On Wednesday 18 August, the panel concluded that the allegation was proven and that Sergeant Geraint Jones had breached the expected standards of professional behaviour by sharing an image via Whatsapp, which was deemed grossly offensive.
The panel, led by an independent legally qualified chair, determined that the officer would receive a final written warning to stay in place on file for five years.
Assistant Chief Constable Glen Mayhew said: “Devon & Cornwall Police expect all officers and staff to abide by high standards of ethical behaviour, both on and off duty.
“In this instance, the behaviour of Sgt Jones fell below those expected standards – something that was acknowledged by both the officer and the panel. The officer admitted gross misconduct and accepted that he had sent an image that was deemed to be grossly offensive. He apologised for his conduct at the hearing.
“The panel, led by the independent legally qualified chair, has concluded, based on the information presented to them, the most appropriate outcome was a final written warning.
“All processes are now complete and the officer will be supported to a return to the workplace in due course.”
Sgt Jones was previously found not guilty of breaching Section 127 of the Communications Act at Plymouth Magistrates Court on Wednesday 21 April 2021.
Devon & Cornwall Police has already acted upon recommendations from the IOPC concerning guidance to officers and staff on the appropriate use of social media and private messaging platforms.