Essex Police officer dismissed for gross misconduct
A police constable has been dismissed from Essex Police after pleading guilty to gross misconduct.
The officer, who was based at Southend police station at the time of his actions, had been suspended since June after the allegations came to light.
After hearing the details of the case on Wednesday, November 13, a decision – that could be subject to appeal – was taken by Assistant Chief Constable Gary Beautridge to dismiss the officer from his post for breaches of police standards, including honesty and integrity, authority, respect and courtesy, orders and instructions and discreditable conduct.
The circumstances of the case were that the Pc had contacted a vulnerable victim with a view to establishing a personal relationship. He had also accessed police computer records relating to the incident without a policing requirement.
The officer later met the victim whilst he was both on and off duty and sent her sexually-suggestive messages.
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: “This officer’s actions were, quite frankly, despicable and such people have no place within the ranks of Essex Police.
“What he did was a betrayal of everything that the police officers and staff of Essex Police stand for and I totally support the decision to sack him.
“I will accept nothing less than the highest standards of behaviour from my officers and staff when it comes to assisting victims.
“On that same day, I stood in front of 85 proud members of Essex Police at a Long Service and Good Conduct Ceremony. I guarantee that every one of them would be appalled by the actions of this officer, as would all of those under my command.”
Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “The Chief Constable has described the actions of the former officer as ‘despicable’, and I share that judgement.
“Police officers should uphold the highest standards of integrity and always seek to help and support victims. This officer’s actions were disgraceful, and I agree with the decision to dismiss him from Essex Police.
“Chief Constable Kavanagh has made it very clear that he expects the highest standards of behaviour from everyone who works for Essex Police. As Police and Crime Commissioner I will continue to review the work of the Essex Police Professional Standards Department on a regular basis.
“In addition, I have already announced that I will be creating an Ethics and Integrity Committee in Essex, to enable experienced independent voices to be involved in ensuring that decisions about police conduct are examined in a broad, contemporary, context.
“Both Chief Constable Kavanagh and I are clear that police integrity matters. There is no place in our police service for the type of appalling behaviour, particularly where it involves a vulnerable victim, exhibited by this former officer.”