A former Merseyside Police constable has been jailed today (Friday 12 June) at Manchester Crown Court for selling police intelligence to criminals after a metitculous investigation by the force’s Anti-Corruption Unit.
Stephen Cloney, 41, of Lorne Road, Oxton was sentenced to five years after pleading guilty on 5 February this year to an offence under to Section 26 Corruption (Contrary of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015). It follows an investigation by the Merseyside Police Anti-Corruption Unit, supervised by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
It was found that between 13 April 2015 and 4 January 2019, Cloney provided intelligence to people – believed to have been involved in serious organised crime – and that he was paid cash for that information.
He was arrested and charged with the offence of exercising the powers and privileges of a constable improperly by unlawfully accessing Merseyside Police systems and databases to access intelligence, which was shared with others outside the police force for financial gain, and that he knew or ought to have known that the exercise was improper.
On the 10 March 2020, Cloney appeared before a Special Case Disciplinary Hearing chaired by the Chief Constable, after he was charged by the Force’s Anti-Corruption Unit with a number of breaches of police standards of professional behaviour. He was immediately dismissed without notice from Merseyside Police for gross misconduct. His name was also placed on the College of Policing Barred List, meaning he cannot work for a police force again.
Deputy Chief Constable Serena Kennedy added: “Merseyside Police and the communities of Merseyside rightly expect the highest standards of professional behaviour from its police officers and police staff. When these standards are not maintained, those officers or staff should expect to be investigated and brought to justice.
“On this occasion Stephen Cloney clearly did not maintain those high standards. The overwhelming majority of our officers join the force because they want to protect the public from harm, and they devote years of service to that end. Cloney’s actions went fundamentally against the principles of being a police officer”.
“After he pleaded guilty to the criminal offences, a disciplinary hearing was convened by Merseyside Police at the earliest opportunity and he was dismissed immediately”.
“Stephen Cloney will now spend a considerable amount of time behind bars, where he can reflect on his wrong-doing and the impact this has had on the victims of organised crime, on himself and on the wider policing family who will be more disappointed than anyone to hear of his actions. I hope that the seriousness with which his offending has been dealt illustrates the determination of Merseyside Police to root out anyone prepared to risk public safety in this way.
“The public should be reassured that the vast majority of our officers work in a professional and committed manner to serve the communities of Merseyside day in, day out and the actions of one officer should do nothing to undermine that fact.”