Warning for PC Matt Godfrey who had relationship with widow

Northamptonshire Police HQ at Wootton Hall Park, Northampton
Image caption A public consultation is taking place on new plans for the estates of Northamptonshire Police, which includes a proposal to move from its HQ at Wootton Hall Park

A police officer who formed a relationship with the widow of a road crash victim has been given a final written warning.

PC Matt Godfrey was found guilty by a gross misconduct panel of a series of allegations, said Northamptonshire Police.

The panel heard that PC Godfrey had come into contact with the woman in his role as a family liaison officer.

It found the relationship to have been "inappropriate".

'Defied common sense'

The misconduct panel also found he failed to maintain an accurate log of his contact with the individual in question, failed to inform senior officers of the existence of the relationship, and misled another officer concerning the relationship.

Chair of the panel, Henry Gordon, said: "In our view this is a very serious case. His behaviour defied common sense and clear guidance. His misconduct has the capacity to seriously damage the reputation of Northamptonshire Police.

"We find the misconduct aggravated by the numerous opportunities he had to report or remove himself from the relationship and by the fact that he, on our findings, appreciated the relationship was inappropriate."

A police spokesman said: "We expect the highest standards of behaviour from all officers and staff and matters such as these are taken extremely seriously. Officers are expected to uphold the law in a professional capacity and when this comes into question, the impact can be significant."

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