Following a trial at the Old Bailey today, Thursday March 14, one former and one serving Essex Police officer were found guilty of misconduct in public office.
DC Sharon Patterson and former DC Lee Pollard faced charges regarding alleged failings in relation to investigations they were responsible for while working in the North Child Abuse Investigation Team (CAIT) between 2011 and 2014.
During the trial, jurors were told both officers had falsified documents and Pollard had also destroyed evidence.
The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Roger Hirst, said,
“I wholeheartedly echo the statements of Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet that nothing is more important than protecting children. Victims are at the heart of what we do and for these two officers, it is clear that this was not the case.
“As Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex it is my job to hold Essex Police to account on behalf of the people of Essex. I scrutinise the Force and its performance. I am confident that the procedures in place and the increased investment to improving the Child Abuse Investigation Teams means that the force has improved greatly, with efforts being recognised by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services. This year we have provided funding which will enable the force to recruit an additional 215 officers on top of the 150 recruited following the 2018/2019 budget. This will mean an extra 20 officers for the Crime and Public Protection Command, which investigates child abuse. However, we must not be complacent and we must ensure that the most vulnerable people in our society are never let down in this way again.”
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