A Lancashire detective accused of gross misconduct has claimed fears he might lose his job in a restructure led him to delay admitting he had relocated a camera, missing from a police evidence store, in his office cupboard.
But the missing white Samsung camera, valued at more than £400, was the “talk of the town” in the office, claimed barrister Mr Oliver Williamson, appearing for Lancashire Constabulary.
Detective Constable Michael Foreman’s future in the force will be decided by a misconduct hearing being held at Leyland Police station this week.
It has been alleged that on or before June 10, 2015 DC Foreman, who worked as an exhibits officer in the Serious Organised Crime Unit at the county’s police HQ at Hutton, removed a boxed camera and memory card seized as part of a criminal investigation from the police evidence store without authority and failed to inform those supervising him.
It has also been alleged he covertly placed property back in the evidence store, failed to report the return of evidence or property and returned a different camera.
The panel has to decide “on the balance of probability” if he is guilty of the allegations and, if so, if his conduct amounts to gross misconduct for “breaches of standards of professional behaviour in the areas of honesty and integrity, duties and responsibilities, discreditable conduct, orders and instructions.”
Mr Williamson argued DC Foreman’s account was “fantasy” and cited the fact that the missing phone was tracked to a location in Lincolnshire at one point.The detective had also bought a Samsung camera before the missing camera was returned and could not now locate it.
But defence barrister Mr Steven Crossley claimed the detective would not risk his long career by stealing a camera. (Proceeding)