Police detective faked having cervical cancer to get out of work

A police detective faked having cervical cancer to get time off work.

Detective Sergeant Vikki Costello, who worked for Kent Police, repeatedly lied to bosses and colleagues that she was unwell, submitted sick notes, and pretended to undergo treatment.

When the ruse was rumbled, she refused to release her medical records or provide any evidence to back up the supposed diagnosis.

Costello also declined to be interviewed or answer any questions.

She accepted her behaviour amounted to gross misconduct and expressed remorse at a misconduct hearing.

The force said Costello would have been sacked had she not already resigned.

Eileen Herlihy, panel chair, said: ‘We find that the officer repeatedly and falsely claimed to be suffering from cancer, which she knew to be untrue.

‘Individually and collectively we find that the allegations are proven and are serious as they relate to claims made by the officer which she knew to be untrue, which she had repeatedly made over an extended period of time to her colleagues and employer.

‘The consequences of her false claims were that she undermined the trust that her colleagues could place in her, that she clearly breached the obligation that police officers are required to be honest, and increased the burden on colleagues and other officers due to her numerous absences from work and the reduced working pattern which she was afforded.

‘Such actions have the potential to bring serious discredit on Kent Police.

‘We find that her behaviour breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in respect of honesty and integrity and discreditable conduct.’

The panel added that Ms Costello was suffering from anxiety that was shown in her sick notes and occupational health records.

But Kent Police said much of this was due to her claimed cancer diagnosis.

And although the force accepted she may have also been suffering from anxiety for other reasons, this has ‘limited weight’ in comparison to maintaining public confidence, the panel found.

She has accepted her behaviour amounted to gross misconduct and has expressed remorse for her behaviour, it added.

Kent Police refused to say where in the county DS Costello had worked, but did confirm there had been no criminal investigation into her actions.

DCI Natalie Potter, of the force’s Professional Standards Department, said: ‘We always expect the highest standards of professionalism and conduct from all officers and staff, and the vast majority serve in line with these expectations.

‘Those who fall short will always face scrutiny and proportionately robust action. As soon as the allegations were reported, we took prompt action to hold the officer to account.

‘Now that this outcome has been determined by an independent panel, we will be placing DS Costello on the College of Policing’s police barred list.’

2 Comments

  1. Surprising how many resign/retire before being fired. These people are a danger to the public, every single one of them. Neither use nor ornament, and costing the public purse a fortune. How can one organisation attract in so many utter muppets and still consider itself relevant and of public value?! They literally do nothing that counts as policing, and spend 100% of their time simply f’ing about. Dare to call them out, and you will be destroyed for life by them. This goes beyond the notion of freemasons running the show – this is simply what happens if you throw a shed-load of public money at an organisation, give it unlimited powers, and then fail to actually apply or provide any oversight. It’s run amok in the past 30 years and has become nothing more than a danger-to-life. The basic recruitment criteria seems to be: 1) are you as thick as pig s**t; 2) are you a compulsive lying sociopath; 3) are you a thug with violence issues? Answer ‘yes’ to all three, and you have a job for life, or up to you resign/retire as they can’t hide your criminal actions anymore. DEFUND. SHUT IT DOWN. BRICK UP THE DOOR TO EVERY POLICE STATION SO THEY CAN’T RETURN. THROW THE LOT OF THEM IN JAIL WHERE THEY BELONG.

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