Nottinghamshire Police officer dismissed for trying to form sexual relationship with vulnerable member of the public
A police officer has been dismissed after trying to form a sexual relationship with a vulnerable member of the public.
The Nottinghamshire Police officer has been dismissed after gross misconduct was found proven following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
The officer had been travelling home from a night shift in February 2020 when he stopped his car in Nottingham after claiming he was concerned with a woman’s driving.
He then identified himself to her as an off-duty police officer and spoke with her.
He did not take any action in respect of the potential driving offence and in the following days and weeks, up to May 2020, the officer exchanged messages of a personal and sexual nature with the woman in an attempt to form a relationship.
The police constable faced an allegation of gross misconduct for attempting to form an inappropriate, emotional and/or sexual relationship with a member of the public.
The officer was not named in the hearing, which was chaired by the Nottinghamshire Chief Constable.
In November 2020, the IOPC received a conduct referral from Nottinghamshire Police and it began an independent investigation the following month.
As part of our investigation, IOPC investigators analysed mobile phones including a considerable number of text, WhatsApp and Snapchat messages.
The IOPC interviewed both the officer and the woman involved, who was considered to be vulnerable.
At the conclusion of the investigation in July 2021, the IOPC submitted a report to Nottinghamshire Police with its view the officer should face gross misconduct proceedings for attempting to form an inappropriate relationship.
At an accelerated police hearing held on Friday, October 1, before the Nottinghamshire Chief Constable, gross misconduct was found proven and the officer was dismissed without notice.
Derrick Campbell, regional director for the IOPC, said: “Police officers are held to certain standards when it comes to their interactions with members of the public and they are expected to conduct themselves professionally.
“The abuse of police powers for purposes of sexual exploitation is a form of serious corruption. It has a devastating impact on victims, and a serious impact on the public’s confidence in individual officers and the service in general. It is critical there are effective systems in place to prevent, monitor and deal swiftly with any individual who exploits that trust.
“Our independent investigation concluded that the officer in this case abused his position and actively pursued an inappropriate relationship with a female member of the public. In doing so, he breached the police standards of professional behaviour, betrayed a vulnerable woman and undermined public confidence in police.
“Following an accelerated gross misconduct hearing the force has dismissed the officer without notice, which is exactly the sanction officers should expect to receive and sends a clear message that this behaviour has no part in policing.”
The officer will now be placed on the College of Policing list of former officers who are barred from working for the police service.