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Special Constable claims: 'I was sacked over bottles of pop'

Thatcham man's dream of police career in ruins

John Garvey

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John Garvey

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john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk

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A Special constable has told how his dreams of becoming a full-time policeman were shattered – over a couple of bottles of pop.

Trainee officer Adam Fano-spour of Thatcham said he was dismissed by Thames Valley Police because he forgot to pay for the drinks while studying at the force’s training college.

The Oxford Brookes University graduate had forked out £12,000 to secure a place on a policing course partnered with Thames Valley Police to learn the fundamentals of being in the force.

Meanwhile the 21-year-old, of Exmoor Road, took on the voluntary special constable role and had been praised by training centre sergeants for his good performance.

However, he said his lifelong ambition was shattered when, in January, he picked up a bottle of Fanta and a bottle of Coca Cola from the canteen at the Probationer Development Unit at Sulhamstead Training Coll-ege and forgot to pay.

The former Kennet School pupil said: “The catering man-ager at the college said it was common practice for members of staff to pay for refreshments from the canteen at a later date. I’ve done this in the past.

“I’ve picked up a drink before, then, at the end of the week, handed the catering team a tenner to cover the costs – even though I may have only owed them four or five quid.”

He said that, during a particularly stressful study period, it slipped his mind on this occasion and added: “If someone had reminded me or if I’d been given a chance until after the assessment period, I would have no doubt remembered and paid it straightaway.”

Mr Fanospour completed the course and graduated in July with a good degree.

However, the distraught graduate will no longer be able to use it to find employment after he was dismissed from the force following a misconduct hearing last week.

He said: “I’m just in total shock. I can never work as a police officer again. I will have to pay back £12,000 in student loan and maintenance loan for a degree to be in the police, but they have let me go over a misunderstanding over four quid.

“My lifelong dream is now gone. They have taken it away from me and I do not know where to go now.”

The complaint against Adam was lodged by two other special constables who flagged up the fact that he had not paid.

Yet Mr Fanospour said, he had still not been reminded of his error.

However, a misconduct hearing held at the force’s HQ in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, was told that he had been given ample opportunity to pay.

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said the special constable had been dismissed following a public misconduct hearing and was found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour for honesty and integrity and discreditable conduct as set out in the schedule to the police (conduct) regulations 2012.

The head of the force’s professional standards department, Det Chief Supt Tim De Meyer, said: “Thames Valley Police expects its officers to maintain high standards of behaviour whether they are on or off duty.

“Sc Fanospour’s failure to pay for items that he took from the training college canteen fell way short of the standards required.

“His dismissal shows that we will investigate misconduct thoroughly and deal with it robustly.”

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