Police Officer given extended final warning after ‘blue light run’ to collect three friends from a night out

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A Sussex police officer has been given an extended final written warning after breaching professional behaviour standards. PC Robert Potts, 43, attended a gross misconduct hearing at Sussex Police headquarters on Friday, March 31, following an investigation.

The panel, led by an Independent Legally Qualified Chair (LQC), found PC Potts drove a police vehicle on a ‘blue light run’ from Uckfield to Eastbourne to collect three friends from a night out on July 31 last year. He activated the blue lights, crossed over double white lines, exceeded the speed limit, and ran a red light, all without any legitimate policing purpose.

As a result, he was alleged to have breached standards of professional behaviour in respect of discreditable conduct, orders and instructions, and duties and responsibilities. The breaches were proven by the misconduct panel, which determined that this amounted to gross misconduct.

During the hearing, it was further alleged that PC Potts had taken himself and a junior colleague away from their lawful duties. The panel decided to give PC Potts an extended three-year final written warning.

LQCs are chosen from a list of independent, legally-qualified persons to conduct police misconduct hearings and are governed by Police Conduct Regulations. They work to instil and embed transparency and proportionality into misconduct hearings.

Chief Superintendent Steve Rayland, Head of Professional Standards Department, said: “We expect our officers to act with the utmost integrity, and in accordance with the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Professional Behaviour. The actions of this officer in this case fell far short of the standards we expect.”

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