A former police officer who invented a fictional girlfriend and claimed she’d died of cancer to get time off work would have been dismissed had he not already resigned.
Ex-PC Harry Sarkar, aged 21, told his Inspector she’d passed away in April last year.
He was given three days bereavement leave and his supervisor also agreed an enhanced flexible working pattern over a prolonged period while he supported his ill partner.
However, we became suspicious due to his demeanour when he returned to work and later established he’d made up the whole story.
PC Sarkar admitted he’d lied because he needed time off work for unrelated personal reasons.
The student officer, who joined the force in August 2020, resigned from the force on 1 March this year, but the misconduct proceedings continued anyway.
At a misconduct hearing today (11 August), Chief Constable Sir David Thompson ruled that former PC Sarkar would have been dismissed for discreditable conduct and breaches of standards of honesty and integrity.
He said: “Honesty and integrity are essential for all police officers.
“This was not a case in which an investigation was compromised or where police powers were used in bad faith. However, lying about the serious ill-health or death of a partner raises worrying character traits.
“The public would not expect this from an officer and would be concerned over the obvious odious nature of the misrepresentation.
“Over a protracted period he maintained a story about a fictional relationship where the other party was suffering from cancer and later died. The untruths were repeated and over a sustained period.
“It was a significant abuse of trust of colleagues and supervisors.
“The public rightly expect officers to be truthful at all times, and PC Sarkar fell well short of that.”
Although PC Sarkar resigned earlier this year, today’s decision means he will be placed on the College of Policing’s barred list, banning him from working in the police ever again.
Sarkar received three days’ bereavement leave and benefited from more flexible working hours than his colleagues, it is understood. Detective Chief Inspector Az Ahmed told the hearing the officer quit in March.
The offending took place between October 2020 and June 2021, with Sir David saying the officer’s behaviour undermined the standards of honesty and integrity, which are “fundamental requirements for a police officer”. At the time – during the second and third Covid lockdowns – the force was under strain as a number of officers tested positive for the disease.
The chief constable said: “This case concerns a protracted period, with the officer creating a fictional relationship where the other party was suffering from cancer and died.