'A form of serious corruption': Northamptonshire Police officer 'inappropriately' sought relationships with attractive women

A Northamptonshire Police officer abused his position by inappropriately targeting attractive women at work and members of the public for relationships, a gross misconduct disciplinary hearing ruled.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 6:00 am
Northamptonshire Police's base at Wootton Hall Park, Northampton
Northamptonshire Police's base at Wootton Hall Park, Northampton

The officer, who cannot be named, was accused of sending 'unwanted and persistent' messages to women in 2018 and 'failing to maintain a professional boundary' with a witness.

The disciplinary hearing between November 20 and November 22, this year, ruled he would have been dismissed without notice had he not already resigned.

"He abused his position as a police officer in respect of the civilian or non-police complainants," the panel commented in papers published yesterday (Monday, December 9).

"In terms of abuse of position for sexual purpose what has been proved here must be towards the lower end of a sliding scale.

"Nevertheless, as such, it still represents a form of serious corruption. Misconduct involving any sexual impropriety undermines public trust and is therefore serious."

The officer faced four allegations of pursuing relationships with members of the public through unwanted, inappropriate and persistent social media and email messages in 2018.

He also allegedly subjected a number of colleagues to unwanted and persistent messages of an inappropriate nature.

It was also alleged the officer failed to maintain a professional boundary with a witness to a case he was working on.

The panel last month heard accounts from witnesses and the officer, who was not present, but decided his behaviour amounted to gross misconduct.

He will be placed on the College of Policing 'barred list' and prevented from working within any other law enforcement agencies - he has the right of appeal.

"The conduct was intentional, deliberate, targeted and planned. It involved multiple females across a time span of several months and was persistent in nature," the panel said.

"There is no other sensible way to interpret it. The officer did not seek out random friendships; this was not a quest for simple human interaction.

"He sought out attractive females and the tone and context of each association quickly became sexualised and, in the view of the panel, inappropriate.

"The officer has offered lengthy explanations for his conduct…[but his] explanation lacks logic."