AN Essex Police officer who "used hair products she mistook for testers" in a shop has been found not to have committed gross misconduct.

It was alleged PC Charlotte Lissimore had breached the standards of professional behaviour of "honesty and integrity" and "discreditable conduct" relating to an off-duty incident where she had used hair products on display in a shop.

An accelerated misconduct hearing was chaired by Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington on March 26, where PC Lissimore fully admitted her actions claiming she had believed these to be "testers" for customer use and denied any dishonesty.

There was no prosecution brought and PC Lissimore was found not to have committed gross misconduct.

Chief Constable Harrington said: “When an allegation is made about the conduct of an officer, it is right for it to be investigated thoroughly. The public must know officers will be held to account.

“In this case, the evidence did not prove that PC Lissimore acted dishonestly but that she was mistaken in her assumption that the hair products were testers.

“PC Lissimore realises the impact of this episode and the potential damage it causes to public trust in police officers.

“It is essential that police officers not only act lawfully – but are seen to do so. Where there is any doubt, they should always err on the side of caution.

“I am confident PC Lissimore recognises this and she will be supported in her return to work, protecting and serving the people of Essex.”