Crawley police officer sacked for sharing porn with colleagues

Police

Police

A Crawley police officer has been sacked for sharing pornographic images among colleagues - including a female supervisor who he compared to the women in the images.

PC Mark Scruby, 37, sent his supervisor an image via Whasapp and viewed and shared a pornographic video while on duty, a gross misconduct hearing heard on Wednesday (May 18), said Sussex Police.

A police spokesman said Scruby, an officer for 14 years, admitted five allegations of sharing explicit images with colleagues in February and added he “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, but contested that his breach amounted to misconduct, not gross misconduct.”

However, the chair of the panel, Clare Harrington, said: “The panel concludes that these breaches do amount to gross misconduct. In reaching this conclusion, the panel has taken into account the fact that the conduct amounted to repeated behaviour over the course of 3 and 4 February 2016, that it included repeated viewing of the pornographic image whilst on duty and sharing it with colleagues in the communal spaces of the report writing room and the canteen. “The behaviour extended to also locating the associated pornographic video and again sharing this with a number of colleagues. The panel has also taken into account the context of this conduct, which was an attempt by PC Scruby to identify a similarity between the subject of the pornographic image and [his supervisor].

“We have had regard to the need to protect public confidence in and the reputation of the police service and the need to maintain high professional standards. PC Scruby’s conduct fell far short of the standards to be expected of a police officer. The panel does not accept that the sharing of this type of image could ever amount to a joke. In these circumstances we are entirely satisfied that the conduct amounts to gross misconduct.”

Scruby’s Sussex Police Federation representative said that he had made some very poor decisions, which would not be made again, that he had admitted his wrong-doing and apologised. It was submitted that other sanctions short of dismissal would be appropriate.

Ms Harrington continued: “The panel has given very detailed consideration as to whether a sanction short of dismissal would be appropriate in all of the circumstances and have found this decision making process extremely difficult. However, ultimately, the panel has been unable to reconcile PC Scruby’s continued service as a police officer with protecting the public confidence in and the reputation of the police service and maintaining high professional standards.

“This misconduct demonstrates a fundamental lack of judgment by PC Scruby coupled with a lack of insight that his acts were entirely wrong and disrespectful to others. He was clearly unable to recognise at the time that his behaviour was wrong.

“In all of the circumstances, the panel is satisfied that the appropriate sanction in this case is dismissal without notice.”

Assistant Chief Constable Laurence Taylor, the Force representative on the panel, said: “Sussex Police expects the highest personal and professional standards of anyone who works for us and any allegations of behaviour that do not meet those standards are rigorously investigated.

“PC Scruby’s actions were not simply a one-off moment of thoughtlessness, but a series of incidents each compounding the previous and bringing distress to the colleague who he targeted.

“It is important to show that the force has the ability to fairly investigate its own staff and this 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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