A POLICE officer who gave a man cannabis has avoided a disciplinary hearing.

An investigation was launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after two Essex Police officers were called to an address after a woman reporter her partner had damaged property in her home.

Upon arrival, the pair were separated and the constables obtained information from both about the allegations.

The woman was told by one of the officers no offences had been committed by her partner but he was going to be advised to leave the property.

But before he left, the man was recorded on body-worn video asking the officer for cannabis.

The officer was heard on the footage asking the woman for the class B drug and then the man was recorded thanking him.

A few hours later, the woman called Essex Police again to express her confusion about the information given by the officers.

They returned later that morning and recorded an offence of criminal damage.

The force themselves referred the incident to the IOPC.

A spokesman for the watchdog said: "During our investigation, investigators interviewed the police constable and obtained a witness statement from the second attending officer, force control room staff and the acting police sergeant who was on duty at the time.

"We listened to the calls made by the woman and reviewed the officers’ actions against Essex Police policies and procedures.

"During interview with our investigators the officer admitted knowingly giving a quantity of cannabis to a member of the public during his attendance at the property.

"The events surrounding this were captured to some degree on body worn video.

"Our investigation also revealed evidence in relation to how the two police officers who attended the domestic abuse incident had dealt with the allegations made by the woman and how they had responded to the allegations that her partner had damaged her property."

The spokesman said there was insufficient evidence for a tribunal to find misconduct for the officers and their decision not to make an arrest but there did appear to be areas of the officer's performance which required improvement.

They said a tribunal could find supplying the man with drugs was a serious error of judgement which could be labelled as misconduct but mitigating circumstances meant he avoided a disciplinary hearing.

The spokesman added: "This was a single incident of brief duration, the officer admitted what they did and stated they would not deal with a similar situation in the same way.

"Therefore, we considered this could be appropriately handled by management action.

"We also recommended that the performance of the other attending officer in some areas also needed addressing.

"After reviewing our report, Essex Police agreed that both officers would receive management action in the form of a debrief, additional training in respect of the law surrounding criminal damage, and having full understanding of a number of relevant Essex Police procedures."