England

Gatwick Airport PCSO jailed for stealing from passengers

Alexis Scott, Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption Alexis Scott stole thousands of pounds from passengers at Gatwick Airport

A Sussex PCSO who stole thousands of pounds from passengers while on duty at Gatwick Airport, has been jailed for six and a half years

Alexis Scott, 39, tricked people into thinking they had too much cash on them as they boarded flights in April 2013.

She was convicted of six counts of theft and one count of misfeasance - carrying out a legal act illegally - at Canterbury Crown Court in July.

Scott, of High Grove, London, was told she preyed on victims' "panic".

'Bold and planned'

Judge James Mahoney said the severity of her crime meant she would be split up from her young daughter, who had been with her at a mother and baby unit since she was remanded in custody in July.

He said: "I have human feelings, I am a father. The judicial duty doesn't come harder.

"It was over a limited time that you did this but it was bold, persistent, systematic, planned and subtle," Judge Mahoney added.

"You preyed on victims' lack of sophistication and panic."

During the trial, the court was told Scott had targeted long-haul passengers at the North Terminal.

People said they were approached at the departure gate and told they could not take more than £1,000 in cash out of the country.

They were then told they could claim it back when they returned.

Judge Mahoney said: "This is a case about an official PCSO using her uniform and her status to commit serious criminal offences herself."

"It is an exceptional and very unsual case. The implication is upon the police, the public trust and the international reputation of this country," he said.

"People from other parts of the world find themselves being fleeced by a police officer. If that's the impression that people leaving this country go away with then that's a very serious matter."

Scott's victims lost about £13,500, which Sussex Police has since repaid.

Scott was suspended from her position as a Police Community Support Officer when the investigation began and then dismissed for gross misconduct after a disciplinary hearing in July 2013.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites