Plumstead officers jailed for theft were ‘bad apples’

16:23 08 November 2012

Archant

Two police officers based in Plumstead have been jailed after they were spotted on CCTV stealing cash from a house while on the job.

PCs Ian Scouler and Kenneth Potter were caught following complaints from members of the public regarding thefts in cases handled by their unit.

The pair appeared at Southwark Crown Court yesterday for sentence.

PC Scouler, 46, was convicted of theft and jailed for 12 months. PC Potter, 30, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to theft and handling stolen goods.

He was handed a five-month jail term on both counts to run concurrently.

The court heard both were based in the Disruption Unit at Plumstead police station when in 2010 and 2011 police received the complaints.

An investigation was subsequently set up by the Directorate of Professional Standards Anti Corruption Command.

Officers from that unit placed covert CCTV cameras at an address due to be searched by the team in Sidcup Road in Mottingham.

During the search PC Scouler stole £400 and PC Potter stole £4in cash from the property.

Investigators also found that in August 2010 PC Potter was using a mobile phone that had been stolen from an address at Burrage Road in Woolwich between July 21 and 22 2010.

The two officers were part of the team that searched that address.

They were both arrested in October last year and suspended from duty before being charged on the January 26 this year. PC Potter has since resigned while PC Scouler remains suspended and faces a formal misconduct panel.

On sentencing, Judge Gledhill said: “The trust that society place in their police officers is vitally important to everyone. When that trust is broken by rogue officers as you became, public confidence is eroded, it makes the job of honest officers far more difficult and it seriously undermines society.

“The pair of you were or are bad apples who have tarnished the reputation of the Metropolitan Police and the thousands of officers who do their job honestly on behalf of the public they serve.”

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Seven people have also been injured in the crash which has been declared a “major incident”.

The service was inundated with offers of help, but has said its supplies are “adequate”.

“They were more than just police officers – they were a son, they were a husband, and they were a dad.”

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