Lewes-based officer used police vehicle while off-duty to go shopping and for a walk
A firearms officer based in Lewes used a police vehicle for private purposes while on and off-duty, including to go shopping and for a walk.
Former PC Mark McCallum’s actions amounted to gross misconduct, a hearing at Sussex Police headquarters heard today.
On March 25, the Professional Standards Department received information that PC McCallum had been using a police vehicle for his own use.
An investigation was launched, which found that he had used a police pool car for private purposes while off duty.
Further enquiries revealed that he had made inaccurate expense claims, claiming he had used his own vehicle for certain journeys when infact he was using a police vehicle.
On several occasions during December 2020 and January 2021, he used a pool vehicle to drive from Eastbourne to Surrey for Operation Proton, then subsequently submitted claims for these journeys saying he had used his own vehicle, the investigation found.
These claims amounted to £283.50, Guy Reynolds from the Professional Standards Department told the hearing.
The investigation also found that on a further 14 occasions between February and March 2021 he had used the pool vehicle while off duty, for purposes including going shopping or for a walk.
He also used the pool car as a commuting vehicle to get to the police headquarters, where he was working.
When PC McCallum was interviewed on May 20, he fully admitted to all of the allegations put to him and ‘repeatedly apologised’, Mr Reynolds said.
Simon Steele, branch secretary of Sussex Police Federation, said PC McCallum had accepted full responsibility and resigned with immediate effect on July 22.
Mr Steele said PC McCallum was ‘deeply remorseful for his actions’ and that, prior to these incidents, he had served the force for 20 years as ‘a highly respected member’ of the tactical firearms unit.
It was ‘a career he loved’, Mr Steele said, adding; “He will live to regret this for the rest of his life.”
Jo Shiner, Chief Constable at Sussex Police, said that had he not already resigned, Mr McCallum would face dismissal without notice.
She said the public expected police to behave with the ‘highest standards of honesty and integrity’, adding: “PC McCallum has fallen by his own admission far below the standards of behaviour that members of the public and his colleagues expect of him.”