Former Staffordshire PCSO guilty of booking extra 189 hours of annual leave
A former PCSO has been given a suspended sentence and ordered to pay almost £1,800 after making false claims about his annual leave – and misusing police systems.
Michael Lawrence, from Stafford, was sentenced to four months imprisonment for computer misuse and two months for fraud, both suspended for 12 months, at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday.
The 29-year-old was also required to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £1,445 compensation to Staffordshire Police and £350 in costs.
Lawrence, who had resigned from his post as a PCSO after one year and 11 months in the Lichfield Neighbourhood Policing Team, had pleaded guilty to fraud and computer misuse at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on May 23.
Concerns had been raised by the force about his time-keeping and the booking of his annual leave in May 2018.
And audits carried out identified Lawrence had booked leave and then made false claims on the force's HR management system that he was at work between August 2017 and May 2018.
The Staffordshire Police PCSO had, in effect, been credited with 189 hours of annual leave – equivalent to £1,445.
An internal investigation also discovered that Lawrence had accessed the force’s incident log and viewed 879 incidents without a lawful policing purpose between July 2017 and May 2018.
Deputy Chief Constable Nick Baker said: "We expect a high level of honesty and integrity from all our officers and it is clear he has fallen well below this standard."
Lawrence was suspended from duty in May 2018 and resigned from the force on June 6, 2019.
A police staff misconduct meeting will be scheduled in due course.
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