Six Met officers convicted over illegal spending

29 September 2011

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29 September 2011 | Adam Leach

A large-scale investigation into the use of corporate credit cards at the Metropolitan Police resulted in six convictions and 34 facing disciplinary action, a report by the Independent Police ComplaintsCommission (IPCC) revealed.

Abuseof Metropolitan Police issued AMEX Cards, published yesterday, said 40 Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers have been disciplined or prosecuted over misuse.

The abuses were first exposed in 2007 and since then the MPS has decreased the number of officers authorised to use the cards, enforced stricter regulations on timing and reconciliation of payments and increased accountability. The IPCC said the changes have resulted in a vastly improved system. IPCC commissioner for London Deborah Glass said: “The extent to which criminal activity and misconduct was able to take place inevitably says something about the environment of financial control in which it was able to happen and it is important that the MPS has taken major steps since these abuses were first exposed to address this.”

The investigation identified 195 cases where use of the cards was considered potentially unacceptable or lacked sufficient explanatory documentation. Of these, 58 cases were referred to the IPCC.

Following the two-year investigation, six MPS employees were prosecuted. The two most severe cases involved sums of £93,000 and £82,000. Former detective constable Daren Pooley was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud on 19 October 2010 and sentenced to a three-year custodial sentence, having allegedly made a profit of more than £93,000. Confiscation proceedings are currently underway to retrieve the money. Pooley’s wife was also convicted for the same offence. And former detective sergeant Richard De Cadenet pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2008 to 10 months imprisonment over improper spending of £82,000, which has not been recovered.

A further eight cases were referred for misconduct hearings. These resulted in two forced resignations, two reprimands and four officers fined. Separately, two officers were given ‘words of advice’ over their conduct.

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