On Thursday 25 March 2021, two police constables were dismissed without notice from Devon and Cornwall Police, after members of the misconduct panel found that their actions amounted to gross misconduct.
PC Shaun Pearce and PC Daniel Pike faced allegations that in 2019, they breached the standards appropriate to the conduct of a police officer in respect of honesty, integrity, authority, respect, courtesy, duties and responsibilities, and discreditable conduct.
The public hearing took place following allegations of misconduct whilst the officers were on duty in the ‘No Excuses’ road safety team.
It was alleged that on 16 January 2019, the officers were working on a road safety campaign around The Fatal Five.
They had seized a vehicle and whilst awaiting the arrival of a recovery vehicle, and without the consent of the vehicle’s owner, PC Pearce drove the vehicle for 3.1 miles, at one point reaching a speed of 89mph. The vehicle was returned minutes later to the same position. PC Pike was a passenger and filmed part of the driving, including the excessive speed. This footage was then shared with other officers via a WhatsApp group. The officers then gave an explanation for the necessity to move the vehicle rather than it remain in situ awaiting recovery.
Following the three-day public hearing, the panel concluded that the allegations were proven and that PCs Pearce and Pike had breached the expected standards of professional behaviour.
The panel determined that the officers would be dismissed without notice and their details will be submitted to the College of Policing Barred List, preventing them from working within policing.
Head of Professional Standards, Detective Superintendent Paul Kessell said: “The behaviour displayed by these officers falls well below what the force and the public expect of a police officer.
“Through their actions, they have undermined the public’s trust and confidence in the police force and taken advantage of the responsibility placed on them in their roles.
“We will not tolerate such behaviours and therefore dismissal was the right and proper outcome.”