London police officer sacked over inmate's family visit

Published
Image caption,
The inmate was strip-searched before leaving prison

A Metropolitan Police officer has been sacked after an inmate was found with drugs and mobile phones after being allowed an unauthorised family visit.

The detective fell under suspicion when the items were found as the prisoner returned to Wormwood Scrubs prison in west London after a police interview.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said two other police officers were given written warnings.

An inquiry began after the prisoner was temporarily released in September 2009.

A misconduct hearing found the officers had neglected information about a potential crime, disregarded protocols surrounding temporary prisoner releases and brought discredit on their force.

'Discredit'

Deborah Glass, of the IPCC, said: "Although there was no evidence directly connecting these officers to illegal acts, one officer had repeatedly enabled a prisoner unauthorised visits to his family, and allowed a further visit despite the fact that there was specific intelligence that illegal substances would be obtained.

"Whether his actions were naive or deliberate, they undoubtedly brought discredit on the Metropolitan Police and this has been reflected in his dismissal."

The hearing was told that the inmate was released to be interviewed over a series of thefts from vehicles in the Hounslow area in 2004 and 2005.

He was in the care of the three officers, two detectives and a constable, based at Brentford police station.

They were warned that the prisoner was planning to obtain drugs and mobiles phones and he was strip-searched as he left the jail.

On his return he was again searched and drugs, two mobile phones, three SIM cards and an adapted USB cable were found hidden around his body.

It later emerged that the officers had allowed the inmate to visit his family in Whitton, south-west London, during a two-hour window after being interviewed in Hounslow.

All three officers denied any involvement in the supply of drugs and phones and claimed he must have brought them out of the jail.

The prisoner's family said officers had taken him to his home on at least five occasions during 2009.

A file was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) but no charges were brought.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "The Met expects its staff to behave professionally, ethically and with the utmost integrity at all times.

"Those who fall below the standards expected by the Met will be dealt with robustly."

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