A SENIOR police officer accused of drafting of a statement on behalf of a family member will keep her job despite being found guilty of gross misconduct.

A police disciplinary panel also upheld two allegations of misconduct against Inspector Sarah Sanderson, who has served as the Chief Constable's assistant during a North Yorkshire Police career spanning 21 years.

Insp Sanderson's service has seen her posted in the Hambleton, Ryedale and Harrogate districts, including roles leading Safer Neighbourhood teams, as well as positions as the force's headquarters at Newby Wiske, near Northallerton.

After a three-day hearing at Newby Wiske and deliberating for several hours, the disciplinary panel, led by an independent legally-qualified chair, upheld allegations that the officer had taken a statement from a person she was closely connected with, contrary to good practice.

The panel also found she had used the police computer system to access information for personal rather than policing purposes, against force policy, and provided intelligence on a person known to her without disclosing this personal connection, and that this intelligence contained her personal opinion and unsubstantiated information.

The panel concluded Insp Sanderson should remain in the force, but be given a final written warning.

After the hearing, Brad Jackson, deputy secretary of North Yorkshire Police Federation, said Insp Sanderson was looking forward to the rest of her career.

He said: “During the last year, while this investigation has been taking place, Insp Sanderson has faced a very difficult and worrying period in her life.

"Her career has hung in the balance and her husband has been seriously ill. It is a testament to her professionalism, and her commitment towards the people of North Yorkshire, that she has been able to remain working and serving the community through such a personally challenging time."

Acting Deputy Chief Constable Paul Kennedy said Insp Sanderson had otherwise had a positive career.

Press organisations were banned from attending the hearing after failing to meet stringent rules over the timing of applications to attend.

The county's police and crime commissioner Julia Mulligan said the rules needed amending as "internal policies had trumped transparency".