the complainant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, initiated contact with the officer in 2011 by sending him a Facebook message after being a potential witness in an earlier case.

She asked him in the Facebook message, sent on November 5, whether he remembered her.

Father-of-two Abell, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, replied: “Hi of course i remember a sexy lady like you. I remembered you in an instant xx. I was coming to see you, as i remember, then you didn’t invite me lol.”

A flurry of texts and Facebook messages between the pair then commenced.

The court heard that he had met the woman when she was a potential witness in a police investigation but at the time of the offences that case had been discontinued.

The matter came to the attention of the Professional Standards Directorate in September 2012 after a friend of the complainant handed a CD with screenshots of Facebook messages between Abell and the woman into Mansfield Police Station.

Abell, who appeared in the dock wearing a blue shirt, striped tie and black trousers and was seen to hold his head in his hands at times during today’s hearing, was arrested in January 2013.

He was suspended from Nottinghamshire Police and resigned in May this year after pleading guilty to misconduct in a public office at Nottingham Crown Court.

The 42-year-old pleaded not guilty to two further misconduct charges of sexually inappropriate behaviour between November 4, 2011 and December 31, 2011, and on August 2, 2012.

The prosecution agreed that no further action should be taken against the officer, who has been suspended by his force, on the further charges.

In mitigation today, Harpreet Sandhu said: “He had not only lost his occupation but he had effectively lost his reputation. He is lucky that those who know him have stood by him”.

Abell’s partner and ex-wife were in court for the sentencing.

Mr Sandhu added that his client had shown “genuine remorse”.

He said: “The regret is not for him but for those who he has placed in a precarious position due to his offending”.

The judge noted that the complainant had initiated the contact but said she had been “undeniably vulnerable” and that Abell had “taken advantage” of that vulnerability.

He handed Abell a six-month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months.

The former officer was also ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work for the benefit of the community over the next 12 months.

Speaking after today’s hearing, Detective Superintendent Jackie Alexander, head of the Force’s Professional Standards Directorate, said: “Abell should have been there to protect vulnerable people and uphold the law but instead he abused his position and failed to meet the high standards of integrity and professionalism that we expect from all our officers and employees.

“We need to acknowledge that in all professions there will be a minority of individuals who try and use their position for abuse or sexual exploitation, and sadly this will, on occasion, also include these who work in policing. It is only by acknowledging this fact, and ensuring that where there is any suggestion of abuse a transparent and professional investigation is conducted, that we can then reassure the public that we continue to deserve their trust and confidence.

“Simon Abell not only acted criminally towards a vulnerable person, but he also let down the vast number of officers and staff who are committed to helping and supporting people in their time of need. I hope that this case does reassure the people of Nottinghamshire that we are actively committed to identifying and rooting out these kinds of behaviour when they occur.”

Sex cop jailed

Ian-Langford

A police officer who served with West Mercia Police and who seduced and slept with vulnerable women while on duty has been jailed for 18 months.

Ian Langford, 46, struck up relationships with two women after being called to attend incidents at their homes.

Gloucester Crown Court heard married Langford would visit the women – who he was having relationships with at the same time – during his shifts.

The father-of-one’s police radio was heard to go off during visits and he even called a police car to bring him back to the station, the court was told.

Langford’s “totally unacceptable” actions led to a trial collapsing in court – as he was sleeping with the key prosecution witness.

He also illegally accessed police records to gain the contact details of one of his victims when she changed her phone number after their relationship ended.

Langford, of Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, admitted two charges of misconduct in a public office for the relationships, which took place in 2012 and 2013.

In 2008, Langford was docked 13 days pay by West Mercia Police for sleeping with a vulnerable women after attending her home following a domestic violence incident.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC told Langford, who was supported in court by his new wife, that his actions had brought the police service into disrepute.

“You are not a man of good character because in 2008 you were reprimanded for committing a similar, if not identical, offence with another vulnerable woman,” the judge said.

“If you needed reminding that such behaviour was totally unacceptable, that incident should have deterred you.

“However, in May 2012, you met up with one victim. She was the victim of domestic violence, as had been the victim in 2008.

