Officer given final written warning for sex at station while on duty
A police constable from South Wales Police has been given a final written warning after she admitted carrying out sex acts on a senior officer at their police station.
PC Jemma Dicks, 28, was said to have brought the reputation of the police service into disrepute after she performed oral sex on former Police Sergeant Adam Reed, 40, on at least three occasions at Cardiff Central police station.
On Thursday (August 13), a misconduct hearing was told that although her actions had damaged the reputation of the police service, she had not sought to cover up the episodes and had expressed “genuine remorse”.
It also heard that “predatory” Mr Reed would have been dismissed without notice from South Wales Police for “orchestrating” the encounters if he had not already quit after allegations were made against him.
As a result of the decision his name will be placed on the policing barred list.
Panel chair Emma Boothroyd said: “The encounters were planned by former police sergeant Reed, but nevertheless PC Dicks was aware of the purpose of meeting him.
“We do not accept that these were spur-of-the-moment encounters or that PC Dicks was so controlled by the relationship with him that she wasn’t able to properly evaluate her actions.
“PC Dicks volunteered the information about her sexual encounters and at no stage sought to cover it up or lie about the fact it happened.
“PC Dicks’ conduct had the effect of diverting her attention from her duties and the use of the police station for these purposes was disrespectful to colleagues and members of the public.
“She prioritised her sexual encounter over her responsibilities as a police officer.”
Ms Boothroyd said PC Dicks did not deliberately set out to have sex at work and while on duty, and was experiencing “very difficult family circumstances” at the time following the death of her police officer father.
The panel head also referred to testimonials from PC Dicks’ colleagues that she was a “hard-working, diligent officer”, and that it was unlikely she would repeat her conduct.
PC Dicks broke into tears after receiving the decision, having heard that a finding that her actions amounted to gross misconduct would leave the panel with the power to dismiss her without notice.
She was told the final written warning would last for 18 months, and any additional misconduct within that time could lead to her dismissal.
PC Dicks is working in her force’s Incident Resolution Team, in which officers deal with matters over the phone that do not require a police call-out.
The hearing was previously told that married father-of-two Mr Reed had “manipulated” PC Dicks during their ten-month affair, with the younger officer looking up to him as a replacement for her father Mark Dicks.
The session was told that PC Dicks’ decision to perform sex acts on Mr Reed between November 2017 and August 2018 – including once while she was on duty – was a “serious breach of professional behaviour” and amounted to gross misconduct.
Ms Boothroyd said: “The public would expect a police officer on duty to be focused on her duties and not engaging in sexual conduct while at the police station.
“Using a police station to engage in sexual liaisons, even while off duty, undermines public trust in the police.”
Ms Boothroyd said each of the sexual encounters at the station had been “orchestrated” by Mr Reed “primarily for his own sexual gratification”, with each occasion starting with him becoming jealous of PC Dicks’ contact with male colleagues or becoming irritated at her working late.
PC Dicks, who has been supported by domestic violence charity Welsh Women’s Aid, told the hearing that she willingly performed the acts to please Mr Reed and to avoid upsetting him, believing they were in a relationship and after he had made threats to kill himself.
One of the encounters was filmed on Mr Reed’s mobile phone, with PC Dicks being described as “smiling and playing to the camera”, though she denied knowing she was being recorded.
The hearing was told images on Mr Reed’s phone showed he had sexual encounters with another police colleague as well as three civilian women around the time he was meeting PC Dicks, all while he remained with his wife.
PC Dicks said Mr Reed became abusive and controlling during their affair, saying he accused her of sleeping with other men, and regularly went through her phone messages and refused her access to her friends and events.
Three separate allegations facing Mr Reed, who left the force in January 2019, were also found proven, amounting to gross misconduct.
He had admitted only one encounter with PC Dicks at the police station, while he accepted another allegation of covertly taking photographs of the feet of another female colleague because he had a “foot fetish”.
The hearing was told the harm caused to the female officer after she found out her feet had been photographed “had been significant”.
Mr Reed also admitted having sex with an unnamed female community support officer, who has since become a police officer, at the same station, but denied it was while he was on duty.