Four high-ranking Lancashire police officers have been sacked for running a car-buying scam.
The group, which included a Detective Chief Inspector, a Detective Inspector, a Detective Sergeant and a Detective Constable, with decades of experience between then, had all been found guilty of gross misconduct.
The scam surrounded the purchase of unmarked police cars, which were to be used by the specialist Hutton based unit in covert operations.
Such vehicles are often replaced within a matter of six-12 months, to ensure they remain unidentified as police cars. They are disposed of by offering them to the public for sale at heavily reduced prices.
The officers were found to have ordered certain cars with particular specifications, which they actually wanted for themselves, knowing that they would be available at a heavy discount months later.
Their dismissal was the result of a misconduct hearing, which was launched after the scam was brought to the force’s attention in October last year. The four officers will not face a criminal prosecution after the Crown Prosecution Service decided against it.
A police spokesman said: “The case was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and a full and thorough investigation continued under their supervision which resulted in the officers being charged with gross misconduct, as we were clear that in our view there was a case to answer,” reported the Lancashire Evening Post.
“Honesty and integrity are two of the most important characteristics of a police officer and these officers have clearly failed to display those qualities, as well as failing to act with due diligence. The impact of their actions has brought discredit to the force.
“We remain resolute in our commitment to deal with anyone in the organisation who does not keep to the high standards expected of them and which the vast majority of our staff adhere to on a daily basis.”