David Smith also secretly recorded video footage of a young woman he was spying on in a police station
5 MARCH 2016 | UPDATED: 5 MARCH 2016 | BY MARK BRANAGAN FOR THE MIRROR
A married traffic cop has been fired for using an automatic number plate recognition camera to zoom in on a woman's cleavage while she was sitting in a pub beer garden.
David Smith also secretly recorded video footage of a young woman he was spying on in a police station.
The balding traffic cop has now been fired after 19 years’ service with Humberside Police after being found guilty of five misconduct allegations by a disciplinary panel.
The disagraced officer was on a stake out outside The Swing Gate pub in Bradford when the woman in the beer garden caught his eye.
He tried to blame a colleague for using the number plate recognition camera to “zoom in to get closer footage” of the woman’s breasts back in October 2011.
He claimed: “I did not take those pictures. I have got a clean record for working with vulnerable victims and I would not abuse that position.”
But he was then found to have downloaded the images onto his home computer, along with the footage of the young woman in the waiting area of Harrogate Police Station.
He told the panel he was trying to get a reception on his phone and did not know the camera was recording.
He then “accidentally” transferred the images to his computer when he was doing a “bulk download” of pictures from his Blackberry mobile.
He also used an automatic number plate recognition camera to replace car number plates with racist and offensive words, some describing men and women’s private parts. PC Smith said he had taken pictures of the vehicles for future intelligence.
Smith had received two commendations for rescuing a woman who was held at gunpoint in a taxi in Hull.
But the hearing was told he had now fallen “so far below the professional standards” that he was dismissed without notice.
South Yorkshire Assistant Chief Constable Ingrid Lee, who chaired the panel, said Smith’s actions were an “intrusion of privacy” and showed a “complete disregard for data protection and police responsibilities”.