Po­lice probe Staff were dis­ci­plined over sales of tyres

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - Leigh BOOBYER

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PO­LICE staff re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing Glouces­ter­shire Con­stab­u­lary’s fleet of ve­hi­cles sold part-worn tyres on­line for per­sonal gain.

At least two members of the force’s staff were dis­ci­plined for ‘in­ap­pro­pri­ately’ sell­ing the tyres once they were no longer of use to the force.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched in 2015, but the con­stab­u­lary would not con­firm the ex­act num­ber of peo­ple in­volved, al­though none were of­fi­cers.

Asked if the staff dis­ci­plined still worked in the fleet team or the force, a spokesman said the mis­con­duct out­comes “are spent”, mean­ing those in­volved served their pun­ish­ment.

The con­stab­u­lary said it did not in­tend to pro­vide any fur­ther in­for­ma­tion about the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

It also ad­mit­ted the probe was not pub­lished on its web­site – which would be nor­mal pol­icy – due to an “ad­min­is­tra­tive over­sight”, ac­cord­ing to a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­sponse. The

force has strongly de­nied a claim of cov­er­ing up the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Mis­con­duct hear­ings deal with al­le­ga­tions of gross mis­con­duct by po­lice of­fi­cers and staff on or off duty.

The force said it was now “re­view­ing our pro­ce­dures for pub­lish­ing staff mis­con­duct out­comes on our web­site”.

The con­stab­u­lary con­firmed a new man­ager was ap­pointed af­ter the re­view in 2017, stat­ing it was “work­ing with the team to im­prove morale and well­be­ing within the de­part­ment”.

The force op­er­ates a fleet of around 450 ve­hi­cles and the fleet team en­sures they are prop­erly main­tained.

Mean­while, a leaked doc­u­ment has re­vealed a re­view of the fleet team by a con­sul­tancy firm high­lighted the team’s feel­ing that in­di­vid­ual members who “went through the in­ves­ti­ga­tion were treated far too harshly and un­fairly at the time”.

The in­for­ma­tion has been made pub­lic af­ter a six-month in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Local Democ­racy Re­port­ing Ser­vice, which also cul­mi­nated in a warn­ing from the In­for­ma­tion Com­mis­sioner’s Of­fice to the con­stab­u­lary. The ICO ex­pressed con­cern with the con­stab­u­lary for fail­ing to pro­vide a re­sponse af­ter 40 work­ing days, and de­lay­ing the re­sponse a fur­ther 20 work­ing days be­cause a meet­ing to de­ter­mine pub­lic in­ter­est fac­tors had not been ar­ranged. FOI re­quests are sup­posed to be an­swered within 21 work­ing days.

Ac­cord­ing to the FOI re­quests sent by the LDRS:

Glouces­ter­shire Con­stab­u­lary paid £3,534.30 for con­sul­tancy firm Quest HR to con­duct the de­vel­op­ment re­view

A mis­con­duct in­ves­ti­ga­tion was car­ried out into the po­lice staff fleet team for sell­ing tyres from po­lice cars on­line

When asked what the dis­ci­plinary out­comes were, the re­sponse said it ex­empted the in­for­ma­tion un­der FOI law as “given the small num­ber of staff in­volved, would likely re­sult in dis­clos­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion”

When asked where on the force web­site the mis­con­duct outcome was, it said it was not pub­lished on­line due to an “ad­min­is­tra­tive over­sight”. It added the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der the al­le­ga­tion type of ‘hon­esty and in­tegrity against po­lice staff.’

The con­stab­u­lary would not con­firm whether the members of po­lice staff still worked in the fleet team or whether the part-worn tyres were sold above or be­low mar­ket value.

It also said the de­vel­op­ment re­view was con­ducted partly in re­sponse to the mis­con­duct in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The re­port, which Glouces­ter­shire Con­stab­u­lary paid Quest HR to con­duct and was fi­nalised in Fe­bru­ary 2017, said: “Col­lec­tively, the team feels that the in­di­vid­ual team members who went through the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and sub­se­quent sus­pen­sions were treated far too harshly and un­fairly at the time.

“There is also a col­lec­tive feel­ing that the force handled events badly, that staff should have re­ceived some sort of for­mal or in­for­mal apol­ogy, and promised in­put and closer sup­port was not forth­com­ing.”

In a sum­mary of the find­ings, Quest HR split the team into three groups to ex­plore how to move for­ward from “past events”. It said ‘Group A’ was still “very an­gry” by past events, ‘Group B’ was “seem­ingly pre­pared to move on and try and for­get past events”, while Group C “are near or close to step­ping away from the cur­rent en­vi­ron­ment”.

Ac­cord­ing to the FOI re­sponse, a work­shop su­per­vi­sor was ap­pointed af­ter the de­vel­op­ment re­view but “was not as a re­sult” of it.

Glouces­ter­shire Con­stab­u­lary said “dis­ci­plinary sanc­tions” were is­sued to a num­ber of po­lice staff, lead­ing to poli­cies be­ing amended and guid­ance is­sued on the disposal of tyres.

It added: “We must stress that dur­ing and since the in­ves­ti­ga­tion there has been no im­pact on our ser­vice to the pub­lic and the fleet de­part­ment has con­tin­ued to pro­vide crit­i­cal front-line sup­port.

“Un­der the lead­er­ship of the Chief Con­sta­ble, the con­stab­u­lary has been im­ple­ment­ing a sup­port­ive lead­er­ship and well­be­ing pro­gramme across the or­gan­i­sa­tion over the last two years and our lat­est staff sur­vey re­sults in­di­cate this is hav­ing a very pos­i­tive im­pact.”

‘The team feels that the in­di­vid­ual team members who went through the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and sub­se­quent sus­pen­sions were treated far too harshly and un­fairly’

De­vel­op­ment re­view

Staff at Glouces­ter­shire Con­stab­u­lary faced mis­con­duct hear­ings for sell­ing part-worn tyres on the in­ter­net for per­sonal gain

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