Thieving police officer sacked after Bullring shoplifting spree
A thieving police officer who tried to smuggle £200-worth of items out of the Bullring while on-duty has been sacked.
Pc Abigail Smith was handed a caution for her shoplifting spree after pocketing goods from Selfridges, Superdrug and Kiko Milano in May.
The disgraced officer blamed her offending on her crippling mental health and a lack of support from West Midlands Police.
But Chief Constable David Thompson claimed 'extensive employee support' is available and said her actions amounted to gross misconduct.
Pc Smith, who resigned earlier this month, was dismissed without notice during the misconduct hearing on Friday.
In a statement read to the hearing, the officer said: "I'm deeply ashamed of the crime I have committed and I'm struggling to come to terms with what has happened.
"I wasn't in the right frame of mind. Being a police officer is a job I always wanted to do. I believe it was a cry for help."
Pc Smith, who was based in the force's public protection unit, said her mounting work load forced her to take almost four months off with work-related anxiety and stress.
She was left 'drowning' when she returned, claiming the force 'neglected' her needs and superiors did not take medical advice to move her to a different department.
Mr Thompson said he recognised Pc Smith - who was arrested after being detained by Selfridges security staff - was working in a 'very busy and challenging' role.
He added: "I'm sure it is very difficult you being here today. This case is one of gross misconduct because it is a criminal offence and one of dishonesty.
"You are very accountable for your actions. It is a breach of public trust. You were shoplifting while on duty.
"I have determined the officer ought to be dismissed without notice."