Birmingham & Black Country

West Midlands Police: Ex-PC shared indecent child picture

West Midlands Police badge on a helmet Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption "Former officer A" from West Midlands Police shared an indecent image with a man who is now a convicted sex offender

A police constable who had an "active sexual interest in underage teenage girls" shared an indecent image of a child, a misconduct committee found.

The West Midlands Police officer exchanged a series of online chats and pictures with a man, who is now a convicted sex offender, the force said.

The PC was given anonymity "to protect innocent people associated" with him.

His force said he would have been dismissed for gross misconduct had he not already resigned.

"Former officer A", who served the force for 20 years, was investigated by West Mercia Police due to where the alleged offence took place. That force referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service where a decision was made not to prosecute.

"Following the criminal investigation West Midlands Police Professional Standards Department commissioned further investigation of the officer's conduct which indicated an active sexual interest in underage teenage girls," a force statement said.

Ch Con Dave Thompson found the actions of the former officer, who resigned in December, amounted to gross misconduct following the hearing in Birmingham on Tuesday.

He declared the officer would have been dismissed without notice had he not already resigned.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The gross misconduct hearing was heard at Lloyd House, Birmingham, on Tuesday

"It is totally unimaginable that someone who has behaved in this way could remain as a police officer," said Mr Thompson, who granted the anonymity order.

"He has brought great shame on the police and there are no mitigating factors."

The former officer, who did not attend the hearing, will also be barred from being employed or appointed by a police force or other specified law enforcement body for a minimum of five years.

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