Cliff Caswell – Police Oracle
A former award-winning PCSO with the Met was motivated “by a desire to be successful in his job” when he falsely completed around 350 Fixed Penalty Notices, a court was told.
An investigation by the Professional Standards Department found that George McNaught had targeted tourists visiting the capital for fines – and they had sometimes found themselves with warrants issued against them for non-payment.
But McNaught who was the first PCSO in the capital to be awarded the Commendation of the High Sheriff of London for wrestling a gun from a woman’s hands, was arrested in September last year. A subsequent search of his home revealed a CS spray canister as well as other items of stolen police property.
Sacked after admitting criminal behaviour in interview, the remaining victims of his illegal ticketing were traced, adding to the weight of evidence against him.
McNaught, who was based at Westminster, was handed down a six-month custodial sentence after pleading guilty to misconduct in a public office and possession of a prohibited weapon.
Resident Crown Court Judge, Judge John Hillen, told the defendant as he was sentenced: “(You) were motivated by a desire to be successful in your job – however the public need to be confident in the PCSO system and you undermined this.
“Those who hold office must be punished who betray this system and a custodial sentence must follow – the only deterrent is the sound of the cell door closing behind you.”
A police spokesman added: “I am pleased with the Judge’s sentencing and hope that this sends a clear message to staff and officers within the Metropolitan Police Service that if their actions on- or off-duty fall outside of our core business then the matters will be dealt with professionally and firmly.”