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A Sussex police officer has been given an extended final written warning for breaching standards of professional behaviour after taking friends on an unauthorised blue light run.
Following an investigation, PC Robert Potts, 43, attended a gross misconduct hearing at Sussex Police headquarters on Friday, March 31.
The panel, led by an Independent Legally Qualified Chair (LQC), determined that he be given an extended three year final written warning.
The hearing heard that on July 31 last year, PC Potts drove a police vehicle on a ‘blue light run’ from Uckfield to Eastbourne to collect three friends from a night out. He activated the blue lights, causing other cars to pull over, crossed over double white lines, exceeded the speed limit, and went through a red light.
This was contrary to road traffic legislation for no policing purpose and it was further alleged that in so doing he took himself and a junior colleague away from their lawful duties.
As a result, he was alleged to have breached standards of professional behaviour in respect of discreditable conduct, orders and instructions, and duties and responsibilities. The breaches were proven by the misconduct panel and it was determined that this amounted to gross misconduct.
LQCs are selected from a list of independent, legally-qualified persons to conduct police misconduct hearings, and are governed by Police Conduct Regulations. LQCs work with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and others to instil and embed as much transparency and proportionality into misconduct hearings.
Chief Superintendent Steve Rayland, Head of Professional Standards Department, said: “We expect our officers to act with the utmost integrity, and in accordance with the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Professional Behaviour. The actions of this officer in this case fell far short of the standards we expect."