COUNTY NEWS: Police officer sacked after sharing pornographic images at work

Crawley Police station. Google street view image
Crawley Police station. Google street view image

A police officer with Sussex Police has been dismissed after sharing pornographic images among colleagues, including a female supervisor who he compared to the women in the images, a spokesperson said.

PC Mark Scruby, 38, who was based at Crawley, had successfully appealed against an earlier dismissal on the same allegations in May last year, the spokesperson said.

But the Police Appeals Tribunal gave Sussex Police permission to hold another hearing, which took place yesterday (Thursday, February 16), confirmed the spokesperson.

PC Scruby faced five allegations of sharing pornographic images with colleagues, the spokesperson said.

He had suggested to colleagues that a woman in the images bore a resemblance to a supervising officer and also showed the image and made the suggestion to the officer herself, according to the spokesperson.

The hearing also heard that PC Scruby, an officer for 14 years, had sent his supervisor an image by means of Whatsapp phone media and viewed and shared a pornographic video, from which the image had been taken, the spokesperon said.

All of the allegations took place while he was on duty, added the spokesperson.

PC Scruby admitted the factual allegations and accepted that the matters amounted to a breach of the standards of authority, respect and courtesy, equality and diversity and discreditable conduct, the spokesperson said.

But he contested that comments made by his supervising officer amounted to a ‘promise’ in law not to take the matter further, said the spokesperson.

He was dismissed without notice.

Martin Sapwell, professional standards department supervisor, said: “We expect the highest personal and professional standards of anyone who works for Sussex Police and we will always investigate any allegations of conduct that do not meet those standards.

“PC Scruby’s series of actions were considered, targeted and not simply a one-off moment of thoughtlessness.

“Each incident compounded the previous and brought distress to the colleague who he targeted.

“This case highlights our determination not to allow the name of Sussex Police to be tainted, nor bring into disrepute the enormous amount of good work carried out day-to-day by thousands of hard-working and enormously dedicated police officers and staff.”

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