“She was looking for the protection of the law and the understanding of the police. You chose to seduce her when she was at her most vulnerable.

“Later, when the affair had come to an end you misused police data to discover her private phone number.”

The judge said Langford met with a second victim in June 2012, when in a relationship with the first woman, following a neighbourly dispute at her home, which resulted in a trial.

“The case was compromised when it came to trial because the defendant let it be known that you were having an affair with the prosecution witness,” the judge said.

“As a result, the case had to be dropped, although a restraining order was imposed. Nothing could demonstrate better why police officers have to conduct themselves in a exemplary manner.

“Both your victims feel extremely let down by the police. You targeted women when they were at their most vulnerable. You carried out the affairs while actually on duty.

“Your behaviour has brought the police service into disrepute.”

The judge sentenced Langford to nine months for each count of misconduct in a public office, to run consecutively – meaning a prison term of 18 months.

The judge also made an order banning the identification of any of Langford’s victims.

Prison Officer spared jail over illicit prisoner affair

Kathryn Finch
Kathryn Finch

An Isle of Sheppey prison admin officer who had a secret relationship with a gangster serving life for murder has been spared jail.

Kathryn Finch, 37, enjoyed dozens of illicit phone conversations with Carl Gordon while she was employed as an clerk at HMP Swaleside in Eastchurch.

Former gym instructor Gordon, now 27, was locked up in 2006 after stabbing Michael Campbell, 21, in Turnham Green, west London after a row over a vandalised car.

During his time at the category B prison, Gordon joined forces with 58-year-old arms dealer Paul Alexander – who supplied weapons to the gang behind the murder of schoolboy Rhys Jones – to run an underworld gun ring from behind bars.

Gordon and Finch, of Bramley Way, Eastchurch, exchanged 25 phone calls and more than 60 text messages between April 13, 2011, and May 31, 2011 at Swaleside.

She admitted a single charge of unauthorised transmission of an image of sound by electronic communication from within a prison at Southwark Crown Court.

The mother-of-three has now been sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment – suspended for two years.
Judge Peter Testar said Finch has a weak personality and was probably targeted by Gordon for “his own purposes”.
Catherine Rabaiotti, defending, said Finch was suffering from depression, anxiety and alcoholism.
Finch was also given a 12-month supervision order with activity requirements to attend a women’s group and undergo training or work.

300 Data Protection Breaches @ The Met

nsy

Police officers with the country’s largest force have been caught assisting criminals, selling confidential details for cash and making racist and sexist comments on the internet, a Press Association investigation has found.

Others within the Metropolitan Police harassed colleagues, bragged about their law breaking and lied to managers in an effort to cover up breaches of Data Protection rules.

The results of the investigation, which show 300 police breaches during nearly five years, have prompted calls for the Met to carry out an urgent review of its security procedures, while civil liberties campaigners want changes to legislation allowing greater penalties for those who break rules.

A force spokesman said it demands all employees “act with professionalism and integrity whether on or off-duty”, and comply with rules.

The Data Protection breaches are the latest embarrassment to the Met, after investigations by national newspapers discovered corruption within the force, while a damning report by barrister Mark Ellison QC found that an undercover officer was a “spy” within the “family camp” of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

Former shadow home secretary David Davis said the breaches undermined public trust in the police.

The Tory MP for Haltemprice and Howden said: “The extent to which police officers have used confidential police information for criminal ends, and abused individuals’ private information for their personal benefit, is astonishing.

“This directly impacts on the level of trust between the police and the public.

“The public are much more shocked when it is vulnerable, ordinary people who are victimised rather than powerful celebrities. These revelations are the sort of thing that will deeply concern the man on the street.

“The Met needs to review, as a matter of urgency, the security control for confidential information that the police hold on members of the public.”

The breaches cover rank-and-file officers, senior investigators and civilian staff at the Met, which employs around 31,000 officers,13,000 police staff and 2,600 Police Community Support Officers (PCSO).

Around one-fifth of cases ended in a sacking or retirement, while two-thirds resulted in formal action.

Breaches between January 2009 and October 2013 range from minor rule-breaks on social media to serious allegations of misconduct leading to arrests.

