Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedfordshire Police sergeant guilty of gross misconduct

A former police sergeant committed gross misconduct by his inappropriate attitude towards junior female officers, a hearing has ruled.

Richard Barker, of Bedfordshire Police, was accused of "abusing his position" in his treatment of seven female trainees between 2005 and 2017.

The misconduct hearing heard he suggested to a number of colleagues they join him on a Caribbean holiday.

Barker, of Luton, admitted misconduct, but denied gross misconduct.

Chair of the panel Siobhan Goodrich said had Barker been a serving officer he would have been dismissed without notice.

He will be placed on the College of Policing barred list.

'You're beautiful'

The hearing at the Old Courthouse in Biggleswade was told Mr Barker also invited junior colleagues to his Norfolk caravan.

The panel heard Barker - who served with the police for nearly 30 years - had also asked one trainee: "When are you going to let me take you on a date?"

It is alleged he told another "you're beautiful" and "I like you".

Barker, who retired after serving with the force since 1989, was found to have committed gross misconduct for authority, respect and courtesy, equality and diversity.

An investigation by Professional Standards Department was launched in November 2017 following complaints from a probationer officer.

Although Barker had already retired from the force, a decision was made in 2017 that all gross misconduct cases must continue to their conclusion.

Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire said: "Richard Barker's behaviour towards junior female colleagues was entirely inappropriate and was clearly an abuse of his position of trust."

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