A DETECTIVE with 30 years ‘exemplary service’ has been sacked after being convicted of causing criminal damage to a car in a Birmingham street.
But new legislation meant she had to await the conclusion of a special case misconduct hearing – in which she was sacked.
The hearing was told the officer was convicted at Birmingham Magistrates Court last year of damaging a Citroen Picasso car in Grange Road, Kings Heath. The incident took place while she was off-duty in November 2015.
The Balsall Heath-based officer was handed a six-month conditional discharge last September and ordered to pay £620 costs and £900 compensation. She appealed the conviction last month, but it was dismissed.
The disciplinary hearing, chaired by Chief Constable David Thompson, heard the officer had been convicted at court of a “deliberate act of intentional damage” to a car belonging to a member of the public.
Detective Chief Constable Brian Carmichael, from the forces Professional Standards Department, said: “DC Stagg has severely undermined the public’s trust and confidence in the police service.”
The hearing heard that DC Stagg had been due to retire from the force last November – a year after the incident.
But changes in legislation introduced in 2015 mean that officers are now not allowed to quit or retire ahead of the conclusion of misconduct hearings.
DC Stagg did not attend the hearing but her Police Federation representative, John Tooms, said she accepted that the conviction amounted to gross misconduct.
However, he asked the Chief Constable to issue a final written warning instead of dismissal without notice. He said: “She fully accepts this amounts to gross misconduct.
“I would like to draw attention to the officer’s exceptional evidence of character and 30 years service and ask for this to be dealt with by way of a final written warning. DC Stagg intended to retire with 30 years of service in November 2016, but her service was extended to this hearing.
“I also highlight the personal letter in relation to outcome.”
But in sacking the officer without notice Mr Thompson said it would be unfair to treat her any differently to an officer with less service.
He said: “This is a case involving a criminal conviction, which in itself amounts to gross misconduct.
“There is no question that after such exemplary service this is a surprise. This is a good, capable officer and that is why I am so shaken by this.
“There is extensive good character and that is not lost on me, but the public would not expect any officer to serve with such a conviction. It would be unfair to deal with this officer any differently to other officers in a similar position but with less service.
“It is on this basis she will be dismissed without notice.”
The Home Office revealed in 2015 that between December 1, 2013 and August 1, 2014, 144 officers resigned or retired whilst subject to a gross misconduct investigation.
Theresa May, who introduced the misconduct regulation changes while Home Secretary, said at the time: “The ability of officers to avoid potential dismissal by resigning or retiring is an unacceptable situation.
“That is why I have introduced these reforms to ensure victims and their families are not denied the truth of police misconduct.”