A serving police officer who pleaded guilty to theft and fraud offences has been jailed.

Police Constable Robert Ward, attached to Enfield borough, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 16 July, and pleaded guilty to the following offences:

– Three counts of theft relating to offences committed in January 2017, September 2016 and May 2017 respectively, where cash was stolen from Edmonton Police Station.

– Two counts of fraud by false representation, relating to offences committed in January and February 2017.

– Fraud by false representation, relating to an offence committed between October 2015 and October 2017.

At Southwark Crown Court on Friday, 7 September, he was sentenced to a total of two years’ imprisonment. He must also pay £6,000 in compensation.

PC Ward was arrested on 19 October 2017 on suspicion of theft and fraud after an investigation by the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS), following the alleged theft of £8,150 in cash from Edmonton Police Station in May 2017. He was suspended from duty with immediate effect.

The investigation uncovered further thefts of cash from Edmonton Police Station in September 2016 and January 2017, bringing the total amount of cash stolen to £9,625. All of the cash had been seized by police from people taken into custody.

Enquiries led to the discovery of two fraud offences. PC Ward had attended an address after concerns for the welfare of the occupant were reported to police in January 2017. A man was found deceased in the property. PC Ward stole two blank cheques from the property, wrote them out for £4,000 made payable to himself, and attempted to cash them in January and February 2017.

PC Ward was released under investigation following his arrest in October 2017, but he was further interviewed under caution in December 2017 in connection with a fraud by false representation offence.

PC Ward took 76 days of compassionate leave, carers leave and emergency annual leave from the Met after claiming that his child was critically ill – this claim later proved to be false.

He was charged on 18 June via postal summons for these offences.

Commander Catherine Roper, Professional Standards, said: “The conduct of this officer fell well below the high standard of integrity and professionalism both the public and the Metropolitan Police Service expects. Cases like this, although extremely rare, undermine public trust and confidence in policing.

“The Directorate of Professional Standards carried out a thorough investigation following the initial allegation of theft from police stores, and in doing so uncovered further offences for which he was later charged and brought before the court.

“He will now be subject to misconduct proceedings.”

A special case misconduct hearing has been scheduled.

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