Police officer accused of taking the biscuits

A police officer has appeared at a disciplinary hearing after he was accused of taking a colleague’s tin of biscuits and lying about it.

PC Thomas Hooper, a Metropolitan Police Constable attached to the Kingston unit, is said to have taken a two-tier tin of biscuits from a communal area, and then given a false account, on 7 May, 2016.

But the officer claims he intended to share the sweet treat, and offered to replace them.

Charles Apthrop, representing the Met Police at the tribunal, said the matter related to whether or not he had breached professional standards.

Mr Apthrop said: “The appropriate authority’s perspective is that it is not the value of what was taken, it is what was done.

“It shows clear evidence of misappropriation of property. The officer was aware it belonged to someone else and the officer has taken it.”

He added that by taking the biscuits, PC Hooper showed a “fundamental lack of integrity”.

Panel chairman Naheed Asjad asked then inspector Sarah Blake: “You have a sergeant and an inspector and a box of biscuits that have gone missing and the only thing you can come up with is to refer the matter to DPS (Directorate of Professional Standards)?”

She said that “the option of going to the DPS was because of the gravity of the incident”.

It has not been made clear what kind of biscuits he took
It has not been made clear what kind of biscuits he took. File pic

Answering the point that the offer was made to replace the biscuits, Ms Blake said: “By that time the biscuits had been eaten and, in my mind, theft is theft.

“How was he going to put the biscuits back?”

PC Hooper denies two allegations of breaching professional standards.

He is also accused of applying to have a fixed penalty notice cancelled, when he triggered a speed camera, as he travelled at 51mph in a 30mph zone.

PC Hooper was driving the transit van in response mode, but is said to have no reason to have done so.

He claims he was transporting a male patient from a mental health unit to the station in Kingston, south west London, when the air conditioning stopped working. He said it was a health hazard because the patient had already been sick.

He is accused of lying about both the biscuit and the driving incident.

Inspector Mark Bullen spoke to PC Hooper after the incident and told the hearing: “My assumption was that the biscuits had been part of the tea club. I remember quite clearly telling him that this could be construed as theft and worst-case scenario as discreditable conduct.”

Mr Bullen said there had been no reason for the manner in which PC Hooper drove in the second incident.

He added that PC Hooper could have cleaned the vehicle and placed it out of service instead of driven it “aggressively” back to the station.

The hearing will continue on Tuesday.

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