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  • Writer's pictureNikki Latham

Former officer culpable of gross misconduct after fraud conviction

A jailed former Devon & Cornwall Police Constable has been found culpable of gross misconduct following his conviction for eight counts of fraud.

An accelerated misconduct hearing found that, had Sam Smith still been a serving officer, he would have been dismissed without notice.

His details have been submitted to the College of Policing Barred List.

Ex-PC Smith was convicted of eight counts of fraud and was jailed for 20 months at Exeter Crown Court in November 2023. 

He admitted the charges which involved a vulnerable 81-year-old female victim.

Smith, aged 31, was working as a Police Constable in South Devon at the time of the offences, which happened while he was off-duty.

Following the outcome of criminal proceedings, a disciplinary hearing was held at Devon & Cornwall Police HQ in Exeter on 7 March.

The hearing, chaired by Acting Chief Constable Jim Colwell, heard how Smith attended a report of concern for the welfare of the victim on 28 November 2019 and subsequently befriended her.

He made eight fraudulent purchases with her bank card, without her knowledge or consent, between 30 March and 25 August 2020.

The hearing determined Smith’s actions amounted to gross misconduct and had fallen below the standards of professional behaviour; namely honesty and integrity and discreditable conduct.

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Dave Thorne said: “Sam Smith’s appalling actions involved a vulnerable victim and he was rightly convicted and jailed for these criminal offences.
“There is no place within policing for this unacceptable behaviour and our determination of gross misconduct was the right, and only, appropriate outcome.
“All police officers have a privileged role in being part of a Force responsible for the safeguarding of vulnerable people.
“Devon & Cornwall Police takes any reports of illegal or inappropriate conduct extremely seriously.
“All officers and staff are expected to abide by the Code of Ethics and ensure the highest standards of behaviour, both on and off duty.
“I can reassure the public that the overwhelming majority of our officers and staff work diligently to help to keep the public safe, uphold our high standards and provide an exceptional service to our communities. 
“Ensuring the highest standards and ethics within the Force remains a top priority and the public can be assured that any wrongdoing or unacceptable behaviour such as this will be subject to robust action.”

The full outcome of the hearing can be read here Former PC Smith | Devon & Cornwall Police ( .

Anyone can report any concerns directly to Devon & Cornwall Police by calling 101, visiting the Force website or emailing Alternatively members of the public can contact the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) – details of which can be found via their website

You can also report matters to the Police Anti-Corruption and Abuse Reporting Service, which is run by the independent charity Crimestoppers. Crimestoppers can take reports from the public about individuals working within Devon & Cornwall Police, as well as any police force in the UK, regardless of whether the information relates to them whilst they are on or off duty, online or in person. Reports can be submitted online and telephone calls are free. Information received by Crimestoppers will be passed to the Force’s Counter Corruption Unit, who will assess it.

You can contact the new service by calling 0800 085 0000 or via Crimestoppers' website to provide information you have about a serving police officer, staff member or volunteer in the UK.

This news story has been produced by Chesil Radio's News Team, for more information please visit:


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