According to the Met, criminals used an officer to “obtain data from police indices to assist in criminality”. The criminals had been subject to public protection arrangements usually reserved for sexual or violent offenders.

Another officer was arrested for leaking intelligence “of a significant level to a prominent criminal with links to firearms”, the Met said.

A further officer was discovered to be passing on confidential information regarding drugs. In both cases, the employee was arrested and is no longer working for the force.

A detective chief inspector received formal action after committing “offences contrary to the Prevention of Corruption Act”, the force said.

In a handful of cases, journalists were secretly supplied with information by police – sometimes in exchange for cash, the Met confirmed.

There were also occasions when employees were censured for posting offensive material on Facebook and for behaving inappropriately at work.

A police officer was reprimanded for making inappropriate sexual comments about children on a website, while another sent a spoof image of a caravan adorned with Nazi references to an external address.

A special constable received formal action for making the comment “damn n*****s” on a Facebook photo of two men fighting, while one officer received management action for sending a picture of armed police outside the Commons, captioned with the words “Merry Christmas… Keep calm and f**k off.”

Another officer breached data laws after disclosing on Facebook that he had lost a bag containing police paper and equipment, while one employee joined the Facebook of Sex website and posted photos of himself.

An officer also used their internal email for dating purposes, some searched for pornography, while a PCSO used the police computer to check up on her boyfriend.

Another “searched details of a cab driver he had refused to pay a few nights before”.

Of the 300 cases investigated and substantiated, 208 were subject to formal action being taken – including criminal prosecutions where appropriate.

The remaining 92 cases resulted in a variety of outcomes including written warnings, management action, retirement or resignation (allowed by police regulations) and two cases of no further action.

Emma Carr, deputy director of civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, said police needed to be more transparent in coming clean about staff data breaches.

She said: “It shouldn’t take journalists or campaign groups to ask for that information because it looks like they are hiding something.

“It’s also important that police do their utmost to ensure people are disciplined when malicious data sharing has taken place, and for them to ensure that if criminality has occurred they feel the full force of the law – it shouldn’t be one rule for police and one for the rest of us.”

She added: “I think we have seen so many stories recently of potential corruption taking place within the police, with malicious practice or people not really sticking to the law that we’re supposed to keep as the general public.

“When you then have other tensions taking place within communities, that’s clearly going to add to mistrust between police forces and the public when you really need them to work together.

“That’s why its important the heads of the police force are seen to be doing something to ensure they are running a clean unit.”

A Met spokesman said: “We recognise that protecting the sensitive data we hold is critical to public confidence and our ability to fight crime effectively.

“The MPS treats any allegation about the conduct of its staff extremely seriously and will always take steps to determine whether the conduct of that member of staff has breached the required standards of professional behaviour.”

Asked how public confidence would be affected by evidence of racism, the spokesman added: “The Commissioner has stated he will not tolerate racism and recognises that the Met needs to continuously improve. All staff are aware that racism will not be tolerated and this is made clear when they join and throughout their careers.”

EXAMPLES

Here are some examples of police breaking the rules, and the action taken against them. All data was supplied by the Met:

:: PC, formal action, 2009 – Officer used internal email for dating purposes

:: Other police staff, retired / resigned, 2011 – Subject arrested for leaking intelligence regarding drugs

:: Police officer, formal action, 2013 – Supplied a journalist with confidential information

:: Special constable, formal action, 2012 – Blatantly told a number of calculated lies to her line manager in order to cover up her misuse of computer system

:: Other police staff, retired / resigned, 2012 – Viewed a Criminal Reporting Information System report involving a family member

:: Police officer, retired / resigned, 2009 – Level 1 and 2 criminals using officer to obtain data from police indices to assist in criminality

:: Police officer, management action, 2011 – Sent inappropriate material showing police in public order dress holding shields in front of Parliament with the words ‘Merry Christmas… Keep calm and f**k off’

:: Other police staff, formal action, 2009 – Searched details of a cab driver he had refused to pay a few nights before

:: Police officer, formal action, 2011 – Numerous browsing the internet or playing games when he should be working. Using iPhone to access porn.

