A jailed former Devon & Cornwall Police Constable has been found culpable of gross misconduct following his conviction for eight counts of fraud.

An accelerated misconduct hearing found that, had Sam Smith still been a serving officer, he would have been dismissed without notice.

His details have been submitted to the College of Policing Barred List.

Ex-PC Smith, who lived in Kingsbridge where his offences were committed, was convicted of eight counts of fraud and was jailed for 20 months at Exeter Crown Court in November 2023. 

He admitted the charges which involved a vulnerable 81-year-old female victim.

Smith, aged 31, was working as a Police Constable across South Devon at the time of the offences, which happened while he was off-duty.

Following the outcome of criminal proceedings, a disciplinary hearing was held at Devon & Cornwall Police HQ in Exeter on 7 March.

The hearing, chaired by Acting Chief Constable Jim Colwell, heard how Smith attended a report of concern for the welfare of the victim on 28 November 2019 and subsequently befriended her.

He made eight fraudulent purchases with her bank card, without her knowledge or consent, between 30 March and 25 August 2020.

The hearing determined Smith’s actions amounted to gross misconduct and had fallen below the standards of professional behaviour; namely honesty and integrity and discreditable conduct.

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Dave Thorne said: “Sam Smith’s appalling actions involved a vulnerable victim and he was rightly convicted and jailed for these criminal offences.

“There is no place within policing for this unacceptable behaviour and our determination of gross misconduct was the right, and only, appropriate outcome.

“All police officers have a privileged role in being part of a Force responsible for the safeguarding of vulnerable people.

“Devon & Cornwall Police takes any reports of illegal or inappropriate conduct extremely seriously.

“I can reassure the public that the overwhelming majority of our officers and staff work diligently to help to keep the public safe, uphold our high standards and provide an exceptional service to our communities. 

“The public can be assured that any wrongdoing will be subject to robust action.”