West Mercia Police officer dismissed over relationships with vulnerable women
An officer from West Mercia Police who was once commended for bravery has been dismissed after he was found to have sent explicit pictures to vulnerable women while on duty.
Following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), Police Constable Michael Harrison, 33, faced allegations of gross misconduct after being accused of having inappropriate contact with two vulnerable women he met through his policing duties.
A statement issued by the IOPC said: “Between November 2018 and August 2019, the officer was alleged to have formed an emotional and sexual relationship with one woman and used his work mobile phone to exchange sexually graphic images with her.
“It was alleged that between January and July 2019, he engaged in unprofessional, flirtatious communication via social media with another woman from his work phone, and accessed police systems for information about her for no policing purpose. He was also accused of using his work phone, while on and off duty, to access an online dating site and send and receive images of an explicit nature.”
At a police disciplinary hearing on Thursday (February 3) it was determined that PC Harrison, from the North Worcestershire Policing Area, had breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in a number of areas including integrity, authority, respect and courtesy, and discreditable conduct. The panel imposed a sanction of dismissal without notice.
PC Harrison, who received an award for bravery in 2019, has been placed on the College of Policing barred list.
IOPC regional director Derrick Campbell said: “Cases where police officers abuse their position for a sexual purpose represent a serious form of corruption. At the outset of their service, it is made clear to officers that it is inappropriate to have or seek personal relationships with members of the public they meet through the course of their duties.
“This officer’s behaviour evidenced with two vulnerable women was wholly unacceptable. The police disciplinary panel decided that the officer’s actions breached standards of professional behaviour and, as a result, have dismissed him without notice.”
West Mercia Police Deputy Chief Constable Julian Moss said: “I want to be very clear, that we will not accept this behaviour in our force. It is a form of serious corruption. We will continue with rigour to rid your police service of corrupt officers.”