A PCSO who used her knowledge of Gatwick Airport to steal thousands of pounds from passengers has been found guilty of theft and misconduct in public office.
Canterbury Crown Court heard how Alexis Scott approached passengers as they were about to go through the final gate on to their flight and asked how much cash they were carrying with them.
She advised some of them that were carrying more than the maximum amount allowed and ‘confiscated’ the balance telling them that they could claim it back when they returned.
She then placed the money under her uniform hat and headed back to the police station to remove it.
Her crimes came to light quite quickly as returning passengers started to ask various airport authorities for their money back.
Scott was arrested and a ‘complex’ investigation showed that she had stolen more than £15,000 from seven victims.
After a trial lasting just over three weeks, the jury found her guilty today (Wednesday July 30) of six offences of theft and one of misconduct in public office.
She was found not guilty of one count of theft.
Scott was remanded for sentencing on a date to be confirmed.
Deputy Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney said: “Sussex Police expects the highest personal and professional standards of everyone who works for us.
“Scott fell woefully short of those standards, abusing the trust that we had placed in her, but more importantly, the trust of the public and in particular, the victims of her crimes.
“Passengers and other users of Gatwick Airport rightly expect that those who wear the uniform of Sussex Police do so with integrity and honesty.
“Scott failed in this simple requirement and has been duly punished, but this mustn’t be allowed to reflect upon the professionalism, honesty and integrity of other employees of Sussex Police who work tirelessly and selflessly around the clock.
“This was a complex and detailed investigation of an audacious act, but any such act will not be tolerated and we acted swiftly and decisively as soon as it came to light.”
A Sussex Police internal disciplinary investigation took place last year and as a result Scott attended a gross misconduct hearing on July 16, 2013, and was dismissed immediately.