Essex PC cleared of misconduct over lifts to party from banned driver

The Civic Centre in Chelmsford
Image caption The misconduct hearing was held at the Civic Centre in Chelmsford

A police officer has been cleared of misconduct by a panel who ruled she did not know her partner was banned from driving when he drove her to a party.

PC Harriet Clarke, from Basildon, Essex, was accused of letting her now-husband David Clarke drive her and her colleagues to and from Stock for a Christmas work meal in December 2017.

PC Clarke said she did not know he was banned from driving at the time.

He is also said to have picked her up from work on 6 January 2018.

Head of Professional Standards for Essex Police, Det Supt Dean Chapple, said after considering the evidence the panel found that PC Clarke had not breached standards and decided that "no further action should be taken".

The panel ruled that on 21 December 2017 and 6 January 2018, PC Clarke did not knowingly allow herself or her police colleagues to be carried in a vehicle driven by a driver who was disqualified for drug driving.

PC Clarke and her partner had briefly broken up in April 2017, around the time of Mr Clarke's court hearing for drug driving, but reconciled quickly, the hearing at Chelmsford Civic Centre was told earlier.

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