A Detective Constable with Bedfordshire Police was not a sacked but instead given a final written warning after he abused his position for a sexual purpose.
The police detective has since been moved to a different role away from vulnerability.
He was investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) following allegations he had inappropriate contact with a vulnerable woman he met during the course of his duties.
The IOPC investigation found evidence of a case to answer for gross misconduct for the officer and Bedfordshire Police agreed with the findings.
However the panel, appointed by Bedfordshire Police, which oversaw his hearing – which included an independent legally qualified chair – found the case proven at a misconduct level rather than as gross misconduct.
The IOPC investigation started in August 2019 and was concluded in March 2020. The hearing later took place from November 2 to November 4 last year.
IOPC Regional Director Graham Beesley said:
“The officer breached police professional standards of behaviour by inappropriately engaging with a member of the public, whom he had met during the course of his official duties.
“The public expects police officers to maintain exemplary standards of integrity and professionalism.
“Bedfordshire Police’s response to our investigation and the panel’s decision shows that such behaviour will not be tolerated.”
A spokesperson for Bedfordshire Police said:
“We expect the very highest standards from our officers and take any allegation of inappropriate behaviour or conduct extremely seriously.
“In this case we referred the matter to be reviewed by an independent misconduct panel which was heard in public.
“The Legally Qualified Chair of the panel, after examining all of the evidence in detail, decided that the officer’s conduct amounted to misconduct rather than gross misconduct and considered that a final written warning was the appropriate outcome.”
“While the outcome was a written warning, we put in additional measures and have subsequently moved the officer into a different role in another department away from vulnerability and he has also been re-vetted.”