Dorset Police officer dismissed after misconduct hearing

Police Constable Kenneth Walmsley appeared at a misconduct hearing on Wednesday 1 November 2017 after admitting using a police pool car for personal use and improperly using the police computer information system.

The panel found that the officer had breached the standards of professional behaviour for police relating to orders and instructions, confidentiality, discreditable conduct and honesty and integrity.

The panel concluded that the breaches of the professional standards amounted to gross misconduct and that taken together they were so serious that the necessary disciplinary outcome was immediate dismissal without notice. 

The hearing was told that PC Walmsley, who has been employed by the Force since 2001, was working at Winfrith with the Disclosure and Barring Service when he used a police pool car for personal use on a number of occasions between 23 March 2016 and 23 January 2017. He also used a police fuel card to refuel the vehicle. The hearing was told that PC Walmsley had since repaid all the money that was charged to the fuel card.

PC Walmsley also admitted searching for information relating to family members on the Dorset Police computer information system, which is a breach of Force policy. He did not disclose the information he obtained from the searches to anybody else.

The hearing panel was chaired by an independent legally qualified chair Mr Ian Taylor.

Following the hearing, Deputy Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “Police officers have to adhere to the highest standards of both professional and personal behaviour.

“Members of the public quite rightly expect the core value of honesty and integrity to be upheld and demonstrated by officers within the police service. By abiding to this standard, officers gain and maintain the trust of the public, which is essential to policing our local communities.

“I recognise that PC Walmsley served Dorset Police for more than 15 years prior to these incidents and showed remorse for his actions, which he fully admitted. However, it remains the case that his behaviour saw him fall below the standard expected of officers and took place over a period of several months. 

“I agree with the panel’s view that it would be untenable that an officer who has behaved in this way can continue to hold a position within the Force.”