A former Lancashire police officer has been jailed for 10 months after he admitted committing misconduct in public office.
Ex-Detective Constable Jatinder Bunger appeared at Manchester Crown Court today (10 May 2021), having previously pleaded guilty to five charges, brought as a result of an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). It is understood he resigned shortly before the earlier hearing.
The IOPC looked into the detective’s contact with five women following a complaint from one of them, which was referred to the IOPC by the force.
During the IOPC investigation, they found personal and intimate images on Mr Bunger’s personal mobile phone which he took from devices provided to the police by two victims of crime. Mr Bunger had examined their devices in the course of his policing duties.
Inappropriate photographs of a woman which had been taken without her knowledge or consent were also found on Mr Bunger’s phone.
Two other women, who had reported being the victims of crime, provided evidence of Mr Bunger having sent them inappropriate sexual messages following the reports they had made. One of those women stated that he had made unnecessary visits to her home.
Following careful consideration of the evidence, a file of evidence was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which authorised five charges of misconduct in public office. He pleaded guilty to all five charges when he appeared at Manchester Crown Court on 12 April.
Following the sentencing, IOPC Regional Director Amanda Rowe said:
“Abuse of police powers for sexual purpose cases are among the most serious incidents of police corruption that we investigate.
“Jatinder Bunger took advantage of women he knew to be in vulnerable positions as victims of crime and violated the privacy of others without their consent or knowledge.
“His actions were completely unacceptable and although he may have since left the force, today’s verdict ensures he is held fully accountable for his actions. This sentence reflects the severity of his offences and should reassure the public that where police corruption is identified it will be thoroughly investigated and dealt with robustly.”
Lancashire Police has agreed that Mr Bunger also has a case to answer for gross misconduct for breaching police standards of professional behaviour, specifically relating to honesty and integrity; authority, respect and courtesy; duties and responsibilities; confidentiality; and conduct. Disciplinary proceedings are expected to follow.
If the panel finds Mr Bunger would have been dismissed, had he not already resigned, he will also be placed on the barred list, preventing him from working in a policing role for any force in the future.