AN ENTIRE safer neighbourhood team has been axed after an internal investigation found some of the officers had been playing backgammon and poker, watching television and cleaning golf clubs while on duty.
Seven officers in total resigned or were dismissed from the team in the Mottingham and Chislehurst North ward.
The disciplinary action followed an undercover operation by the Metropolitan Police Service's (MPS) Directorate of Professional Standards in 2010.
One sergeant and a PC were sacked after the Met's disciplinary panel found them guilty of gross misconduct. Another PC and three of the team's community support officers resigned, while a fourth was dismissed.
Three of the officers were also charged with criminal offences as well as police misconduct.
In a statement, the Met said: "The disciplinary panel heard evidence that officers from the team had played backgammon and poker whilst on duty, watched TV in the office, frequently failed to go out on patrol, had not worked full tours of duty and also claimed overtime that had not been worked.
"In addition, one officer had gone out for runs during the working day whilst a further officer cleaned his golf clubs in the office. "These activities appear to have taken place at the expense of policing duties, such as patrolling the local area."
Neighbourhood teams were introduced by the Met in 2004 and subsequently rolled out across the country.
Commander Allan Gibson, head of the MPS Directorate of Professional Standards, said: "These officers let the whole of the service down with their behaviour; but more importantly they let down their local community.
"There is no place for lazy attitudes in the MPS and those who are found to be failing in their duties will be held to account."