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South Wales Police officer dismissed for ‘gross misconduct’

A SERVING South Wales Police officer who was sentenced to four years imprisonment for perverting the course of justice, has today been dismissed from the force.

Detective Constable Marc Hopkins was convicted at Cardiff Crown Court on July 24, and was jailed the following day.

The court heard he was charged following an investigation by the Professional Standards Department into his conduct while he was investigating a serious assault in 2008.

Following his conviction and sentencing, a Special Case Hearing was held at South Wales Police Headquarters Thursday, August 15 to consider DC Hopkins’ future employment.

Chaired by Deputy Chief Constable Richard Lewis, the hearing found allegations that DC Hopkins’ conduct breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour – specifically standards 1 and 9, relating to honesty and integrity and discreditable conduct respectively – proven.

The hearing further found that the breaches amounted to gross misconduct.

Delivering his findings, DCC Lewis said: “DC Hopkins has been convicted of a serious criminal offence, the nature of which undermines the very basis of policing and goes to the heart of what policing is about; that is that we act on behalf of victims and the public without fear or favour, seeking to support and help them at their time of most need, not as is the case here, as an opportunity to seek personal financial gain.

“Although these offences originate from some time ago, DC Hopkins was even then an experienced officer who knew and understood the full extent of his actions and the impact it would have on both the victim and the trust of the public.

“Victims of crime expect officers to act with the highest professional standards when they seek our support, and that expectation has been grossly undermined in this case.

“I have considered his antecedent and noted the testimonials provided for DC Hopkins by former colleagues, members of the public and family members.

“However, his conviction in the crown court and subsequent imprisonment for four years indicates the seriousness with which society and the criminal justice system view this offence, and I cannot ignore these facts. This matter has undoubtedly brought the police service and specifically South Wales Police into disrepute with our communities.”

DC Hopkins was dismissed with immediate effect and a referral will be made to the College of Policing for him to be added to the Barring List, preventing him from returning to the profession.

A second officer also has a case to answer for gross misconduct in relation to this investigation and will appear before a misconduct hearing in due course. He is currently suspended from duty.

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