Officer dismissed after bid to form relationship with vulnerable woman
An officer from Nottinghamshire Police has been dismissed after trying to pursue a relationship with a vulnerable woman he spoke to on his way home from a night shift.
The officer exchanged personal and sexual messages with the woman over a number of months after the incident in an attempt to form a relationship with her, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said.
The officer, who has not been named, stopped his car near a roundabout in Nottingham on the way home after a night shift in February last year, telling investigators he had become concerned with a woman’s driving.
After identifying himself to the woman as an off-duty officer, he spoke with her and did not take any action related to the potential driving offence. In the period up to May 2020, he exchanged messages “of a personal and sexual nature with the woman in an attempt to form a relationship”, the IOPC said.
On concluding their investigation in July, the IOPC submitted a report to the force stating their view that the officer should face gross misconduct proceedings for attempting to form an inappropriate relationship.
At an accelerated police hearing held on October 1, before the force’s chief constable, gross misconduct was found proven and the officer was dismissed without notice.
He will be placed on the College of Policing barred list.
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.”