(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom — A British police officer who wore a hat with a cannabis logo and the words, “I love weed,” while on duty has been found guilty of gross misconduct. PC Simon Ryan from North Yorkshire police also defaced a suspect’s CV — an in-depth resume — with the words “paedo” and “kiddie fiddler” during a child abuse inquiry.
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PC Ryan found the CV at a house during a search into an allegation of a sex offence in January 2015. He then amended the section marked “interests” to include “abusing children” — with the intention of amusing his colleagues. After showing it to them, he didn’t log the CV as evidence, but rather, later destroyed it in confidential waste at Northallerton police station, a ruling panel was informed.
Ten days later, he wore the “I love Weed” woolly hat in the office and while on mobile patrol.
Though some might say community policing would be greatly improved if more coppers wore “I love Weed” hats, the panel concluded the appropriate sanction for Ryan’s fashion choice — and defacement of the CV — was “dismissal without notice demonstrating the gravity attached by the panel to the gross misconduct.” Panel chairman Lindsay Hall said the public has the right to expect the highest standards of behaviour and conduct from the officers who serve them.
Ryan’s barrister had urged the panel to let him keep his job, claiming he had played a “very poor practical joke” before describing him as a diligent and hard-working officer with 13 years experience.
The North Yorkshire police federation also backed the shamed officer. Speaking on his behalf outside the hearing, PC Brad Jackson said:
“This has been a very difficult period in PC Ryan’s career and personal life which he accepts was brought on by his own doing. PC Ryan has apologised unreservedly for his actions and extends his apology to the public and people of North Yorkshire. North Yorkshire Police Federation will continue to support Simon as he moves forward after today’s decision.”
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