Met Police special constable sacked for stealing £30,000 through expenses system

·3-min read
New Scotland Yard, headquarters of the Metropolitan Police (PA Archive)
New Scotland Yard, headquarters of the Metropolitan Police (PA Archive)

A man has been fired from the Met Police after stealing £30,000 while volunteering as a special constable.

In less than 12 months, Special Police Constable Ashan Malik made fraudulent expense claims totalling tens of thousands - before blaming his fellow officers when he was found out.

Temporary Assistant Commissioner Amanda Pearson has described his actions as “reprehensible”, adding that he had “undermine[d] public confidence in policing as well as our reputation”.

Malik was caught after an internal audit found he had submitted a “high volume of expenses claims” between August 8, 2019 and July 24, 2020, a Met Police misconduct hearing was told on Friday.

He was arrested on July 24, 2020, and an investigation soon revealed “fraudulent claims amounting to £29,501.89” had been submitted through SC Malik’s PSOP account - a system used by officers to claim expenses and order equipment.

In June and July 2020 alone, he submitted claims amounting to £13,000.

All individual claims were for less than £50 - the cut-off point at which they would be processed automatically - and the money was paid directly into his personal bank account.

On May 25 this year, Malik was found guilty at Woolwich Crown Court of fraud and money laundering.

On July 6, he was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment suspended for 24 months, for the offence of fraud and 12 months imprisonment suspended for 24 months for money laundering - to run concurrently.

He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, pay costs of £2,600 and a victim surcharge of £149, and observe a daily curfew between 9.30pm and 5am for three months.

Friday’s internal Met hearing - held to establish whether he had been guilty of professional misconduct - heard how throughout the investigation and at trial, Malik maintained his innocence and said someone else logged into his computer to make the expense claims.

But he failed to provide any documentary evidence to support this claim.

TAC Pearson said: “These were blatant, deliberate acts of fraud for which SPC Malik was wholly responsible.

“SPC Malik attempted to conceal what had happened by blaming his colleagues for his actions. This was reprehensible.”

She added that while his current employer described him as “reliable and responsible”, his unit commander at the Met said his attitude and work outcomes had been “poor”.

TAC Pearson found Malik guilty of gross misconduct, and he was dismissed without notice from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Summing up, she said: “A police officer behaving in this way - that is firstly in submitting fraudulent expenses claims and secondly in being convicted of and sentenced for the relevant criminal offences - discredits the police service and undermines confidence in it.

“The public could not have confidence in SPC Malik to operate with honesty and integrity.

“Nor would the public have confidence in the MPS if we appeared not to take criminal convictions and such behaviour by a police officer seriously, which I am sure would be the case if I imposed any lesser sanction today.

“A lesser sanction would not serve to uphold high standards and deter misconduct that is so out of keeping with colleagues’ and the MPS’s ethics and values.”