A Bromley police officer who admitted to downloading child pornography has been sacked after receiving his full salary during an almost eight-month suspension.

PC Rupert Watkins, 45, of Hawthorn Drive, West Wickham, was formally dismissed from the Metropolitan Police Service on Monday (March 21) following a misconduct hearing on charges of ‘discreditable conduct’.

Watkins pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent photos of a child at Westminster Magistrates Court in December.

He was sentenced on January 16 at Southwark Crown Court and given a two-year community order with an activity rehabilitation requirement, put on the sex offenders’ register and was ordered to pay £560 costs.

He was arrested on July 29 of last year and suspended the next day, but was on full pay pending the misconduct hearing this week.

Watkins told the Evening Standard: “Until they sack me they can’t not pay me.”


Deputy Assistant Commissioner Fiona Taylor, lead for Professional Standards said: "The behaviour of PC Watkins fell far below that which is expected of a police officer and therefore it is only right the chair held him to account and the officer was dismissed from the MPS."

Home Office guidelines mean an officer can’t be fired until an internal misconduct hearing takes place, despite having been sentenced for crimes he admitted to in court in January.

A spokesperson for the Met Police said: “Police regulations require a misconduct process to be followed as defined by police regulations.

“An officer can only be dismissed, or receive another sanction, once the full procedure has been completed.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Since 2010, we have reformed the police complaints and disciplinary systems to make them more transparent, more accountable to the public and to bring corruption and misconduct to light.

“We have ensured that police officers disciplined for misconduct can no longer escape dismissal - and deprive the public of justice - simply by resigning or retiring.”

Watkins viewed more than 100 images, including 45 Category A images, which involve penetrative sexual activity.

In legal terms, downloading indecent images of children from the internet is capable of amounting to an offence of ‘making’ the image.