A police misconduct hearing was held on 14th December to consider allegations of discreditable conduct against a South Wales Police officer.
Chief Inspector Joseph Jones faced allegations of breaching the standards of professional behaviour relating to the misuse of the police computer system.
An accelerated misconduct hearing, chaired by Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan, found the allegations proven which amounted to gross misconduct.
These allegations included accessing police records for personal reasons.
The hearing delivered the outcome of dismissal without notice. A referral will be made to the College of Policing for the officer to be added to the Barring List, preventing him from returning to the profession.
The misconduct proceedings were held after Jones was arrested following an investigation by the South Wales Police Anti-Corruption Unit. He pleaded guilty to an offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and was sentenced to two months’ custody when he appeared at Newport Crown Court on 23rd December. He was also sentenced to 14 months’ custody after admitting an offence of perverting the course of justice arising from the court proceedings.
During the misconduct hearing, Mr Vaughan said:
“It is entirely unacceptable for police officers, who are responsible for enforcing the law, to break the law themselves.
“It is both a public expectation and a legal requirement that, information obtained during the course of policing duties should be treated in the strictest confidence, properly protected and used for legitimate policing purposes. Personal reasons for accessing confidential police information is not acceptable. Accessing confidential police information without a legitimate policing purpose is an abuse of an officer’s position.”
“Police officers should be trusted to the ends of the earth, they hold so much authority and access to personal information, the public rightly expect our officers to uphold the highest professional standards. Misusing personal private information in such circumstances means that dismissal is the only outcome in this matter.
“The vast majority of the 5,500 officers and staff who work for South Wales Police conduct themselves impeccably and work tirelessly to protect the public. Those very few who choose to breach the standards expected of them undermine the public’s trust in policing. There is no room for this type of conduct in South Wales Police.”