A POLICE officer, who was due to be commended for going "beyond the call of duty," was not prosecuted despite a misconduct panel finding she gave money to her criminal boyfriend so he could stock up on drugs to sell... and even "discussed profits with him."
Former PC Kate Blackett had an unblemished record and was in line for a borough commander's commendation for "going over and beyond the call of duty," before she was suspended from the Met Police in late 2018.
But, a Met Police misconduct panel has ruled that while the commendation was due she was in a relationship with a man who she knew was a regular drug user, driving without a driving licence or insurance, owned a taser and was considering raiding a betting shop to get more cash to fund his drug dealing.
Blackett later resigned from the Met after being suspended due to a misconduct probe which accused her of breaching the standards of professional behaviour in relation to honesty and integrity, duties and responsibilities and discreditable conduct.
Serving police officers have to declare any associations they have with people or relatives they know to be involved in criminal activity and/or drug taking so the force in question can decide if it compromises their role or not.
However, Blackett did not initially declare being in a relationship with the man, referred to only as Mr Birch in the report, until he was arrested by another force, despite knowing about his activities, the misconduct panel found.
At a hearing held in private last month, it was found that she "entered into a relationship with a male whom she came to know used illegal drugs, engaged in the selling of drugs and other illegal activity."
The report said: "PC Blackett declared her association with this male only after he was arrested for taking her car and she was required to provide a statement to police.
"PC Blackett provided misleading details to her supervisor regarding the declarable association with this male and downplayed her involvement in his criminal activity."
Blackett did not attend the hearing and was not represented.
The panel considered the investigating officer’s report, the statements of former PC Blackett, numerous witness statements and mobile phone extraction reports from her phone.
WEED: PC Blackett admitted having cannabis in 2018 (Drugabuse.com)
Birch was arrested by Thames Valley Police in January 2018 for driving Blackett's car without insurance or a driving licence.
She was found to have given misleading and incomplete information on two declarable associations declarations to Thames Valley Police by stating that she had ended her relationship with Birch and that she was not aware of his criminal past.
She also told police she had never taken drugs.
However, during a Met Police internal investigation, her mobile phone was downloaded with 584 pages of downloads.
Statements were also taken from other police officers.
The panel's report concluded: "In considering the totality of the evidence before us we found there was overwhelming objective evidence indicating that the officer was aware early on in her relationship with Mr Birch of his criminal activities; that she was aware of his arrest in January 2018 and that she had witnessed him repeatedly taking drugs."
The report said that prior to the download she admitted in interview that Birch had asked for money to buy drugs, that she was aware that he sold drugs; that she had transferred money to him and others to buy drugs, that he had taken drugs in front of her and that she herself had taken cannabis in February 2018.
The report added: "We also found that the data from the officer’s mobile phone clearly demonstrates an ongoing dialogue with Mr Birch around the use and sale of drugs from a very early stage in the relationship which is also supported by the evidence of her conversations with other people, particularly a friend (name removed) all of which demonstrate that the officer could have had no doubt about involvement in the use and sale of drugs.
"We also found that there was considerable evidence to support the claim that the officer supported Mr Birch in the purchase and sale of illegal substances and she admitted this in her interview in that she had knowingly transferred money to Mr Birch and others which was used to buy drugs for use and profit."
In a WhatsApp message from Blackett to Birch on January 18 2018 she wrote: “just giving my bf (boy friend) money to buy drugs lol.”
The report said: "We note that it is claimed the relationship began in December 2017 and this exchange occurs early on in the relationship.
"We also note the conversations of February 25 2018 when Mr Birch asked the officer for money to acquire drugs which discusses making profit from the sale in which the officer states 'thought we were making 900 anyway.'
"From the exchange it is clear that the officer transfers money to Mr Birch to make the purchase of drugs and that she is aware that a profit will be made from the transaction.
MISCONDUCT: PC Blackett would have been dismissed had she not resigned (Met Police)
"We also find that very early on in the relationship the officer knew that Mr Birch had no driving licence or insurance as she expressly states this in a message to him.
"We also find that the evidence clearly establishes that the officer was aware that (he) had a taser as she had seen it in his flat and knew that he wished to sell this for a profit.
"Further in her interview the officer admitted that she had taken cannabis in February 2018.
"We also find that the WhatsApp exchanges indicate that Mr Birch indicated to the officer that he was considering the commission of other crimes to obtain money to purchase illegal substances; namely a possible raid on a bookies.
"It is apparent from the WhatsApp exchanges that from the early stages in the relationship that she was aware that she needed to (declare the association) do so.
"The evidence before us indicates that very early on in the relationship the officer was aware that Mr Birch had a drug habit and a criminal history but failed to declare the association to the MPS and only did so when she was contacted by TVP.
"The officer made no attempt to end her relationship with Mr Birch notwithstanding that she was aware of and observed his criminal activities.
"As a serving officer PC Blackett could have been in no doubt that she was obliged to disclose this association as part of the rules and regulations issued by the MPS and in accordance with the code of ethics.
"We find that the behaviour of the officer discredits the police service and undermines public confidence in it by her actions in condoning and failing to address Mr Birch’s criminal activities and by her own admission also engaging in illegal activities."
The panel ruled her actions to be gross misconduct and that if she had not resigned, she would have faced dismissal without notice.
Blackett could have faced charges of being concerned in the supply of drugs or even misconduct in public office, but was not prosecuted.
The evidential threshold for prosecution is "beyond reasonable doubt," whereas the misconduct tribunal is lower at "on the balance of probabilities."
A Met Police spokesman said: "The officer was not charged with any criminal offence.
"A file was sent to the CPS and following their review no further action was taken.”