AN Avon and Somerset Police officer has this week been dismissed for gross misconduct.

The former officer, known only as PC F to protect his identity, was found to have breached standards of honesty and integrity, discreditable conduct, orders and instructions and confidentiality.

The allegations, which were outlined at the hearing at the force's HQ yesterday (Monday, April 4), related to the officer accessing information on police computer systems for non-policing purposes.

On numerous occasions between February 26 and July 12 last year, PC F used police computer systems to search for their own name and address, and for records relating to colleagues and other people.

When questioned about the allegations in November 2021, the officer gave a dishonest response.

Supt Jane Wigmore, head of professional standards at Avon and Somerset Police, said: “Police systems hold a great deal of sensitive information and there is a public expectation and a legal requirement to treat this material with respect and in the strictest confidence.

“Public confidence in how police handle private information has been impacted as a result of this case.

“PC F was given clear guidelines during training that accessing this information without a legitimate policing purpose is an abuse of an officer’s position.

“The misconduct hearing panel, led by an independent legally qualified chair, have listened to all the evidence and found allegations of gross misconduct were proven and have decided the sanction should be dismissal without notice.”

The hearing was subject to restrictions on recording or revealing PC F's identity or information that could lead to their identification.

The restriction also covers revealing the reasons for PC F being granted anonymity.