On 5 November, PC J, a serving police officer with Devon and Cornwall Police, appeared at a misconduct hearing which determined that his actions amounted to gross misconduct by breaching the standard of professional behaviour expected from a police officer.
These proceedings took place following an IOPC independent investigation into allegations which were reported in 2018. The allegations included that the officer had taken contact details of two vulnerable women, from a police system and contacted them using his personal phone number. It was also alleged that he had exchanged sexually explicit images and messages with one of the women, whilst on duty.
The officer was suspended from the force in October 2018, following the allegations.
Following the public hearing, the panel concluded that all the allegations presented were proven, including that the officer had met a member of the public in course of his duties and used that person’s personal contact information in order to pursue a personal relationship, he exchanged a considerable number of sexually explicit messages WhatsApp messages/text and video with the member of the public, whilst on duty, and he failed in his duties to properly update the victim as to the status of the criminal investigation.
Following the conclusion of the hearing, the panel determined that the officer would be dismissed without notice. His details will now be submitted to the College of Policing Barred List, preventing him from working within policing.
Deputy Chief Constable, Jim Nye said: “Devon and Cornwall Police take all reports of abuse of position very seriously. The vast majority of our officers and staff go to work every day to help the public and keep them safe from harm.
“PC J took advantage of these women, who were considered to be vulnerable, at a time when they had approached the police for help and support.
“This type of behaviour has undoubtedly eroded the women’s trust and confidence in policing. The officer’s behaviour was absolutely unacceptable, damaging to our reputation and will be tolerated by Devon and Cornwall Police or the communities we serve.”
DCC Nye continued: “If you suspect a member of the Force is abusing their position, e.g. engaging in or pursuing an emotional or sexual relationship with a victim of crime or a witness or contacting you or someone you know whilst off duty or via personal telephone numbers, then please report your concerns to Devon and Cornwall Police.”
Reports of concern can be reported to Devon and Cornwall Police by calling 101 or emailing [email protected]