Police officers get formal warning

PUBLISHED: 10:01 29 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:38 25 May 2010

SIX policemen caught hitching a ride from a boozy Christmas party in an on-duty van have escaped with a formal warning.

SIX policemen caught hitching a ride from a boozy Christmas party in an on-duty van have escaped with a formal warning.

The officers say they 'deeply regret' their decision to use the police vehicle for a lift from Demetris Taverna late on a Friday night in December 11.

The group, thought to be from the policy custody department in Weston, were among about 60 people at the Christmas-themed event at the restaurant.

But as they left, fellow diners spotted them get into an on-duty police van at about 11.45pm.

The Mercury was informed and a full investigation was launched by police.

Professional standards board superintendent Mike Prior said: "The police officers in this incident were investigated and dealt with robustly by their district commander.

"They were given formal words of advice and deeply regret their actions and understand the severity of them."

Last month the force assured residents it treated such incidents 'extremely seriously'.

Superintendent Peter Kelk said: "Avon and Somerset police takes misuse of police resources extremely seriously and takes a dim view of any employee using those resources for anything other than official police business.

"It is not common practice for police officers to act in this way and I can assure members of the public that the individuals responsible will be dealt with in the appropriate manner.

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