Police officer sacked after 'encouraging friend to lie about collision'

Three teenage boys have been arrested on suspicion of burglary in Dagenham. Picture: Met Police

PC Steven King has been sacked after a panel found he had committed gross misconduct. - Credit: Archant

A police officer has been sacked after a misconduct hearing found he advised a friend to lie to avoid further investigation after a crash.

PC Steven King was dismissed without notice by the Met Police after the hearing last month.

The findings have now been published in a report, which reveals PC King was found to have committed gross misconduct after speaking with his friend, named only as B, about a police investigation into a road collision.

A panel said PC King undermined the probe by "assisting and encouraging B to tell lies to the police about an accident which B had been involved in".

The report said the allegations related to a phone conversation between B and the officer, who was off-duty, on the evening of January 4, 2018.

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At the time, PC King was working for the East Area Command Unit at Ilford Police Station.

It was alleged that PC King gave advice to B "which was inappropriate and encouraged B to give the police incorrect information about a road traffic collision which B had been involved in".

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B had been in a road collision on December 27, 2017 and did not give his details to the other driver.

The report said B had received a witness information form to complete as the registered keeper of a vehicle allegedly involved in a collision.

But when B submitted his form around two weeks after the call with PC King, the report revealed he claimed there had not been a collision and "he had left the scene because the other driver was threatening him and he feared for his safety".

The officer admitted the majority of allegations against him regarding the incident, the report said.

These included telling B: "Just say you was there, thought you touched, hit his car, you felt he was too aggressive so you left cause you feared for your safety (sic)”.

In setting out its findings on whether misconduct had taken place, the panel said in the report that B admitted several times during the call that he had collided with another vehicle at low speed but was prepared to lie about this to police.

The report said: "PC King didn’t discourage him from taking this course, as he should have done, but encouraged him to provide the police with incorrect information."

When B told PC King he was planning to lie about the collision and that the other driver had been aggressive and caused him to leave the scene without giving his details, the panel said: "PC King’s reaction was to say 'yeah pretty much that’s what I would do'.

"This comment gave B the approval of PC King for his intended actions."

The panel said the misconduct was "so serious" it amounted to gross misconduct and warranted his dismissal.

They wrote: "The actions of B in denying a collision had occurred and justifying him leaving the scene resulted in no further action being taken against him.

"This followed his conversation on the phone with PC King on January 4, 2018 in which PC King at no time suggested that B should tell the truth.

"PC King did just the opposite by encouraging B to lie and telling B that the false story he was proposing to tell the police was pretty much what he would do."

The panel described PC King's behaviour as "fundamentally incompatible" with remaining a police officer.

"The dishonest actions of PC King may not have occurred in the course of a case that he was personally investigating but he did encourage his friend B to mislead other police officers who were investigating a road traffic collision.

"In the panel’s judgement, he can never be trusted again 'to do the right thing'."

A Met Police spokesperson said allegations of breaches of the standards of honesty, integrity, duties and responsibilities, and discreditable conduct, in relation to two other unrelated matters were found not proven.

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