Shoplifting officer sacked for ‘honest mistake’ at supermarket

A police officer has been dismissed after he left ASDA without paying for wine, barbecue sauce and meat rubs worth less than £20.

Dec 22, 2017

A police officer has been dismissed after he left ASDA without paying for wine, barbecue sauce and meat rubs worth less than £20. Police Constable David Lambert, of Cheshire Constabulary, was banned from the shop by security staff after he was caught attempting to leave without paying for the goods. Afterwards, the guards contacted the force about PC Lambert’s “honest mistake”. The officer was dismissed on Thursday (December 21) without notice following a two-day misconduct hearing. On August 10, while off-duty, PC Lambert went to the ASDA superstore in Birchwood, Warrington, at around 3.30pm. He used the self-checkout to pay for his items – valued at £7.32. Outside the store PC Lambert was confronted by security staff who found he had two bottles of rose wine worth £6.48 each, two barbecue sauces totalling £1.99 and three Nando’s seasoning rubs priced at 94p each – none of which had been paid for. PC Lambert paid the outstanding balance, and although he did not deny taking the items, he claimed it was not a deliberate attempt to steal from the store. He reported this to his sergeant, saying it was “an honest mistake contributed to by stresses in his personal and working life”. Detective Chief Superintendent Kevin Bennett said: “I welcome the outcome of this hearing, which shows that we treat all allegations we receive extremely seriously. “It is essential that the people we serve have both confidence and trust in the service we deliver. “We actively promote the highest of standards of personal and professional behaviour and integrity to all officers and staff. “Unfortunately, in this case, PC Lambert’s behaviour fell well below the level expected of a serving officer and he grossly undermined the privileged position that his role as a member of Cheshire Constabulary demands and expects.”

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