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Former Lichfield PCSO sentenced after admitting misusing police computers and making false claims about annual leave

A former PCSO who worked in Lichfield has been sentenced after admitting misusing police computers and making false claims about his annual leave.

Michael Lawrence, from Stafford, was sentenced to four months imprisonment for computer misuse and two months imprisonment for fraud, both suspended for 12 months.

He was also required to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £1,445 compensation to Staffordshire Police and £350 in costs. 

The 29-year-old, who had resigned from his post as a PCSO with the Lichfield Neighbourhood Policing Team, had pleaded guilty to fraud and computer misuse at Birmingham Magistrates Court on 23rd May. 

Issues came to light in May 2018 when concerns were raised about his time-keeping and the booking of annual leave. Audits were subsequently carried out and found that Lawrence had booked leave and then made false claims on the force’s HR management system that he was at work, leading to him being in effect re-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 6th June 2019. A police staff misconduct meeting will be scheduled in due course.

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1 Comment

  1. Steve

    12th July, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    He should have tried the defence, that he did not understand the spirit, or the letter of the law?

    Others have used that defence and been OK.

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