Three police officers who seized a Bentley Continental from an uninsured driver took it for an unauthorised drive up and down the dual carriageway before impounding it.
Hertfordshire PCs Lewis Mack, Sam Butler and Ian Gould jumped into the Bentley when it was decided it had to be taken back to the police station because the motorist didn’t have insurance.
But after setting off they went on a detour, driving up and down the dual carriageway and taking it in turns to get behind the steering wheel.
Unknown to the trio the Bentley Continental GT V8 had a tracker fitted to it and its owner, who was not the man driving it that night, had an app on his phone enabling him to follow its route, and he could see they’d taken a detour before taking the vehicle back to Cheshunt Police Station in Hertfordshire.
While the three officers were in the station and preparing to finish their shift they discovered he’d made a complaint to the police.
The officers appeared before a misconduct hearing on Friday following a two-day hearing earlier in the week, to hear that the panel had determined their behaviour that night amounted to gross misconduct.
Chairman of the panel, Akbar Khan, told PCs Lewis Mack, Sam Butler and Ian Gould that public confidence and faith in the police force would have been significantly undermined by their conduct, and Mr Khan told the officers that they’d not dismissed them and that the final written warning will continue for two years.
The hearing had been told how late on the night of May 29 last year the black Bentley Continental was stopped as it moved north on the A10 towards Cheshunt because it wasn’t displaying its lights.
A new Bentley Continental GT V8 retails for more than £150,000.
Several police officers attended the scene, including the three PCs who were all part of Hertfordshire Police’s Operation Scorpion team, a proactive unit that targets burglars, robbers and those involved in drug and vehicle-related crime.
Roadside checks revealed the motorist wasn’t insured to drive the vehicle, and after he handed the keys over, it was decided the vehicle would be driven to the rear yard at Cheshunt Police Station where it would be collected by a recovery vehicle.
There’s no doubt about it, this band of policemen got caught with their trousers down, but why on earth were they not dismissed? And where was the integrity of these officers? And what if they’d wrecked the car in the process?
And of course, I can understand the temptation, but only genuine idiots would have done this! And they acted illegally, speeding as they went joyriding, and taking a vehicle out without permission, and they should have received bans, fines and dismissal.
And is the driver going to be prosecuted, and his two mates for aiding and abetting – oh yes, I forgot, it’s a two-tier system in this country – them and us!