:: Special constable, formal action, 2011 – Believed to have made racist comments on Facebook. Commented on a picture of two fighting men with the phrase “damn n*****s”.

:: Community support officer, retired / resigned, 2013 – Computer misuse, checks on her boyfriend

:: Other police staff, formal action, 2010 – Used police terminal to download pirate movies from an illegal website and watched them during work time

:: Other police staff, retired / resigned, 2009 – Officer leaked information / amended entries in relation to the changing of registered owners details of vehicles stolen by criminal networks

:: Police officer, formal action, 2009 – Discreditable conduct: Sent an email with the answers to paper one of the IRV driving exam

:: Police officer, formal action, 2010 – Inappropriate sexual comments about children on a website

:: Community support officer, management action, 2012 – Officer allowed a male impersonating a police officer during the riots into the police station

:: Other police officer, formal action, 2012 – Disclosed information not in the public domain via Twitter regarding an assault of a WPC at Notting Hill Carnival

:: Other police officer, formal action, 2011 – Searching gay porn on work computer

:: Police officer, retired / resigned, 2009 – Officer pasted onto his Facebook profile that he had lost a bag containing police paper and equipment

:: Community support officer, formal action, 2009 – Asked a police officer to run an unauthorised / false PNC check on a relative who had a link to a rape case

:: Police officer, formal action, 2010 – Alleged to have harassed a female colleague by showing her an indecent photograph… Also made indecent sexual suggestions and approached her from behind rubbing his nipples making sexual noises

:: Other police staff, retired / resigned, 2009 – Leaking intelligence of a significant level to a prominent criminal with links to firearms. Arrested

:: Community support officer, retired / resigned, 2009 – Emailing and intimidating witnesses, whose addresses he gained access to, ahead of a gross misconduct board hearing

:: Police officer, formal action, 2010 – Officer sent a spoof image of a caravan adorned with various Nazi references to an external address

:: Police officer, formal action, 2010 – Joined the Facebook of Sex website and has been posting photos of himself, some in uniform and some of a sexual nature

:: Police officer, management action, 2010 – Officer made comments on Facebook that she had “topped 112mph” on her motorbike and comments about being at court

:: Police officer, formal action, 2011 – DCI committed offences contrary to the Prevention of Corruption Act

:: Police officer, formal action, 2009 – Racist comment made on Facebook

Plebgate Cop Sacked

Plodgate

A police constable who was on duty in Downing Street has been sacked over leaks to the press linked to the Plebgate row, Scotland Yard said.

Gillian Weatherley was found to have breached standards of professional behaviour in relation to honesty and integrity; orders and instructions; confidentiality; discreditable conduct and challenging and reporting improper conduct in a three-day misconduct hearing.

She was on duty in Downing Street on the day of the confrontation between then-chief whip Andrew Mitchell and fellow constable Toby Rowland in September 2012.

The next day, Weatherley sent a photograph of an email that Rowland had sent to his bosses about the row to another officer, James Glanville. He was later sacked for leaking the information to the Sun newspaper.

Weatherley was found guilty of gross misconduct after the hearing before a panel which included an independent representative, a Superintendent and Commander Julian Bennett.

As well as sending the photograph to Glanville, Scotland Yard said Weatherley went on to exchange 12 text messages with him in the days following the confrontation, all of which she later deleted.

The force said she had given ” inaccurate and misleading” statements to officers investigating the aftermath of the row, and had been suspended from duty since her arrest in February last year. Prosecutors have already decided not to press charges.

Another two officers, also from the diplomatic protection group, are due to face gross misconduct proceedings in the coming weeks.

The next hearing will begin on Thursday, for another Pc accused of denying he had been in contact with Keith Wallis, a fellow officer who was jailed and sacked for sending his MP an email in which he pretended to have witnessed the Downing Street confrontation.

A third constable will face her gross misconduct hearing on May 20, where she will be accused of giving false statements to the police investigation into Plebgate.

It is claimed she knew about Wallis’s email and her partner leaked information to the Sun. The hearings are taking place in private as dictated by statute, but Mr Mitchell was invited to attend and Scotland Yard said it would publicise details of the decisions made.

