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Paul Tincello dismissed from Kent Police after failing to arrest Tunbridge Wells drink driver

By Luke May

A resigning police officer has been dismissed without notice after failing to arrest a suspected drink driver.

Paul Tincello, previously known as Paul Inkpin, failed to arrest a driver in Tunbridge Wells who blew nearly twice the drink drive limit in July last year.

A panel heard Mr Tincello then lied to his sergeant, claiming the suspect was only just over the limit, in order to avoid an arrest and finish work on time.

Kent Police Headquarters, Sutton Road. Maidstone. Picture by Matthew Walker (9581914)
Kent Police Headquarters, Sutton Road. Maidstone. Picture by Matthew Walker (9581914)

The police constable, who also works as a builder, handed in his resignation on Friday, throwing Monday's misconduct hearing into disarray.

Mr Tincello failed to show at the hearing, and declined an opportunity to have representation, after believing the Kent Police Federation could ask questions on his behalf.

Sgt Dan Pearce, general secretary of Kent Police Federation, told a panel on Monday: "As members of the police force ourselves, it's not appropriate for us to cross examine a colleague.

"Mr Tincello was given the opportunity to be here."

On Tuesday the hearing was able to get properly underway.

The panel heard Mr Tincello and another PC arrived at the scene of a single vehicle crash in Tunbridge Wells last year.

The injured driver was tested in the back of an ambulance by Mr Tincello, a breathalyser revealed he had 65mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35.

A paramedic said Mr Tincello told her the suspect was "nearly double" over the limit.

However on the phone to his sergeant, Mr Tincello said the suspect was "only just" over the limit, saying there was a reading of 43mg.

A member of the public would not expect an officer to fail to arrest an individual..." Claire Harrington

Giving evidence the sergeant said: "I was concerned with what he told me on the phone as it did not correlate with what the calls were saying about Mr J.

"They were saying he was very drunk and staggering about. I was concerned that something wasn't right."

A panel heard Mr Tincello had told his sergeant he needed to finish on time on the night in question as he had another appointment for a second job as a builder.

Mr Tincello later claimed he misread the breathalyser, saying he did not have his reading glasses.

The PC on duty with him that night said she had never seen him wear glasses. She also arrested the suspect later that night.

Chairing the panel, Claire Harrington said: "PC Tincello provided false information to his sergeant.

"A member of the public would not expect an officer to fail to arrest an individual, having found them to be driving over the legal alcohol limit."

The panel agreed Mr Tincello's behaviour amounted to gross misconduct and the officer had breached the standards of honesty and integrity, duties and responsibility and his actions amounted to discreditable conduct.

He was dismissed from Kent Police without notice.

Inspector Justin Watts of Kent Police’s Professional Standards Department said: "The vast majority of officers uphold the highest standards and diligently serve the people of Kent. It is important that the public can have confidence in Kent Police and we will robustly address any neglect of duty."

Read more: All the latest news from Tunbridge Wells.

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