Constable quit before he could be sacked for using Northamptonshire Police computer to spy on individual

Officer also broke lockdown three times by visiting parents and disappeared in the middle of a shift

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 11:42 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 11:44 am
Denton was subject to a misconduct hearing at Northamptonshire Police HQ last month.

A former Northamptonshire Police Constable admitted using a confidential database to check out a member of the public connected to someone he was in a relationship with.

Mitchel Denton also broke Covid regulations by visiting his parents three times during lockdown in January this year and disappeared in the middle of an eight-hour shift without telling anybody where he was going.

Denton appeared before a disciplinary panel last month which ruled he was guilty of gross misconduct and would have been dismissed without notice had he not already quit the force.

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The panel's verdict said: "This was a case where the allegations were admitted by the former officer, and in which there is little or no mitigation.

"The panel found that the seriousness of the former officer’s gross misconduct was such that it destroyed any possibility that the former officer could have remained in service and nothing less than dismissal would have been appropriate.

"The gravity of the gross misconduct, which cumulatively extended over a series of incidents involving serious disregard for the law, and for organisational rules, meant that if the panel were to have opted for any outcome less serious than dismissal then public trust and confidence in policing would only be further, and seriously, damaged."

The hearing was told that Denton, who joined the force in 2019, logged in to the confidential police records management system without permission and searched for an individual between June 3 and September 11 last year.

The panel told Denton: "The reason you searched for and accessed details about this person was because of his connection to a person with whom you were in a relationship.

"This did not represent a lawful authority to search for or access information about them."

The panel also heard that Denton's three visits to his parents' home during January 2021 represented breaches Covid-19 regulations which made it an offence to meet other people inside a dwelling where those people were not members of your household or support bubble.

Finally, on January 25, 2021, Denton was working an 8am-4pm shift at the force's Wootton Hall Park HQ but left at around 11.54 without booking off and did not return..