A former Somerset police officer who gave illegal drugs back to people he’d stop searched in return for information about local drug dealers has been added to a national barred list.
PC Jonathan Biggins, who resigned prior to a misconduct hearing taking place, will now no longer be able to serve in policing or other law enforcement agencies.
A misconduct hearing was held at Avon and Somerset Police Headquarters in front of a panel led by a Legally Qualified Chair, who is independent of policing.
The hearing followed an investigation carried out by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which began as a result of referral from the force’s Professional Standards Department (PSD). Two officers had raised their concerns over PC Biggins’ actions with a supervisor, who went onto alert PSD.
The hearing heard how between September 2019 and October 2020, the former officer approached a number of people in Weston-super-Mare to carry out a stop search for drugs.
When he found drugs in their possession, he gave them back in return for information about local drug dealers.
Supt Mark Edgington, head of Professional Standards, said: “These were very serious allegations against this former officer who, from the evidence provided at the hearing, clearly did not follow the proper procedures or policies when carrying out these stop searches.”
“Stop and search is a valuable tool in our fight against illegal drugs which cause harm and damage in our communities and unfortunately PC Biggins’ actions will have undermined the use of this power in the eyes of the public.”
“We actively encourage our staff to report any concerns or information about potential misconduct, unprofessional behaviour or integrity issues, and we have a range of reporting methods in place, including a confidential and anonymous reporting line.”