Manchester police staff jailed for stealing £10k worth of impounded drugs

An ex-police employee has been jailed and another a suspended sentence for stealing nearly £10,000 worth of drugs from police stations in Longsight and West Didsbury.

In September 2012, officers from Wigan found large quantities of various controlled drugs and drug-dealing paraphernalia at a house in Railway Street, Atherton.

The items were already in police property bags and had been stolen from stores at Longsight and Elizabeth Slinger Road police stations where Philip Eckersley, 28, had worked.

Immediately after the house search Eckersley stopped coming to work and later admitted to stealing £5,800 worth of cannabis and £3,900 in pills.

He was sentenced to four years and three months in prison, having pled guilty to conspiracy to supply a class B and class C drug.

During the beginning of the operation officers from the Counter Corruption Unit also discovered that a laptop had been stolen from police stores.

Former employee John McCormack of Kimberley Street, Stockport, was found guilty of theft following a trial and given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for two years and ordered to carry our 150 hours unpaid work.

Detective Inspector Chris Packer, from the Counter Corruption Unit, said: “Philip Eckersley was very much under suspicion even before we recovered the drugs and the fact we were able to trace them back to the stores where he worked was the final nail in the coffin.

“Both he and John McCormack thought nothing of taking items that did not belong to them.

“We have strict processes in place to monitor items stored in our police stations, including illicit drugs and other such contraband.

“The counter corruption unit is set up to identify the very few rotten apples who work as police officers and staff and this latest case should act as a reminder to all employees that not only will we not tolerate rogue employees but will actively root them out and bring them to justice.” 

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