United Kingdom

East London volunteer police officer sacked after fraud conviction

A volunteer policeman has been sacked for claiming more than £29,000 in fraudulent expenses.

Former Metropolitan Special Constable (MPC) Ashan Malik, was dismissed for gross misconduct last week after being convicted of fraud and money laundering in May this year.

Malik submitted “numerous” fraudulent expenses linked to his volunteer police work in a unit covering Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham, and Havering, claiming £29,501 between August 2019 and July 2020.

Dismissing Malik without notice, temporary assistant commissioner Amanda Pearson, said his actions were “deliberate and blatant acts of fraud”.

She added: “In behaving as he did, Special Constable Malik defrauded the Metropolitan Police out of a significant amount of money, money that the police holds on behalf of the public.

“He carried on over a sustained period of eleven months and only stopped when he was confronted.

“To discover that a police officer could behave in such a way is likely to undermine the Metropolitan Police Service’s reputation, it is unacceptable that a police officer who is enforcing the law should break the law themselves.”

The temporary assistant commissioner said Malik managed to avoid the attention of senior officers by only submitting claims below the £50 threshold that would require their approval.

But a criminal investigation was triggered in July 2020 when he made “substantial claims” amounting to more than £6,000 each.

The expenses were submitted through the police single operating system, used by the Met for HR-related work and expenses.

Despite being convicted by a jury at Woolwich Crown Court, Malik has not shown remorse and continues to claim he is “innocent and wrongly convicted”.

During the trial and in written representations to the disciplinary hearing, he claimed a colleague “used his computer” to submit the expenses, which were then paid into his personal bank account.

Temporary assistant commissioner Pearson called his denial “unconvincing and unsupported by any evidence”.

She found it “proven” that he had breached the Met’s standards of professional behaviour in respect of honesty and integrity and discreditable conduct in a way that amounts to gross misconduct.

Malik did not attend the hearing at the Empress State Building, Earl’s Court, telling his Metropolitan Police Federation representative Lisa Hayden that his son had a “hospital appointment” at the same time.

She said that he had failed to show her any proof of the appointment and stopped answering her calls in the days before the hearing.

The Metropolitan Special Constabulary is a volunteer force founded in 1831 and its members have the same powers as regular police officers and must complete at least 200 hours of work a year.

According to the Met’s website, benefits include free travel in the capital and a discount on council tax in Greater London.

At the time of his dismissal, Malik was on management action for “poor performance” linked to his attitude and work. He had not received any commendations since joining as a special constable in 2019.

Following his conviction for fraud and money laundering, Malik was handed a two-year suspended sentence, lasting for two years, and a three-month home curfew between 9:30pm and 5am.

He was also ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and to pay £2,600 in court costs with a £149 victim surcharge.

A professional reference from the former special constable’s current employer describes him as a “responsible employee”, the misconduct hearing heard.

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