The only misconduct hearing the force has previously held in public is that of Pc Simon Harwood, who was sacked after the death of newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson, when it was ordered to do so by police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Mr Mitchell said: “Disciplinary hearings in the Metropolitan Police are held in private and therefore I am limited in what I can say – at this stage.

“What I can say today is that I felt the hearing was well-conducted.

“This gross misconduct hearing was in respect of police officer Gillian Weatherley, who first obstructed my exit from Downing Street on September 19 2012 in breach of clear instructions from the head of Downing Street security.

“I hope the transcript of the inquiry and its supporting evidence will be published in full in the interests of openness and accountability.

“This case has serious consequences for the Government, the police and every citizen in this country.”

Holloway Prison Officer Jailed

Jailed Prison Officer Sophia King-Chinnery
Jailed Prison Officer Sophia King-Chinnery

A prison officer has been jailed after she enjoyed a secret lesbian romance with an inmate serving life for murder in a Holloway Prison.

Sophia King-Chinnery, 25, embarked on a relationship with Sarah Anderson after she was locked up at the notorious jail in Parkhurst Road for a minimum of 15 years for stabbing a cyclist to death in the street.

They exchanged hundreds of love letters in which Anderson addressed the prison officer as her “wife”, Southwark Crown Court heard.

King-Chinnery also allowed the inmate to keep a mobile phone for eight months so the pair could spend hours chatting to each other.

But the convicted murder was left distraught after hearing rumours that King-Chinnery was cheating on her.

After being confronted by bosses King-Chinnery accepted she had an “emotional relationship” with her jailbird lover after experiencing difficulties with her colleagues, but letters between the two were said to “make clear” the relationship was sexual.

King-Chinnery, of Hook Rise South, Surbiton, Surrey, admitted to two counts of misconduct in a public office and sobbed after she was sentenced to 10 months in prison on Friday.

Sentencing, Judge Michael Gledhill QC told her: “The fact of the matter is you were a prison officer and from the moment you became a prison officer, you were well aware of the rules, which don’t include having any sort of personal relationship with the prisoners that you are supposed to be looking after.

“I’m aware you will have a much harder time than others when serving your sentence but you brought that on yourself.”

Prosecutor Andrew Howarth said: “Clearly the relationship went further than an emotional one.’

“The letters made clear the nature of the relationship between the two women was sexual.”

The judge gave Anderson a concurrent three-month prison term after she admitted to causing the transmission of a sound or image from prison.

Cop In Court

A police officer will appear in court today charged with misconduct in public office.
Intelligence officer Detective Constable Simon Abell is alleged to have sent sexually explicit text messages and carried out sexually inappropriate behaviour against a woman between November 2011 and August 2012, Nottinghamshire Police said.
The force confirmed the 41-year-old, who was based at Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, has been suspended from duty.
Abell, on police bail, will appear before Nottingham Magistrates Court charged with four counts of misconduct in a public office.

thames

A former police constable will stand trial today (2nd January) accused of selling personal data from her force’s computer system.

Sugra Hanif, 27, of Bretch Hill, Banbury, Oxfordshire, faces two counts of obtaining and disclosing personal data from Thames Valley Police’s command and control systems and conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.

She will appear at Winchester Crown Court alongside Raza Khan, 27, of Ivy Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, who is charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office and obtaining personal data, and his wife, Paramjeet Kaur, 26, from the same address, who is charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.

It is alleged that between January 2011 and December 2011, Hanif sold information about accident victims to Khan and Kaur.

All three deny the charges.

Prison Officer Resigns: CPS Drops Charges

lizsurrey

A female prison officer based in Chelmsford who was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with an inmate will not face any further action and has resigned from the Prison Service.
During previous appearances at Chelmsford Crown Court Elizabeth Surrey, (above) an officer at HMP Chelmsford, had denied misconduct in public office over claims she had a relationship with a male inmate at the category B jail.
The Crown Prosecution Service has now withdrawn the allegations, the court confirmed.
The 25-year-old, from Chelmsford, had been due to stand trial next month.
A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: “Ms Surrey has now resigned from the Prison Service.”