A police constable who only gave a charity stall 10 pence for Jaffa Cakes worth £1 has been fired for gross misconduct.
PC Chris Dwyer, 51, put money in the cash tin and took two Jaffa Cake packets being sold for 50 pence each.
A misconduct hearing was told that when a query was raised about underpayment he was found to have put in only two 5 pence pieces.
The stall at the police station in Halifax, West Yorkshire, was selling sweet treats, crisps, snacks and soft beverages for 50 pence each in January to pay for a charity trip to Uganda.
After PC Chris Dwyer’s visit, a co-worker raised concerns about underpayment.
A West Yorkshire Police disciplinary panel determined that PC Chris Dwyer provided fraudulent accounts and his testimony was misleading and an attempt to reduce his guilt.
PC Chris Dwyer, who spent almost 25 years in the navy before entering the West Yorkshire police in 2017, said any underpayment was an honest mistake, but he was given an immediate dismissal after a four-day misconduct hearing found him guilty of gross misconduct.
Detective Superintendent Mark Long, of West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate, said that the officer’s actions didn’t agree with the values of the organisation and he’d been dishonest when questioned.
He said that it was accepted that the items involved were of a pretty low value but that honesty and integrity were a fundamental quality of being a police employee and that an independent legally qualified chair had determined that his breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour constituted gross misconduct and he’d been removed from the Force.
The most damaging thing here is that PC Chris Dwyer gave dishonest accounts, so it appears he was not only too cheap to pay for something on a charity stall, but he also tried to worm his way out of it by lying as well.
Of course, we can’t comment on his ability as a police constable, but as a human being he’s clearly lacking in every quality you would want in person, and for a few pennies saved he’s now lost his job and I just hope those Jaffa cakes were worth it.
But to be fair, wasn’t it a tad ridiculous sacking a police constable over a packet of Jaffa cakes. Perhaps he should have been reprimanded and made to pay the remainder of the money owing.
Although he was in a position of trust, and if he lied about such a trivial thing, can you imagine what else he could cover up, and perhaps there’s more to this story than the public is being told.
But sacking over Jaffa cakes now confirms that the United Kingdom has gone quite mad.
And the most important bit that’s been missed out is that he said that he made an honest mistake, and there’s no way anyone could prove that he didn’t make a genuine mistake. He could have genuinely believed it said 5 pence and not 50 pence, so unless he went round boasting he’d managed to pull a fast one to save himself some money there seems no reason not to believe he’d just made a mistake.
And if so, it’s hardly surprising he was evasive afterwards because he might have been embarrassed and worried that his error was going to cost him his job, which it obviously did, and I’m sure the panel who took four days to disbelieve him felt great about their decision.