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September 2011 | Adam Leach
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)
Abuseof Metropolitan Police issued AMEX Cards, published yesterday,
said 40 Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers have been disciplined or
prosecuted over misuse.
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.”
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.
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.