A POLICE officer has been sacked after using the force computer system to look up family members.

At a hearing at Dorset Police HQ in Winfrith on Wednesday, Police Constable Kenneth Walmsley was told his actions amounted to "gross misconduct".

PC Walmsley had admitted using a police pool car for personal use and improperly using the police computer information system.

The panel found that the officer had breached the standards of professional behaviour for police relating to orders and instructions, confidentiality, discreditable conduct and honesty and integrity.

The hearing was told that PC Walmsley, who has been employed by the force since 2001, was working at Winfrith with the Disclosure and Barring Service when he used a police pool car for personal use on a number of occasions between March 23, 2016, and January 23, 2017.

He also used a police fuel card to refuel the vehicle. The hearing was told that PC Walmsley had since repaid all the money that was charged to the fuel card.

PC Walmsley also admitted searching for information relating to family members on the Dorset Police computer information system. The hearing was told he had not disclosed the information he obtained from the searches to anybody else.

The hearing panel was chaired by independent legally-qualified chairman Ian Taylor. It concluded that the breaches of professional standards were so serious they must result in immediate dismissal without notice.

Following the hearing, Deputy Chief Constable James Vaughan said: "Police officers have to adhere to the highest standards of both professional and personal behaviour.

"Members of the public quite rightly expect the core value of honesty and integrity to be upheld and demonstrated by officers within the police service.

"By abiding to this standard, officers gain and maintain the trust of the public, which is essential to policing our local communities.

"I recognise that PC Walmsley served Dorset Police for more than 15 years prior to these incidents and showed remorse for his actions, which he fully admitted.

"However, it remains the case that his behaviour saw him fall below the standard expected of officers and took place over a period of several months.

"I agree with the panel’s view that it would be untenable that an officer who has behaved in this way can continue to hold a position within the force."