Pc with indecent images of children given caution
A Hampshire police officer caught with indecent images of children and extreme pornography has been given a caution, the BBC has learned.
Nick Oliver, 31, who worked as a traffic officer in Portsmouth, was arrested in August.
It has emerged that Hampshire Constabulary decided to caution him without referring the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Mr Oliver resigned from his job and left the force on Monday.
Children's charity The NSPCC criticised the move as sending a "poor message" to society.
Hampshire Police said Mr Oliver had been found to be in possession of about 50 images.
Most of the images were graded level one - the mildest level - although some were above that.
Hampshire Constabulary said earlier that it had carried out an internal investigation and had decided not to refer the matter to the CPS but instead give a caution.
In a statement, the force said: "The consequences for the officer in this case are grave - he is no longer a police officer and is on the sex offenders register.
"The decision to caution in this case was not taken lightly and was based on the level of offending. Hampshire Constabulary followed standard force practice and guidelines.
"This is based upon the number of images, the level of those images and the previous convictions of the offender.
"The individual involved in this case had no previous convictions.
"Hampshire Constabulary is dedicated to protecting the most vulnerable members of the community. It is a key priority for us and we take all cases of this nature extremely seriously."
A NSPCC spokesman said: "It's not uncommon for cautions to be dealt out for offences such as this
"But certainly in this circumstance, where someone is in a position of authority and responsibility, it is not appropriate and it sends a poor message to children who have been abused in this way and to society generally."
The force said the allegations did not relate to the officer's role within the force.
In July, while a police officer, Mr Oliver was badly injured when he was hit by a van on the A27 near Portsmouth as he dealt with a traffic accident.
He spent almost two months in hospital.