PCSOs who took Wellingborough rough sleeper's belongings did not breach standards

An investigation into the actions of two PCSOs who took belongings from a Wellingborough rough sleeper last winter has concluded the officers did not breach professional standards.

A complaint was put in against the officers last November by a member of the public who had been working with the rough sleeping community in the town.



Last month the investigation concluded and the officers will not be sanctioned.

Detective Chief Inspector Lorraine Gordon, from the Northamptonshire Police Professional Standards Department, said: “A complaint was received by Northamptonshire Police in November 2018 when it was alleged that items belonging to a rough sleeper were removed and disposed of without permission by two PCSOs patrolling in Wellingborough.

“A full investigation has been carried out by the Force’s Professional Standards Department and has concluded that, although the PCSOs did remove and dispose of some items, their actions were carried out with a rationale based on the potential associated risks of leaving them in situ and did not breach the Standards of Professional Behaviour.

“The Force acknowledges that it would have been inappropriate to dispose of personal items belonging to the individual, such as sleeping bags, however, on this occasion, it was found that the PCSOs took appropriate action to remove other items due to the potential health risks had they remained where they were.

“Northamptonshire Police works closely with its partner agencies and there are a number of multi-agency initiatives in the county that provide support to the homeless. I have requested that the local Neighbourhood Sergeant makes contact with local partners to consider this issue and explore opportunities to help prevent similar incidents in the future. Appropriate guidance for officers and staff will then be produced.”

It is understood the items taken by the officers was some mouldy food and some clothing.