Northamptonshire PC's disciplinary hearing over claim "white substance" vanished after drugs swoop

Allegations Constable failed to record evidence, misused stop and search powers

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 2:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 2:40 pm
A three-day disciplinary hearing begins at Wootton Hall Park today
A three-day disciplinary hearing begins at Wootton Hall Park today

A Northamptonshire police officer faces a three-day disciplinary hearing over claims he mishandled stop-and-search evidence after witnessing a drugs deal in the town.

PC Will Corlett is alleged to have confiscated a "white substance" from a suspect believed to have been involved in a drug deal in February 2019.

But the white substance then disappeared with no record made of its existence.

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Details of the allegations against PC Corlett state: "On February 21, 2019 he was involved in a stop and search of two individuals — person B and person K — having witnessed what he suspected to be a drug deal.

"He believed B to be a drug user and a person involved in drug supply.

"He spoke to K who produced a white substance, which he confiscated from him. K indicated he had paid £10 for it from B.

"The circumstances of the transaction and the involvement of B, along with the white substance was not booked into property and/or exhibited, and no record was made of its existence, confiscation and/or disposal."

The allegations also state PC Corlett "failed to deal appropriately with K whom he had reasonable grounds to suspect was committing a criminal offence, namely possession of a controlled substance;

"He failed to secure the white substance to enable an appropriate forensic test to be carried out to establish whether it was, in fact, a controlled substance."

It is also alleged that PC Corlett recorded that no objects were found during the stop and search, despite recovering the white substance and later left out any reference to the white substance in intelligence he submitted about K’s association with B."

A second allegation against PC Corlett claims he used stop and search powers in The Mounts during January 2019 when he knew there were insufficient grounds to justify it.

He also failed to ensure correct handling of a cigarette recovered during another stop and search of a person suspected of possessing cannabis on the same day.

The disciplinary hearing, which could deliver a verdict of gross misconduct leading to instant dismissal from the Force, begins on Wednesday (June 23) and is expected to continue until Friday at Force HQ at Wootton Hall Park.