Somerset

Former Avon and Somerset Police officer guilty of gross misconduct

Avon and Somerset Police HQ
Image caption Benjamin Pavey cannot work within policing again after the hearing at Avon and Somerset Police headquarters

A former police officer convicted of computer misuse has had allegations of gross misconduct proven against him.

PC Benjamin Pavey, who resigned in May, passed records about a teenager he was accused of assaulting to someone outside the force.

Avon and Somerset Police Chief Constable Andy Marsh said he would have been dismissed if he had not quit.

Pavey was found not guilty of assaulting the teenager at a separate court hearing.

He was taken to court after accessing a police system inappropriately to look up information on a 13-year-old boy he was accused of assaulting and passing it on to a third party "for a non-policing purpose".

In July, Pavey was sentenced to 250 hours of unpaid work, a three-month curfew order and £500 court costs after admitting a computer misuse offence at Swindon Crown Court.

Following a special case hearing, Ch Insp Mark Edgington, deputy head of the force's professional standards department, said: "The use of police systems to access information other than for a legitimate policing purpose is completely unacceptable and, as in this case, can result in a criminal prosecution.

"We expect our officers and staff to handle sensitive data carefully and adhere to the proper use of systems at all times, without exception."

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