Former Bedfordshire police officer failed to disclose criminal associates

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A former Bedfordshire police officer has been found to have committed gross misconduct after passing information about police activity to her cannabis-user boyfriend.

Former PC Ellie Watts, who resigned from the force in November, also admitted knowing her partner used the drug but had failed to disclose the information on her vetting form when she joined the force in November 2017.

The information came to light when a warrant was carried out at her partner’s home in March last year where a quantity of drugs was discovered. As part of the subsequent investigation, Watts’ phone was seized and text messages were recovered which showed she had sent her boyfriend details of the whereabouts of a police van.

Although Watts had already resigned from the force, a decision was made in 2017 that all gross misconduct cases must continue to their conclusion.

A Special Case Hearing at Bedfordshire Police HQ in Kempston on Friday 1 February found she had breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour for honesty and integrity, discreditable conduct and confidentiality.

If she had still been a serving officer the sanction would have been immediately dismissal.

Chief Constable Jon Boutcher, who chaired the hearing, said: “This officer lied repeatedly about her involvement in criminal activity, namely the consumption of controlled drugs and her criminal associations.

“She also shared sensitive policing information with her criminal associates, no doubt with a view to protect them from the law.

“Her conduct fell well below the standards we, and the public, would expect of a police officer. Such behaviour has no place in policing.”

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