PC caused fear and distress on dating apps
An officer who filmed himself performing a sex act and shared it on social media has been found guilty of gross misconduct.
Former Cheshire Constabulary Police Constable Patrick Campbell, 35, was also found to have a case to answer for misusing force systems to gain information about women he was talking to on dating apps.
The video, showing the officer performing the sex act alone in a toilet cubicle and in full uniform, was shared on Whatsapp. It was discovered on his mobile phone in September 2018.
During an investigation by the force’s Professional Standards Department, it was established that he told women he was speaking to that he knew where they lived, which caused them genuine fear and distress.
He was also found to have taken a photograph at the scene of a collision and shared the image with a woman he had met through an app.
He was due to attend a misconduct hearing earlier this month but he resigned from the force in July and chose not to participate in the proceedings.
Despite his resignation, the hearing went ahead and Mr Campbell was found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour regarding confidentiality and discreditable conduct.
The misconduct panel stated that had Mr Campbell still been a serving police officer he would have been dismissed without notice.
Detective Superintendent Chris Warren, Head of the Professional Standards Department, said: “Police officers are placed in a position of trust and there are clear guidelines about the standards expected from them, including their responsibilities in relation to accessing and sharing police information.
“Patrick Campbell was well aware of these standards. Sadly, he chose to ignore them and blatantly misused police systems to gain personal information. His personal behaviour was totally inappropriate for a serving police officer.
“I hope that the outcome of the hearing reassures the public that we take any concerns regarding the behaviour of officers extremely seriously and staff in these circumstances cannot seek to avoid being held to account by simply resigning from their roles.”
Chief Constable Darren Martland added: “It is essential that the people of Cheshire have both confidence and trust in the service we deliver.
“Unfortunately, in this case Mr Campbell’s behaviour fell well below the level expected of a serving officer and he grossly undermined the privileged position that his role as a member of Cheshire Constabulary demands and expects.”