Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Police officer on scene guard duty who bought pornography from a member of the public’s account admits fraud

An officer serving with the Metropolitan Police Service has pleaded guilty to fraud following an investigation by the Independent office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

PC Avi Maharaj, 44, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on Tuesday 16 July 2019 charged with one count of fraud.

The charge related to use of a member of the public’s cable television account to purchase pornography without permission. He will be sentenced at Westminster Magistrates Court on 6 August, 2019.

PC Maharaj, who is based in Earlsfield, was on duty following the death of a child at the property in south London in February 2018 when he purchased access to pornographic channels using the account of the property owner.

The homeowner had left the property and the officer was waiting there for an undertaker to attend.

The member of the public subsequently made a formal complaint and in September the matter was referred to the IOPC.

We found evidence that indicated PC Maharaj was the only person present at the property when the purchases, which cost £25.96, were made. We also found evidence that suggested PC Maharaj may have falsified his attendance log to cover his actions.

During our investigation PC Maharaj denied making the purchases.

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem, said:

“PC Maharaj’s behaviour was shocking and even more so given he was guarding the property in the absence of the homeowner. Not only were his actions deceitful but he caused considerable distress for the family involved who were dealing with the sudden death of a family member.

“Our investigation showed that PC Maharaj was the only person in the property who could have downloaded access to pornographic channels at the time the account was accessed. Today he has admitted his guilt under the weight of compelling evidence. I am sorry that the family involved had to deal with this while also coping with the tragic loss of their child.” 

We completed our investigation in April 2019 after eight months and a file was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service. We also concluded that PC Maharaj had a case to answer for gross misconduct. The Metropolitan Police Service agreed and will schedule a misconducthearing.


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