A former Avon & Somerset police officer faces a misconduct hearing for allegedly stop-searching individuals for drugs before giving them back in exchange for information about local dealers.

PC Jonathan Biggins, who was based in North Somerset, is accused of telling colleagues to not record what happened and that this led to documents being falsified.

A publicity notice on the force website said: “It is alleged former officer PC Biggins has breached the standards of professional behaviour for police officers, specifically the standards of: honesty and integrity; discreditable conduct; authority, respect and courtesy; duties and responsibilities; orders and instructions.

“It is alleged that between September 2019 and October 2020, whilst on-duty, PC Biggins approached a number of individuals, stop-searched them for drugs and, upon finding drugs in their possession, gave the drugs back to them in exchange for information about local drug dealers.

“It is also alleged that PC Biggins subsequently used this information to effect or cause the arrest of local drug dealers.

“It is also alleged that this conduct was witnessed by other officers whom PC Biggins instructed to not record what had happened.

“This consequently led to the falsification of documents.”

The notice said that if proven, the allegations amounted to gross misconduct.

The public hearing before a panel led by an independent Legally Qualified Chair starts on Tuesday, May 16th, at force headquarters in Portishead and is expected to last two weeks.