Detective who took camera from evidence store is sacked
DC Michael Foreman, an exhibits officer in the Serious Organised Crime Unit at Hutton, attended the first part of the conclusion of his case at Leyland Police Station, but chose to leave before the decision was announced.
After observing a minute’s silence for victims of the Westminster terrorist attack, chairman of the panel, Timothy Smith, said it was found that on or before June 10, 2015, DC Foreman had removed the items, a camera and a phone, without authority, and failed to inform those supervising him.
The panel agreed he had also covertly placed property - a different camera - back in the evidence store and failed to report the return of evidence or property.
Mr Smith said: “We are satisfied the camera was taken and has never been recovered.
“We do not accept DC Foreman’s account as to how he says he allegedly came across the camera. Further, we do not accept Mr Foreman’s account that he then placed that camera in a locked cupboard.”
He added it was an aggravating factor that public confidence could be affected by the knowledge people’s property, which police have a duty to protect, was not safeguarded in police custody.
He acknowledged his “commendable” record of service, but said personal circumstances was only taken into account in exceptional cases.
Lancashire Police confirmed no criminal charges will be brought.
A spokesman said: “The public quite rightly expect us to maintain the highest standards of professional behaviour and we are committed to ensuring that is the case.
“We will take action whenever the behaviour of our staff falls below those high standards.”