#OpProtectAndServe – PC Kirk Van Niekerk caught smoking cannabis in his police patrol car while he was supposed to be searching for a missing person

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Hot Buzz! Policeman sacked for smoking cannabis while on duty after a colleague smelled weed coming from his patrol car

  • PC Kirk Van Niekerk was supposed to be searching for a missing person
  • caught after a colleague noticed a pungent aroma wafting from the car 
  • He denied smoking cannabis on duty but tests found traces in his system
  • A panel in Birmingham yesterday found him guilty of gross misconduct 

A policeman was sacked yesterday after being caught smoking cannabis in his marked patrol car.

PC Kirk Van Niekerk, who had been an officer for West Midlands Police for more than six years, was supposed to be searching for a missing person when he used the drug in the early hours.

He was caught after a colleague noticed a pungent aroma wafting from the car and reported him.

Niekerk, a married father of one, denied smoking cannabis on duty but tests found traces in his system. Yesterday, a panel found him guilty of gross misconduct.

PC Kirk Van Niekerk was caught after a colleague noticed a pungent aroma wafting from the car and reported him (file picture)

PC Kirk Van Niekerk was caught after a colleague noticed a pungent aroma wafting from the car and reported him (file picture)

Niekerk was caught when PC Nigel Weston approached his patrol car at 3am on November 19, 2014.

Deputy Chief Constable Dave Thompson told the Birmingham hearing: ‘These are important areas that lie at the heart of being a police officer.

‘The public expect high standards from police officers.

‘The officer has smoked drugs on duty and he has potentially put the public at risk and lied in subsequent interview.

‘As a result of this, the decision of the panel is to dismiss him without notice.

‘It demonstrates behaviour that falls well below standards and indicate he is a controlled user of cannabis.

‘We have found the officer smoked cannabis in his vehicle on November 19, 2014.

‘We note that he is sorry. We are not quite aware what he is sorry for.’

The panel heard Nierkerk was smoking the drugs while investigating a missing persons’ inquiry.

Nierkerk, who was based at the Newtown police station in Birmingham, took a drugs test on November 26, 2014 (file picture)

Nierkerk, who was based at the Newtown police station in Birmingham, took a drugs test on November 26, 2014 (file picture)

Natalie Dent, representing the force, said: ‘PC Van Niekerk was on a night shift at about 10pm on November 18, 2014.

‘He was conducting a missing persons search investigation.

‘At about 3am on November 19, 2014, PC Weston, a dog handler, was exercising a police dog on Perry Park near the Alexandra Stadium in Perry Barr when he noticed PC Van Niekerk driving towards the exit of the car park on Church Road.

‘The officer stopped alongside his car to speak to him. PC Weston immediately challenged PC Niekerk about the strong smell of cannabis inside his car.

‘He said it always smelt like that.’

Nierkerk, who was based at the Newtown police station in Birmingham, took a drugs test on November 26, 2014.

Miss Dent added: ‘The results of the test were ready on December 3 and confirmed traces of cannabis.

‘It was more than three times the accepted cut-off for passive smoking.’

Niekerk admitted to professional standards he had taken cannabis in the past and was suspended by West Midlands Police force on December 4 last year.

John Williams, representing Niekerk for the Police Federation, said: ‘He had asked me to tell the panel he was sorry.

‘He felt that he and his family had been put in the limelight and perhaps in this current time they should not have been.’

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3180717/Hot-Buzz-Policeman-sacked-smoking-cannabis-duty-colleague-smelled-weed-coming-patrol-car.html

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