Devon police officer allegedly shared photo of dead body scene

A Devon and Cornwall Police officer is being investigated for gross misconduct over a data breach allegation that he took a photo of a person who had died and shared it with another officer on WhatsApp. Sgt Jan Kingshott is currently on restricted duties while the investigation is ongoing. At this stage no misconduct has been proven.

Devon and Cornwall Police has released a statement with the details. It says: “A report was made to Devon & Cornwall Police on 5 January 2023 in relation to data breaches involving a serving officer. During the course of the investigation, it was alleged that an officer, who was on duty at the time, had taken a photo of a scene that included a person who had died and was covered by blankets and shared this with another officer via WhatsApp.

“A criminal and secondary misconduct investigation commenced and a mandatory referral was made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). It was referred back to the Force for local investigation. Try DevonLive Premium for free with no intrusive ads and brilliant new features[1]

“In June 2023 we commenced a criminal investigation of misconduct in public office and the officer was interviewed. At the same time a gross misconduct notice was issued to the officer, and they were suspended from duty. “In August 2023 investigators from the Force’s Professional Standards Department discussed the case with the Crown Prosecution Service and a decision was made by the Force that the investigation would be discontinued as it did not meet the criminal threshold.

“The officer’s suspension was rescinded and they were placed back on restricted duty. A gross misconduct investigation remains ongoing. At this stage no misconduct has been proven and we are unable to comment further.”

Misconduct means a breach of the standards of professional behaviour. An investigation must first decide if there a case to answer. If there is then a gross misconduct hearing may then be heard, usually in public.

Sgt Kingshott recently gave evidence at the inquest into the death of Thomas Orchard who died following police restraint whilst in mental health crisis in October 2012. Sgt Kingshott oversaw the custody suite that day. The current gross misconduct investigation is not linked to that matter.

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