A Police Community Support Officer 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.
Alexis Scott, 39 mother of two from Plumstead, South London was charged under her name of Scott although she worked at Gatwick under another name. Before moving to London she had lived in Uckfield.
Canterbury Crown Court heard how 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 they 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 an investigation described as ‘complex’ showed she had stolen more than £15,000 from seven victims.
After a trial lasting just over three weeks, the jury found her guilty on 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 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 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 was held last year. As a result Scott attended a gross misconduct hearing on July 16, 2013, and was dismissed immediately.