Officer sacked for ‘cultivating improper relationship’ with vulnerable woman
A Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officer has been dismissed without notice for “cultivating an improper relationship” with a vulnerable woman he met on duty.
A gross misconduct hearing was told Paul Banks, who worked as a police constable in Salford, accessed a vulnerable woman’s email account that he had advised her to create and then accessed images that she had uploaded.
Banks clicked on images and videos, most of which were of an explicit nature, more than 200 times and failed to report them to his manager or the force.
His actions were uncovered by fellow officers, who reported him the force’s Professional Standards Branch.
Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Allen, head of GMP’s Professional Standards Branch, said: “Banks knew full well that his conduct was egregiously wrong.
“By cultivating an improper relationship with a vulnerable member of the public whom he met in the course of his policing duties, the officer has been deservedly sacked from GMP.
“Not only has he disgraced himself, but his depraved behaviour dishonours policing and undermines the principled endeavours of his colleagues, who every day do a valiant job catching criminals and protecting our communities.
“Indeed, it was Banks’ own colleagues who sensed something was amiss and triggered the first step in a process that rooted him out.
“The prudence of his colleagues is to be commended and I am grateful to the Independent Office for Police Conduct for conducting an investigation that left no stone unturned.”
Det Chief Supt Allen added: “No decent member of the police service wants to work with the likes of Banks and there will never be a place in GMP for anybody who behaves like him.
“He abused his position of trust and for that the office of constable has been rightly stripped from him.
“GMP is a better force without Banks and we will recruit a new officer into his post who will discharge their duties with honour and espouse the professional and compassionate values of the GMP workforce.”
Banks, who had been on restricted since the investigation began in December 2020, was dismissed without notice and will now be placed on the College of Policing Barred List.