Former Kent Police officers guilty of misconduct over drink-driving

A misconduct hearing at Kent Police headquarters in Northfleet heard that Joshua Risby, 21, had driven home drunk from a barbeque in Aylesham in June 2020.

His then colleague Katherine Smith, 29, got a lift home with him, knowing he was drunk, and later lied to the police.

The pair resigned from the force following the incident.

Mr Risby and Ms Smith were student officers who joined the force in March 2020.

A witness told the hearing that Mr Risby had drunk “eight or nine beers and a few vodkas” and fell asleep in an upstairs bedroom at the gathering before driving about 6 miles (9.6km) back to Ms Smith’s home in Shepherdswell near Dover.

The hearing was told that police attended Ms Smith’s home following a report of drink-driving.

Ms Smith denied that Mr Risby was there and told officers she had caught a train home.

Police found Mr Risby in the garden and found him to be more than twice the legal drink-drive limit.

The chair of the hearing, Derek Marshall, said that Mr Risby and Ms Smith would have been sacked had they not resigned.

Mr Marshall described the pair’s actions as a “clumsy and dishonest attempt” to cover up drink driving.

He added: “The role of a police officer demands public trust. If the public cannot trust the police who can they trust?”

Following the hearing, Det Ch Sup Jon Armory, head of Kent Police’s Professional Standards Department, said: “The actions of Mr Risby and Ms Smith were dangerous and dishonest which means we, and the public, can have no confidence in their ability to serve as police officers.”

The pair are now banned for life from any law enforcement roles.

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