Former police officer charged over alleged crime scene thefts

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A FORMER police officer has been charged in connection with the alleged theft of thousands of pounds from crime scenes.

James Hughes, who has resigned his position with West Yorkshire Police, is also charged in relation to alleged misuse of personal data held on police files.

Mr Hughes, 31, who was based at the City and Holbeck division in Leeds, resigned as a police constable during the investigation into his alleged wrongdoing.

The charges follow an inquiry carried out by the force’s professional standards unit. It is understood part of the inquiry focused on Mr Hughes’s activities when he was gathering intelligence as part of a team investigating the vice trade and subsequent seizures of cash from proceeds of crime.

Professional standards also looked into allegations that Mr Hughes had misused personal contact data held by the West Yorkshire force to try to cultivate relationships with women.

After receiving advice from the Crown Prosecution Service, Mr Hughes was charged with one count of theft – understood to be around £3,000 – and one count of misconduct in public office. He is due to make his first appearance before magistrates in the first week of February.

If the case goes to trial, it is likely to be moved to a court outside West Yorkshire.

The former officer could not be contacted yesterday and his solicitor did not respond to a request to comment.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “A 31-year-old man has been charged with misconduct in a public office and theft and is due to appear at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on February 3.

“The charges relate to his time as a police constable based in Leeds. He is no longer employed by West Yorkshire Police and resigned from his post in July of last year.”