Hero award Norfolk police officer sacked over dishonest overtime claims

A Norfolk PC has been sacked for making false overtime claims.

A Norfolk PC has been sacked for making false overtime claims. - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk police officer recognised with an award for his role in saving a woman’s life has been sacked for making dishonest overtime claims.   

PC Andrew Goff, 28, was dismissed from the force for gross misconduct after it was found that on six occasions between September 2020 and January 2021 he falsely claimed overtime payments totalling £364.

A misconduct hearing was told the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) launched an investigation after it received information he had been overheard bragging about making false claims.

Norfolk police anti-corruption unit investigator Nigel Richards

Norfolk police anti-corruption unit investigator Nigel Richards - Credit: Simon Parkin

The panel had heard that officers doing PC Goff’s role who finished shifts at 7am were judged to be still on duty until they arrived home.

Officers getting home after 8am were entitled to claim an additional overtime amounting to £60 on each occasion. 

Nigel Richards, ACU investigating officer, said on six occasions PC Goff had claimed overtime saying he had got home at 8.15am.

But investigations had found his car had been caught on a traffic camera just 6.2 miles from his home at times as early as 7.16am.

UK static speed or safety camera against a blue sky

Traffic cameras caught the officer's car at times that disproved his fraudulent overtime claims. - Credit: Getty Images

PC Goff, who denied the allegations, had told investigators that he believed his overtime claims to be genuine and had not intended to defraud. 

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He also argued camera evidence failed to take full account of traffic conditions that could have delayed his journey times.

But the panel said he had not provided any evidence to support his claims, including not recording his start and finish times in his police notebook despite officers being required to do so.

Panel chairman Peter Nicholls said: “On the days in question the officer wrongfully and fraudulently repeatedly submitted claims on the basis he returned to his house after 8am thus entitling him to additional overtime for working into his rest day.”

Wymondham Police headquarters. Photo: Denise Bradley

A misconduct hearing held at Wymondham police headquarters ruled a Norfolk officer should be dismissed. - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2008

PC Goff received a chief constable commendation in 2018 for his part in helping stop a young woman taking her own life and his actions were described as “out of character” by colleagues, the hearing was told. 

But the panel ruled on Thursday that his conduct was “self-serving” and amounted to a “serious breach” of the standards of honesty and integrity expected of officers and that his dismissal without notice was justified. 

Mr Nicholls said: “The public expects the police to do the right thing in the right way and to apply the policing principles on the decisions that they make.”

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