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Sussex Police officers facing sack ‘allowed to quit’ as it is cheaper
Sussex Police officers who could be sacked for criminal behaviour are being allowed to quit before they are pushed out.
The force said it made economic sense to do this – rather than put officers through a costly hearing process.
Since 2008, 20 officers have been arrested – but so far just one has faced formal internal action.
Officers arrested on suspicion of rape, possession of class A drugs, money laundering, stalking and assault have all escaped formal action.
Those who have resigned rather than face an internal inquiry include a male West Sussex Detective Constable arrested on suspicion of possessing class A drugs in 2012.
In 2010, a Brighton and Hove PC who was arrested on suspicion of breaching the computer misuse act resigned and in 2009 a Gatwick PC arrested on suspicion of money laundering resigned.
A North Downs officer accused of rape in 2009 also retired before a hearing.
The figures were released following a Freedom of Information request.
Marion Fanthorpe, director of human resources for Sussex Police, said: “Each case is individually assessed and an officer thought to have a case to answer for gross misconduct would normally appear at a misconduct hearing where dismissal is a potential outcome.
“Not all misconduct hearings result in a dismissal, but where this is likely, a decision to accept a resignation will normally be taken in order to reduce the possibility of a drawn-out and expensive process.
There are control measures in place to ensure that all forces in the country can checkwhether an applicant for a job has previously been dismissed or resigned whilst under investigation from another force.
“Furthermore, in keeping with a protocol that also exists for police staff, any reference requested from a potential future employer will state that they resigned or retired while under a disciplinary investigation.
“Forfeiture of a pension is a complex issue, but will be considered where a serious criminal offence has been committed by an officer or where there is significant public concern about abuse of a position of trust.
"The Home Office has just started consultation on proposals to improve the police disciplinary process.
"Proposals include ways to make the disciplinary process quicker and cheaper and we will be fully engaging with the consultation.”
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