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5th Jul, 2022

West Midlands Police officer dismissed after sharing key information

Sarah Mason 27th May, 2022

A WEST Midlands Police officer has been sacked after he shared details of a murder suspect on his personal mobile phone.

Detective Constable Paul Knowles was found to have potentially “jeopardised” the investigation and the identification of a suspect.

A misconduct panel found the allegations of matters of honesty and integrity breaches amounted to gross misconduct, following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The panel heard that DC Paul Knowles, who worked as a detective in Birmingham and had been with the force for over 19 years, had used his personal mobile phone to obtain and distribute the identification of a suspect to colleagues involved in a murder investigation.

West Midlands Police said his actions had the potential to jeopardise the identification of a suspect.

The force added Det Con Knowles attempted to conceal the fact that he had provided a colleague with information relating to the suspect and instructed them not to tell anyone and to delete the messages.

The independent Legally Qualified Chair Andrea Pitt dismissed the officer without notice for the breach along with a further breach of orders and instructions.

An additional allegation of discreditable conduct was found not proven.

Deputy Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine said: “It’s disappointing to find that an officer would jeopardise the hard work of other officers in an investigation and put at risk the conviction of an offender, not least for the victim’s family.

“Fortunately in this case, the outcome was not affected, and we have already spoken to the family involved to explain fully what happened.

“Every day police officers are held to account for their actions and we are proud of what they achieve, but we will continue to question and investigate where those actions do not uphold our force values.”

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