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Devon and Cornwall Police officer fired for 'explicit messages'

image captionThe officer was sacked after contacting vulnerable women who had approached police for help.

A police officer has been sacked for using contact details taken from police systems to "pursue inappropriate relationships" with two women.

The officer sent "sexually explicit images and messages" to one woman.

Devon and Cornwall Police refused to name the officer but confirmed he had been found guilty of gross misconduct and dismissed.

A senior officer described his actions as having "undoubtedly eroded" the victim's trust in police.

On 5 November a Devon and Cornwall Police disciplinary hearing concluded the officer "used that person's personal contact information in order to pursue a personal relationship".

Police said the officer "exchanged a considerable number of sexually explicit messages" while on duty , and did not properly update the victim on the status of the criminal investigation.

The officer was first suspended in November 2018.

'Abuse of position'

An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation concluded in May 2019 the officer had a case to answer for gross misconduct.

Deputy Chief Constable Jim Nye said the force "take all reports of abuse of position very seriously" and acknowledged the officer "took advantage" of the women when they had "approached the police for support".

He said: "This type of behaviour has undoubtedly eroded the women's trust and confidence in policing.

"The officer's behaviour was absolutely unacceptable, damaging to our reputation and will not be tolerated by Devon and Cornwall Police or the communities we serve."

The force sacked a different officer in 2019 for having a sexual relationship with a domestic abuse survivor.

IOPC regional director Catrin Evans said the officer failed "to show sufficient regard for the professional boundaries he must observe in his role as an officer" and "failed to fulfil his public duty by carrying out investigations into the crimes reported".

The IOPC said a referral was made to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which decided not to charge the officer with any criminal offence.

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  • Devon & Cornwall Police

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