03:47PM, Tuesday 26 January 2021
A police officer who lied about being in a relationship with a family member of someone he had investigated has been dismissed.
The Thames Valley Police officer, who has not been named, has been dismissed without notice for gross misconduct after a three-day hearing, which ended on Tuesday, January 12.
An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) found that he failed to inform his senior officers about the relationship, and then lied about how it had started.
Thames Valley Police referred the officer to the IOPC after a phone audit found that his work phone had made several calls to another mobile number.
During a three-month investigation, the IOPC discovered that between September 2019 and January 2020, the officer developed a relationship with a woman who was related to a person he had investigated.
The officer had also given a dishonest account to his senior officer, claiming he met her at a coffee shop, and failed to disclose a change to his relationship circumstances to the vetting department.
The IOPC used telephone records, computer system audits and witness statements, including from the woman, to get to the truth.
As well as being dismissed without notice, the officer has also been added to the College of Policing’s barred list.
IOPC regional director Graham Beesley said:
“The public expect and deserve to have trust and confidence in their police. When a police officer is deliberately dishonest it corrodes that trust and is a betrayal of the values for which the police service stands.
“The officer lied claiming he met the woman in a coffee shop but our investigation established the relationship came about after the officer investigated a member of their family
“Such behaviour amounts to serious corruption and those who abuse their position have no place in the service.
“The independent panel has reinforced the message that this sort of behaviour by police officers is never acceptable by dismissing the officer without notice.”
A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: "Thames Valley Police acknowledges the conclusion of the legally qualified chair and the independent panel in the finding of gross misconduct in this case.
"Police officers should act with integrity, which includes complete honesty with colleagues and supervisors in the force.
"The force acted to address the wrongdoing in this case by making a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) in March 2020, who then conducted an independent investigation into the matter.
"This form of conduct has no place within Thames Valley Police, as such the officer was dismissed without notice."
The candidates standing in the upcoming Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner election have outlined their priorities for policing in the region.