A FORMER Avon and Somerset Police officer has been barred from policing after being found guilty of gross misconduct.

The former Police Constable - referred to as Police Constable A for anonymity - was found to have breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour.

It was proven that she was involved in providing a building quote for a friend to obtain funding from a mortgage company which she knew was not genuine, and preparing VAT returns for her husband’s building company which were inaccurate.

The former officer also did not report her husband for preparing the inaccurate building quote, or for accepting payments in cash to avoid paying VAT.

The hearing was held in front of a panel, led by a Legally Qualified Chair (LQC) who is independent of policing.

The panel found that the officer would have been dismissed if she hadn’t already resigned.

As a result she will now be added to a national barred list to prevent her from working in policing or other law enforcement agencies ever again.

The LQC decided the officer would remain anonymous until the conclusion of the appeals process. If an appeal is not lodged, or if an appeal is heard and is not successful, the officer will be named at this point.

Evidence provided to the panel included messages sent between the former officer and her friend, as well as evidence that - along with her husband - she received a £50 gift card for organising the building quote which allowed her friend to obtain the funding from the mortgage company.

Further evidence in the form of messages sent to clients by her husband showed it was commonplace for quotes to include requests for cash payments to avoid paying VAT.

The former officer was responsible for calculating the VAT returns for the company.

Supt Mark Edgington, Head of Professional Standards, said: “All officers must act with honesty and integrity, both in and outside of work, and the allegations this former officer faced showed she categorically failed to abide by these standards.

“The public will rightly be shocked and concerned by her actions, but we hope they will feel reassured that robust action has been taken to investigate the allegations fully and bring the evidence before a misconduct hearing panel, which has ultimately resulted in this former officer being unable to serve in policing again.”