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Pc jailed for making teens accept cautions

A police constable who tricked teenagers into accepting official cautions to meet detection targets and boost his promotion prospects has been given a three-year jail term.

Pc Dominic de Souza (31), who works for Norfolk Police, had been convicted of nine offences of wilful misconduct in a public office following a trial at Norwich Crown Court.

Judge Peter Jacobs said yesterday de Souza, who committed the offences while working near Norwich, had “criminalised” innocent people and was guilty of a “pervasive abuse of power”.

He told the court that the case “exposed the shortcomings” of target-driven policing and did “wholesale damage” to public confidence in the police.

The judge also said senior officers who managed de Souza had not enjoyed “their finest hour”.

He said de Souza, who worked for the Metropolitan Police for four years before moving to Norfolk in 2007, would stay in jail for at least 18 months before being eligible for release on licence.

A senior officer said de Souza had been suspended pending the completion of the case but would now be sacked.

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