Pcs charged in 'gun sale' probe
Two Durham police officers have been charged following an investigation into the alleged sale of guns which had been handed in for disposal.
Pcs Maurice Allen, 47, and Damien Cobain, 41, are charged with misconduct in public office. Pc Allen is also charged with 16 counts of theft.
The investigation into the officers began in February following a firearms theft at a farmhouse in north Durham.
The pair are due to appear before magistrates in Newcastle on Friday.
The owner of the stolen weapon told officers he had bought the gun from the police, which led to inquiries being conducted by Durham Police's professional standards department, under the supervision of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
The two officers were suspended as a result, arrested and interviewed concerning the allegations.
Pc Allen has nearly 29 years' police service, while Pc Cobain has been with the force for eight years.
Det Ch Insp Mick Nail, of the force's professional standards department, said: "All the weapons are accounted for and were bought by registered shotgun or firearms certificate holders who had been previously vetted by police.
"There is nothing to suggest that any of the firearms concerned have been used in any criminal activity."