Thursday, December 11, 2014

British cops used their position to get into sold-out gigs - but keep their jobs and won't be disciplined

Police officers who used their positions to get into 'sold-out' gigs have been allowed to keep their jobs - and will not be formally disciplined, it has emerged.

The four Greater Manchester Police licensing officers asked for 'favours' from venues in the city, such as access to tickets to music events they would not otherwise have been able to get.

Afterwards, the veteran officers, who worked in Manchester city centre, failed to declare what they had done on the force's gifts and hospitality register.

They have since been moved out of the unit and into other jobs after they were deemed to have broken the force's ethical code of conduct.

A two-month police professional standards investigation found they had not acted illegally - or that they required formal disciplining.

The officers were told on Friday that they were being moved from licensing into the division's response unit as a result of the findings. It is not known which music events and venues were involved.

Nick Adderley, chief superintendent for Greater Manchester Police's northern division, said: 'We have high standards, including the code of ethics, and I'm saying I will not tolerate any officers or member of staff who breaches that code of ethics.'

It is understood the practice came to light as part of a separate investigation, which unexpectedly opened up an email trail suggesting officers had been seeking and accepting favours while not declaring them.

On more than one occasion an officer had called up a venue whose gig had sold out and used their position in licensing to get hold of a ticket - but then did not declare it through the official channels.

They had never obtained the tickets for free, however, and had always paid the full value.

It is unclear how long the practice had been going on but investigators who looked back over recent months found at least two cases per officer where a deal of that kind had been struck.

All the officers had been in their posts for a significant length of time. Nothing criminal was found to have taken place and the officers have not been formally suspended or disciplined.

Senior officers are expected to sit down with the city's Pub and Club Network later this week to discuss the matter.

The network's spokesman Phil Burke said: 'We don't know the full facts of this yet. 'But the officers concerned are well liked and well respected in the city's licensing trade and have always worked closely with us.'

Original report here

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