Police officer sacked for wearing 'I love weed' hat while on duty

NewsBy Sunday World
Stock image (Pinterest/Maya Smart)
Stock image (Pinterest/Maya Smart)

A police officer who wore an "I love weed" woolly hat on duty and scribbled "puerile" abuse on a CV during a probe into an allegation of child abuse has been sacked.

On Monday a panel ruled Pc Simon Ryan of North Yorkshire Police, UK, was guilty of gross misconduct after he wrote "paedo", "paedophile" and "kiddie fiddler" on the document to amuse colleagues.

And on Tuesday the panel concluded that the appropriate sanction "was dismissal without notice demonstrating the gravity attached by the panel to the gross misconduct".

The hearing at the police headquarters is the first disciplinary the force has held where the public and press are allowed to attend.

The panel heard Pc Ryan found the CVs at a house during a search into an allegation of a sex offence involving a child in January 2015.

Under "interests", Pc Ryan amended the CV to say "abusing children", the hearing was told.

He then showed the CV to colleagues, did not record it as evidence and later destroyed it in the confidential waste at Northallerton Police Station.

Ten days later, he was on duty when he wore a hat with a cannabis logo and the message "I love weed", both in the office and while on mobile patrol.

Pc Ryan did not speak at the disciplinary hearing and left the force headquarters without being seen by photographers or reporters.

Pc Brad Jackson, deputy secretary of North Yorkshire Police Federation, spoke on his behalf after the hearing.

He said: "This has been a very difficult period in Pc Ryan's career and personal life which he accepts was brought on by his own doing.

"Pc Ryan has apologised unreservedly for his actions and extends his apology to the public and people of North Yorkshire.

"We, North Yorkshire Police Federation, will continue to support Simon as he moves forward after today's decision."

The panel chairman, Lindsey Hall, told Pc Ryan: "The public have the right to expect the highest standards of behaviour and conduct from the police officers who serve them."

She said his admission of defacing the CV - described during the hearing as tampering with evidence - would have to be disclosed if he was allowed to remain in his job and if he was involved in searches as part of criminal proceedings. That would affect his operational ability to carry out his duties, she said.

His barrister, Guy Ladenburg, had urged the panel on Monday to let him keep his job, saying he had played a "very poor practical joke" but was a diligent and hard-working officer of 13 years' experience.