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PSNI instructor probed over 'theft and tryst with student'

By Claire Williamson

Police are investigating allegations of misconduct, crime and inappropriate sexual relations at the PSNI training college.

Radio Ulster's Stephen Nolan show revealed yesterday that a male trainer at Garnerville is at the centre of allegations involving "theft of overtime".

It is believed the man is also being investigated over claims he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with at least one student officer.

The PSNI said it could not comment because an investigation was ongoing.

A spokesman added: "However, we can confirm that the Police Service of Northern Ireland expects its officers and staff to behave professionally, ethically and with the utmost integrity at all times.

"Any officer or staff member who fails to abide by the high standards of behaviour as laid out in our code of ethics will be rigorously investigated, and if appropriate, subject to disciplinary proceedings."

Last November police recruitment was suspended temporarily when a review of the examination process and the culture within the policing college was ordered after the Belfast Telegraph revealed in June that 54 student officers had been caught cheating in their police examinations and ordered to restart training.

The internal report, which was obtained by the BBC, described how police recruits were forced to endure a "pseudo-militaristic" training regime.

However, it also indicated that the course content was "considered fit for purpose".

The investigation highlighted that students routinely marched to classes, performed press-ups in their uniform and took part in "show parades" as a form of punishment.

The review team said there were many examples of good practice, but it was "significantly concerned by certain elements of the prevailing culture".

The probe, which also criticised the long working hours, made 50 recommendations for change.

This included the way students were tested and assessed.

At the time Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd admitted there were failings.

He said: "We have, I think, in an attempt to raise our standards, lost our balance.

"That which was designed to make people pay attention to detail has lost its balance and become unacceptable.

"We have acknowledged that within the report and we have a plan to deal with those things going forward and make the situation better for the future."

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