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Police officer sacked after £200 shoplifting spree while on duty

Credit: PA Images

A West Midlands Police constable has been sacked after stealing £70 worth of moisturiser from Selfridges in a £200 shoplifting spree while on duty.

PC Abigail Smith was issued with a caution for theft after also taking items from KIKO Milano and Superdrug on May 12.

A misconduct hearing heard how she pocketed the moisturiser in Selfridges at 1pm in the Bull Ring in Birmingham city centre while she was supposed to be working.

PC Smith said the incident was a "cry for help" caused by mental health issues at the time due to the stress of police work.

But Chief Constable David Thompson was satisfied her actions amounted to gross misconduct and dismissed her without notice in order to "maintain public confidence".

PC Smith attended the misconduct hearing at the force's headquarters on Friday as she claimed she had been "let down by West Midlands Police".

She told Mr Thompson she had spent nearly four months off work due to the stresses of the job.

He said:

I'm sure it is very difficult you being here today. This case is one of gross misconduct because it is a criminal offence and one of dishonesty.

You are very accountable for your actions. It is a breach of public trust.

You were shoplifting while on duty.

– Chief Constanble David Thompson - West Midlands Police

In a statement read to the hearing on behalf of PC Smith, she said: "Firstly, I would like to take the opportunity to apologise. I can only stress I wasn't in the right frame of mind. I believe it was a cry for help. I felt as if a burden had been lifted and people could see I needed help."