Nottinghamshire PC dismissed after calling in sick while on Turkey holiday

Nottinghamshire PC Joseph Jennings told his boss he has norovirus, a day before he flew out to Turkey Credit: BPM/Unsplash

A police officer has been sacked after calling in sick while on holiday in Turkey.

Nottinghamshire PC Joseph Jennings had requested leave twice including 29 April, but it was refused due to short staffing.

He had booked four days off work for the pre-booked trip, but had an application for an additional day rejected.

The officer, who was 19 at the time and based at Jubilee House in Arnold, said he was "embarrassed and ashamed" by his actions.

At a misconduct hearing held at police headquarters in Sherwood Lodge, Arnold, on Thursday 5 October, chief constable Kate Meynell decided to dismiss the officer without notice.

She found he had breached three standards of professional behaviour; honesty and integrity, duties and responsibility and discreditable conduct.

'Think I've caught norovirus' - sick text message sent to work

Ms Meynell said his actions were likely to "damage the reputation of Nottinghamshire Police in the communities that we serve".

PC Jenning’s holiday request was granted for April 30 to May 3, however, two applications for April 29 off - made on April 17 and 23 - were turned down.

Despite this, he flew to Turkey on April 28 and failed to turn up for his shift which started at 7am the next day.

He sent a text message to his sergeant reading: "Hi Sarge it’s Joseph, can’t come in for my shift. Think I’ve caught norovirus."

'He got his decisions very seriously wrong'

David Ring, presenting officer in the case, said he had let colleagues, the force and the public down.

"The officer had some days to reflect on the dilemma and he got his decisions very seriously wrong," he said.

"It harms the reputation of the force, public servants don’t fail to turn up to work and lie about it.

"The public don’t expect a police officer to effectively fob off work and lie about it to their supervisor."

Mr Ring said PC Jenning’s actions also "damages the relationship of trust between the officer and the force".

He said it would impact the force and court's ability to rely on him gathering evidence and acting as a witness.

Tom Hill, mitigating, said PC Jenning accepted responsibility but added that his sergeant could have done more to accommodate his holiday request.

"He offered nothing to help him," he said. "He was left with what he believed to be his only option. It was the catalyst for what he did."

Mr Hill added that PC Jenning had been described as "punctual, smart" and a "well liked and popular" colleague.

He said: "He was 19 years old and had less than a year’s service at the time. It’s not an excuse but important to remind you about.

"He admits what he did, he’s embarrassed and ashamed, it’s not who he is. He is still coming to terms with the complexities of the role.

"The most harshly affected were his colleagues who were left short staffed and for that he is dearly sorry."

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