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Police officer pocketed overpaid salary
1:00pm Sunday 22nd September 2013 in Local News
A POLICE officer was overpaid for seven years and pocketed tens of thousands of pounds, it has been revealed.
The officer, believed to be based in Colchester, was found guilty of gross misconduct after an internal investigation.
The Crown Prosecution Service decided there was not enough evidence to prosecute and the officer is still working for Essex Police – and paying the cash back.
Nick Alston, police and crime commissioner for Essex, said he is disappointed the force did not notice the overpayment earlier and criticised the officer for a lack of integrity. He said: “I note Essex Police determined the officer was guilty of gross misconduct.
“I also note arrangements have been made for the overpayments to be repaid, which is the proper course of action.
“The overpayment of salary is an error that happens in many organisations, but I’m still disappointed to learn this occurred in Essex.”
Essex Police identified the administrative error in August last year.
Further investigation showed the officer had been overpaid for seven years.
The force would not reveal the identity of the officer, the circumstances behind the overpayment or the full amount overpaid, other than to say it was a “five-figure sum”.
A spokesman said: “The matter was fully investigated by the Professional Standards Department.
“It was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, which determined there was insufficient evidence to prosecute. A full internal investigation then followed.
“This led to a misconduct hearing and the officer concerned was sanctioned.”
Essex Police insisted the same mistake could not be repeated.
The spokesman said: “We’ve introduced a completely new integrated payroll and administrative system, which will prevent these circumstances from happening again.”
Jonathan Isaby, political director of the Tax Payers’ Alliance, said: “The force needs to recoup the money it overpaid to that officer, as a priority.
“This kind of error cannot be ignored.”
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