A FORMER poster girl for policing in Barnsley has been dismissed without notice after a panel found she had failed to tell officers she had links to three individuals who had links to criminality.
PC Isabella Handley was dismissed from the force on Monday following a misconduct hearing.
She had previously been awarded the Don Betton Trophy for her ‘conscientious and determined’ attitude during her first 12 months as a student police officer in 2020.
Within her first year, Handley had been the first officer on scene at two sudden infant deaths.
Following the deaths, she attended a suicide attempt involving a man and a heavy goods vehicle - she was subsequently praised for her work.
The Don Betton Trophy is awarded to the student officer who has shown the greatest development and contribution to the district and the then Barnsley Chief Superintendent Sarah Poolman had ‘no hesitation’ in awarding Handley the title in recognition in of an ‘outstanding start’ to her policing career.
However, this later unravelled and Handley will now no longer be a police officer in Barnsley.
A report states: “Between August 23, 2020 and November 18, 2022, the officer accessed police systems to view and obtain information about people connected to her and in doing so she acted without a legitimate policing purpose and used policing systems inappropriately to obtain information for personal use or reassurance.
“She also failed to make any ‘notifiable association’ disclosures in relation to her connection to three individuals whom she knew or reasonably suspected to be involved in criminality.
“The panel found that the officer breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in respect of the above breach, and this amounted to gross misconduct.
“The outcome of the hearing was that the officer was dismissed without notice.”
Detective Superintendent Delphine Waring, head of the force’s professional standards department, told the Chronicle: “As always, the integrity of any police force is based on the honesty of those within it and their actions while serving their communities.
“PC Handley acted without a legitimate policing purpose and used policing systems inappropriately to obtain information for personal use or reassurance, as well as the failures to declare ‘notifiable associations’.
“As a result, she was thoroughly investigated which has led to this outcome.
"As a force we remain committed to upholding high professional standards and any reports which allege breaches of those standards will be robustly looked into.”