A West Yorkshire Police officer’s reputation is in tatters and his career likely to be over after he pleaded guilty to stealing £10 whilst on duty.
The fall from grace follows an investigation overseen by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and conducted by West Yorkshire Police which found that PC Stephen Knott, based in Holmfirth, stole £10 cash on 22 September 2021.
PC Knott, 54, who entered his guilty plea at Bradford Magistrates Court on Wednesday 24 August was sentenced to 80 hours of unpaid work (reduced from 120 hours due to an early guilty plea), and a 12-month community order. He was also ordered to pay court costs of £175.
After receiving reports of money going missing, West Yorkshire Police referred the case to the IOPC. We provided independent oversight of the investigation, which was conducted by West Yorkshire’s anti-corruption unit (ACU).
During the investigation, evidence was gathered which found that PC Knott took £10 cash from a vehicle while on duty.
At the conclusion of the investigation in January 2022, a decision was made to refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service, which authorized the charge.
IOPC Director of Major Investigations Steve Noonan said: “PC Knott’s behavior was corrupt and a complete betrayal of the public’s trust. Actions like this have no place in policing.
“This abuse of trust seriously risks undermining public confidence in the police. Thanks to the actions of West Yorkshire Police in flagging up and then investigating concerns about PC Knott’s behavior, he now has been convicted of a criminal offense.
“It will now be for the force to arrange disciplinary proceedings for the officer.”