Policewoman illegally used the force’s national computer 21 times to do background checks on relatives and friends as she is found guilty of gross misconduct
- PC Marguerite Pope quit the force hours before a special misconduct hearing
- If Pope had not resigned she would have been sacked from Thames Valley Police
- The officer accessed computer to check the background of people she knew
A policewoman who illegally used the force’s national computer 21 times to do background checks on relatives and people she knew has been found guilty of gross misconduct.
Pc Marguerite Pope quit Thames Valley Police on Tuesday, just hours before she was due to face a special case misconduct hearing at the force headquarters.
The panel, chaired by the Chief Constable, ruled that had Pc Pope not resigned, she would have been instantly dismissed from the force.
The officer, who was based at High Wycombe Police Station accessed the police computer no fewer than 21 times, checking out the backgrounds of individuals she knew or was aware of. There was no suggestion any of the checks were on partners but more on people she knew.
Pc Marguerite Pope quit Thames Valley Police on Tuesday, just hours before she was due to face a special case misconduct hearing at the force headquarters. Stock image
A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said at today’s hearing: ‘A hearing was chaired by the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, John Campbell, at Headquarters South in Kidlington.
‘The hearing concluded that former Pc Marguerite Pope breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in respect of Discreditable Conduct relating to misuse of Thames Valley Police IT systems between 12 June 2018 and 12 January 2019.
‘It had been alleged that former Pc Pope accessed information and a number of records other than for a policing purpose and no reasons were given for carrying out these checks.
‘It was identified that former Pc Pope had accessed two systems and carried out checks without a lawful policing purpose between January 11 and January 12 2019.
‘Following a further review, it was identified that between June 12 2018 and January 12 2019, former Pc Pope accessed further information and records without a policing purpose.
‘Former Pc Pope admitted carrying out 21 unlawful checks. The hearing concluded that her actions amounted to gross misconduct and had she not already resigned, she would have been dismissed.
‘The force will also submit her details to be placed on the College of Policing’s barred list,’ said the spokesman.
Deputy Chief Constable Jason Hogg said: ‘The behaviour of this officer was far below that expected from Thames Valley Police.
‘Former Pc Pope behaved in a manner that was likely to bring discredit on the police service and had she not already resigned, she would have been dismissed with immediate effect.’
The disgraced policewoman did not attend the hearing.