Police officer who stole £15k blamed it on menopause

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A former police officer has been jailed after she stole thousands of pounds from an evidence locker. Lisa Arnold, 52, has been jailed for two years after she stole almost £15,000 from the Dorset Police safes to pay of debts from her online shopping addiction. Officers found the cash in the bottom of Arnold’s wardrobe after money had gone missing from 17 envelopes and a further 41 had been tampered with. Her solicitors said Arnold is “menopausal” and blamed the breakdown of her marriage at the time.

Arnold admitted to using the money to pay off her debts saying she developed the addiction after her marriage broke down.

She pleaded guilty to a charge of theft by an employee at Bournemouth Crown Court.

Stuart Ellacot, prosecuting told the court Arnold stole a “minimum sum” of £14,494, but said the actual amount could be much higher.

An investigation was first launched in 2020 with the force’s Counter Corruption Unit reported that an exhibit bag containing cash had been tampered with.

Following her arrest, in May 2022 she was immediately suspended and formally resigned.

Christopher Pix, mitigating said Arnold has been “sucked into” her shopping addiction after the breakdown of her marriage.

He said: “She is currently menopausal. Her marriage was in a crisis and the time and she developed a shopping addiction that sucked her in.

“Her marriage, which was partly a catalyst to these incidents, is back on track.”

Judge Susan Evans, sentencing said Arnold’s actions had a “devastating impact” on public confidence in police which warranted an immediate custodial sentence.

Arnold was jailed for two years.

Dorset Police Deputy Chief Constable Sam de Reya said Arnold has “fallen short” of police standards.

She said: “I hope that this investigation demonstrates that we will robustly investigate suspected wrongdoing by members of our organisation and undertake swift action.

“Our officers and members of staff are expected to execute their duties with integrity. On this occasion, a staff member has fallen short of those standards and been found guilty of a criminal offence. We will pursue and deal with those who seek to undermine the trust that is placed in us by the public and let down colleagues and the police service.”

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