Northants police officer sold Auschwitz relics on eBay
Northamptonshire Police have said they accept there are '˜moral and ethical concerns' after one of their serving police officers was caught selling Auschwitz relics on eBay.
PC Matt Hart traded in artefacts from the WWII concentration camp on the auction selling site.
The officer, who was a beat bobby in East Northamptonshire until he moved to a desk job in the corporate services directorate, sold barbed wire and items described as ‘fence insulators’ during the early part of this year.
His sideline - allegedly run along with a female relative - was uncovered in an investigation by reporter Daniel Sugarman of the Jewish Chronicle.
Removing and selling relics from the camp is illegal in Poland although it is allowed under UK law. It is not known who originally took the relics from the camp - the site of the murder of more than a million Jews during the WWII.
The items have now been withdrawn from sale and the eBay account is now believed to be closed.
A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said: “Our Professional Standards Department has spoken at length to the officer involved after concerns about the nature of his business were brought to our attention.
“We can confirm the officer had previously declared a business interest in line with force policy but following questioning it was determined that no actual legal wrongdoing had taken place.
“However, following our intervention, the officer has, voluntarily, permanently removed the items in question from sale and is now in the process of closing down the business.
“We are satisfied that, at this stage, no offences have been committed.
“However, Northamptonshire Police fully accepts that, among the wider community we serve, there are both moral and ethical concerns around a serving police officer selling such memorabilia for profit, memorabilia that most people will find deeply offensive.
“In response to those concerns and to protect the reputation of the Force, we have taken the necessary steps to prevent this happening in future.
“As a force with a wide range of policies around diversity and equality, Northamptonshire Police takes such matters extremely seriously and will always undertake to investigate such complaints fully.”